CATEGORIES Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Music & Musicals, IFC, Sony Classics, Box Office, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Cinematical Indie, Paramount Vantage, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeFinally opening in the US after receiving rapturous reviews at Cannes last May and landing atop many critics' top ten lists for the year, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days easily led the field this weekend, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo. Shut out of the Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film, the Romanian abortion drama nevertheless drew big crowds to the two theaters where it opened, averaging $24,100 per screen for distributor IFC.
Playing on 61 screens, U2 3D scored an impressive $15,508 per screen average. Opinion has been divided as to whether the possibilities of 3D were effectively used, with our own Christopher Campbell arguing that the film is important to experience, while Nick Schager was more critical. And for anyone concerned about the higher ticket prices charged for the 3D experience, Bono told USA Today: "I'm hoping that all the people in high school or who are college-age and don't have the cash to go see us can go see us for a low price with this film."
Reveling in its Academy Award nominations, Juno soared just past the $100 million mark, increasing its weekly take 3.5% while dropping 108 theaters. It's still playing at more than 2,400 locations in its eighth week of release for distributor Fox Searchlight.
Fellow Best Picture nominee There Will Be Blood fared well as Paramount Vantage continued its roll-out. Now playing in 885 locations, its per-screen average was a healthy $5,522. Best Picture nominee Atonement was down a bit ($2,832 per-screen at 1,400 engagements) and No Country for Old Men was up ($2,261 per-screen at 1,107 locations). Playing on just 58 screens, Best Animated Film nominee Persepolis had the fifth-best per-screen average of the weekend ($6,034) for Sony Pictures Classics.
Among other limited releases, Teeth performed quite well, averaging $4,212 at 16 theaters in its second week out.