CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Box Office, Cinematical Indie, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeThree new indie releases were left out in the cold this weekend but critical fave Juno vaulted into the overall top 10, according to estimates compiled by Leonard Klady at Movie City News. Two of the new releases are from India: Welcome, a comedy directed by Anees Bazmee and starring Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor, earned $5,180 per screen at 40 locations; Taare Zameen Par, the directorial debut of actor Aamir Khan, who stars as a teacher trying to help an unhappy young student, made $4,330 per screen at 70 engagements.
The other new release, extreme skiing doc Steep, could manage only $1,340 per screen at 17 engagements in winter-sport friendly areas. I wished that the film dug deeper into the questions it raises, but I'm surprised at the cool reception by its target market. Was everyone out on the slopes?
In its third week of release, pregnancy comedy Juno expanded to 304 theaters and raked in $11,184 per screen, which bodes well for its upcoming expansion (Tuesday, December 25) when it moves into 850 theaters. With its PG-13 rating, it looks like it's well-positioned to grab a big chuck of the teen audience that's home from school this week.
Atonement also expanded, though its success continues to be overshadowed by Juno. Joe Wright's period drama earned $6,630 per screen at 297 engagements. The Kite Runner was the third indie that expanded; it made $3,080 per screen at 377 locations, not bad at all for a drama without stars. In that same range of success could be found both The Diving Bell and the Butterfly ($3,890 per screen; 28 theaters) and The Savages ($3,520 per screen at 60 engagements).
No Country for Old Men has topped many critics' list for best of the year; now in its seventh week of release, it declined to $1,389 per screen, but that's at 1,222 theaters. I would imagine the theater count will soon drop, but it should stay in theaters until the Academy Award nominations are announced next month.