Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
The first weekend of 2013 has barely any new specialty releases. One exception is Magnolia Pictures’ action-thriller A Dark Truth, directed by Damian Lee and starring Andy Garcia, Kim Coates and Deborah Kara Unger, will have a limited opening in Miami. Post-holiday attention on limited releases will focus on holdovers and expansions, including Lionsgate-Summit’s The Impossible, Focus Features’ Promised Land and Hyde Park On Hudson, and The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook, and others.
The Naomi Watts-Ewan McGregor starrer The Impossible had a relatively meager start, averaging $8,250 in 15 locations two weekends ago, but it managed a rare feat last weekend increasing its average to $12,300 in the same 15 theaters. The film about a family caught in the South Asian tsumami has grossed an additional $145,721 in the same cinemas Monday through Wednesday ahead of its hefty expansion into 572 locations beginning Friday.
Following Promised Land‘s opening in 25 theaters last Friday, Focus Features plans a big expansion for the movie directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matt Damon and Frances McDormand. The film debuted modestly with a 3-day average of $7,606, but experienced an uptick on both New Years Eve and New Years Day. The movie, about people affected by the controversial natural gas extraction process known as fracking, increased its revenue vs. Sunday by 8.3% to $52,445 and again Tuesday by 29.6% to $67,958. Damon has continued to do publicity and TV ads are in rotation ahead of the film’s second-weekend rollout into 1,600-plus theaters. Focus’ Hyde Park On Hudson meanwhile will spread to 224 theaters in its fifth weekend, adding 141 locations. The film starring Bill Murray as FDR took in $429,419 Friday to Sunday and saw increases in its daily grosses on both Monday and Tuesday. The picture added $312,846 over the remainder of the long weekend and an additional $62,488 Wednesday for a new $2.1 million cume.
TWC’s Silver Linings Playbook placed 12th in the overall box office last weekend despite being in far fewer locations than the top 11 titles, including fewer than than half the number of locations playing 11th placed Skyfall. The Oscar hopeful grossed $4.11 million in 745 locations last weekend and will remain in the same number this coming weekend. TWC plans a “substantial expansion” of the film January 18th — 8 days after Oscar nominations are announced and 5 days after the Golden Globe Awards.
Zero Dark Thirty scored a hit with its Xmas day rollout, boasting the highest-ever midweek per theater debut at $24,969. Initially slated for a wider opening, Zero Dark Thirty was rescheduled to follow the presidential election with a limited bow in December. It grossed $410K with an $82K average across five locations its first weekend and $315K ($63K average) last Friday through Sunday. The title added just over $190K in five locations New Year’s Eve and New Years Day as well as $77,604 Wednesday for a $1.636 million cume. ZDT will remain in limited release until January 11th when it goes wide the day after Oscar nominations are announced.
Paramount Vantage’s Not Fade Away added 16 theaters last weekend, grossing $54,795 for a modest $2,884 average. The film opened with a $6,394 average in three theaters. On Monday and Tuesday of the holiday weekend it added $35,547 and an additional $7,592 on Wednesday. The distribution label will take the title into 500-plus theaters this weekend.
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