Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.

Sony/Columbia Pictures’ limited-run engagement of Zero Dark Thirty showed impressive stamina, and the studio’s specialty market distributor Sony Pictures Classics also had great news for Amour but not so great news for newcommer West Of Memphis in three-day estimates for the pre-New Year’s weekend, while Focus Features debut Promised Land bowed modestly. Columbia Pictures’ Zero Dark Thirty averaged a muscular $65K per location in its sophomore weekend in 5 theaters compared with $82K per cinema last weekend. Sony Classics’ Palme d’Or winner and Oscar short-listed foreign-language hopeful Amour held steady in three theaters in its second weekend, averaging a very strong $20K vs. its $23,554 average debut. Specialty market newcomers Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Frances McDormand headed into 25 theaters, averaging $7,606, while Sony Classics’ doc West Of Memphis managed a slender $2,771 per run in 5 cinemas. SPC’s other non-fiction offering Searching For Sugar Man, now in its 23rd weekend of release, passed the $3 million milestone this weekend. An additional newcomer, Adopt Films’ Tabu, took in $5,300 in one theater.

Promised Land marks the third collaboration between Matt Damon and director Gus Van Sant. The film faced stiff competition with year-end Oscar heavyweights and some insiders have speculated whether the film might have had a stronger showing had it been released in the Spring. The film’s $7,606 average compares to Damon and Van Sant’s previous $13,142 opening average for Gerry in 2003, although that title opened in two theaters compared to Promised Land‘s 25. Oscar-winner Good Will Hunting bowed back in 1998 with a $38,987 average in 7 theaters. “Promised Land opened to modest numbers this weekend in a very competitive holiday marketplace,” a Focus spokesperson noted today. “The film expands on January 4th to approximately 1,500 screens. Hopefully, the word-of-mouth seeded by the first wave of the platform will give the film momentum as it widens.”

Interestingly, business was up for Summit/Lionsgate’s tsunami drama The Impossible, which averaged $12,300 in the same 15 locations vs. $9,250 in its debut weekend. The Weinstein Company meanwhile expanded Silver Linings Playbook into 745 theaters, adding 374 runs in its seventh weekend. The Oscar hopeful averaged a $5,517, a solid jump from $4,908 the prior weekend in 371 theaters. Silver Linings bowed with a $27,688 average in 16 theaters.

Among other holdovers, On The Road did not pick up steam in its second outing. The film starring Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Amy Adams, which looked promising back when it debuted in Cannes in May, averaged $6,400 vs. its $10,800 opening average last week.

XLrator Media did not report figures for Allegiance.

NEW

Promised Land (Focus Features) NEW [25 Theaters] Weekend $190,150, Average $7,606

West Of Memphis (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $13,856, Average $2,771

Tabu (Adopt Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $5,300, Cume $7,600.

RETURNING / 2ND WEEKEND

Amour (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $60,016, Average $20,005, Cume $217,791

The Impossible (Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate) Week 2 [15 Theaters] Weekend $184,500, Average $12,300, Cume $484,847

On The Road (IFC Films) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $25,600, Average $6,400, Cume $96,200

Zero Dark Thirty (Sony) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $315K, Average $63K, Cume $1,367,571

HOLDOVERS / 3RD+ WEEKENDS

Hyde Park On Hudson (Focus Features) Week 4 [84 Theaters] Weekend $429,419, Average $5,112, Cume $1,730,761

Rust And Bone (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [26 Theaters] Weekend $121,434, Average $4,671, Cume $594,457

Anna Karenina (Focus Features) Week 7 [218 Theaters] Weekend $526,659, Average $2,416, Cume $10,708,872

Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) Week 7 [745 Theaters] Weekend $4.11 million, Average $5,517, Cume $27,360,722

Chasing Ice (Submarine Deluxe) Week 8 [40 Theaters] Weekend $47,967, Average $1,199, Cume $780,138

The Other Son (Cohen Media Group) Week 10 [17 Theaters] Weekend $20,704, Average $1,214, Cume $1,160,006

Holy Motors (Indomina) Week 11 [14 Theaters] Weekend $24,177, Average $1,727, Cume $511,231

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Summit/Lionsgate) Week 15 [125 Theaters] Weekend $87,500, Average $700, Cume $17,306,341

Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 23 [28 Theaters] Weekend $29,867, Average $1,067, Cume $3,007,341