CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Sony Classics, ThinkFilm, Box Office, Fox Searchlight, Dreamworks, Cinematical Indie, Paramount Vantage, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeTwo holdovers outperformed new releases in the indie weekend box office totals, according to estimates compiled by Leonard Klady at Movie City News. Jason Reitman's teen pregnancy comedy Juno grossed $35,500 per screen at 40 engagements in major markets, more than twice as much as Joe Wright's period wartime romance Atonement ($15,720 per screen but at nearly three times the locations: 117).
Both Juno and Atonement will expand to more than 200 theaters this coming Friday, where they'll have to compete with five major releases over the long holiday weekend. Juno will ramp up to more than 850 theaters on Christmas Day and more than 1500 screens on Friday, January 4. Will its reputation as a critical darling keep it rolling along, or will it need more endorsements from teen audiences?
Among new releases, Marc Forster's character drama The Kite Runner did the best, pulling in $14,490 per screen at 35 locations. Cinematical's James Rocchi wrote in his review: "It makes us truly see the people ... in many ways for the first time; that's the film's greatest achievement, and ultimately the best reason to see it." Nanking, a doc about the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, opened in one theater in New York City and earned $6,200. Our own Kim Voynar called it a "deeply affecting film [that] doesn't offer any easy answers."
Adam Rifkin's surveillance camera peek-a-boo project Look got raked over the coals by certain critics -- check out selected quotes gathered by David Hudson at GreenCine Daily -- yet still averaged $5,150 at the two screens where it opened. That means it did better than Francis Ford Coppola's return to the big screen, Youth Without Youth, which managed $4,630 per screen at six locations -- not quite disastrous, but not very encouraging, either. Jeffrey M. Anderson wrote an excellent, measured review, which examines the film in the light of Coppola's entire career.