CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Music & Musicals, Mystery & Suspense, Box Office, George Clooney, Cinematical Indie, Western, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeWes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited and Ang Lee's Lust, Caution continued to duel one another for the top spot on the indie box office charts. Both expanded from their extremely limited Manhattan engagements last weekend, with The Darjeeling Limited earning $28,950 on average at 19 locations and Lust, Caution pulling in $21,530 at each of 17 locales, according to estimates by Leonard Klady of Movie City News.
The top earners in limited release were Michael Clayton, the heavily-advertised legal thriller starring George Clooney, which averaged $46,130 at 15 locations, and Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which earned $45,600 at just two locations. In his review of Michael Clayton, our own James Rocchi wrote: "I was hoping for a film along the lines of classic '70s Sidney Lumet or Alan J. Pakula; what I got was something more along the lines of an above-average '90s John Grisham adaptation." After a brief theatrical run, Blade Runner: The Final Cut will hit DVD in various incarnations on December 18.
Among new releases, Justin Lin's Finishing the Game scored the highest, bringing in $14,700 at one theater in Manhattan, while widely-discussed documentaries My Kid Could Paint That (average $3,390 on eight screens), Kurt Cobain: About a Son (average $4,700 on two screens) and Lake of Fire ($2,330 at one theater) struggled to find audiences. Jake Paltrow's The Good Night scored $6,250 each at two locations.
Several specialty releases increased their theater counts and at least three held up well. Sean Penn's Into the Wild expanded onto 135 screens and earned $9,410 on average, artful Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford rolled onto 61 screens and made $6,610 per screen, and Julie Taymor's musical Across the Universe played well at 364 theaters, averaging $5,030 per screen.