Arthouse Audit: 'Superman' Leaps Past 'N-Secure'

by Ray Subers

October 25, 2010

In a quiet weekend in the arthouse world, documentary Waiting for "Superman" battled back to the top of the heap. Last weekend's champ N-Secure fell to second, while Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger had a mostly unsuccessful expansion.

Finishing in 13th place among all releases, Waiting for "Superman" was up four percent to $774,502 at 290 locations. "Superman"'s per-theater average of $2,671 wouldn't necessarily guarantee further expansion for most movies, but, with Paramount Vantage's hefty marketing muscle behind it, it will likely be hitting more theaters next weekend. Since opening last month, the documentary has earned $3.7 million.

Yielding first place to "Superman", urban drama N-Secure fell 53 percent to $551,096 at 445 theaters. In ten days, it's made $1.97 million.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was up 57 percent to $432,016, but that was due to its jump to 402 theaters from 118 last weekend. The movie's $1.84 million total was still far behind other recent underperforming Allen movies like Anything Else and Melinda and Melinda, and its poor $1,075 per-theater average suggests that a nationwide expansion shouldn't happen.

Stone more than doubled its theater count to 113 and was up 57 percent to $361,140. The Robert DeNiro-Edward Norton prison drama had an unimpressive $3,196 per-theater average and has amassed $785,113 through its third weekend.

Like many of the other major movies on the chart this weekend, Conviction also expanded. The Hilary Swank drama vaulted 196 percent to $303,135 at 55 locations for a modest per-theater average of $5,512. With $444,258 in its coffers, it's performing about as well as Never Let Me Go from last month, which distributor Fox Searchlight already has retreating from theaters.

John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy dropped 37 percent to $213,494 at 215 theaters. Through its third weekend, it has earned a soft $767,065.

None of the weekend's new limited releases opened at more than two theaters, and none of them caused any excitement. At one theater each, comedy BearCity grossed $5,980 and drama The Taqwacores scored $3,532. The weekend's other opener, IFC drama Inhale, debuted to a weak $3,030 at two venues.

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