Arthouse Audit: 'Blue Valentine' Basks Atop Limited Releases

by Ray Subers
Blue Valentine

January 10, 2011

Jumping from four to 40 locations, Blue Valentine took a commanding lead over the arthouse scene. Bollywood movie No One Killed Jessica registered the weekend's top debut, while I Love You, Phillip Morris continued to yield low numbers despite star Jim Carrey's media blitz.

Blue Valentine was up 264 percent to $704,339, which translated to a solid $17,608 per-theater average and a 16th place finish on the overall weekend chart. So far, the drama is outperforming past Ryan Gosling limited releases Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl, and has already topped the final tally of Michelle Williams' Wendy and Lucy. In 12 days in theaters, Blue Valentine has earned $1.15 million, and The Weinstein Company has planned another expansion on Friday.

No One Killed Jessica grossed $227,473 at 48 locations. Its $4,739 per-theater average was on the low-end among Bollywood movies, and the movie continued the niche's recent downward trend.

Roadside Attractions had originally planned a nationwide expansion this weekend for I Love You, Phillip Morris. Instead, the movie added 32 theaters for a total of 100 and was up 11 percent to $217,276. With star Jim Carrey recently making much-publicized appearances on programs like Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, these meager numbers have to be considered disappointing. Since opening at the beginning of December, Phillip Morris has made $1.44 million.

Arthouse mainstay 127 Hours dipped 24 percent to $216,964 at 88 locations. The Danny Boyle movie has grossed $10.8 million in two months.

Somewhere more than doubled its theater count to 17 and was up 18 percent to $163,318. Director Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation expanded more aggressively and therefore weren't directly comparable, though it would be hard to argue that Somewhere is performing as well as those movies. In two and a half weeks, the Hollywood-set drama has tallied $663,989.

Casino Jack and Rabbit Hole continued to fly under the radar this weekend. Casino Jack expanded to 52 locations and had its best weekend yet with $156,393. Rabbit Hole, on the other hand, held at 34 theaters and eased 23 percent to $109,944. The movies have thus far earned $425,363 and $627,981, respectively.

The weekend also saw three new movies debut in one theater each. Documentary Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune had the weekend's top per-theater average, scoring $18,211 for a five-day total of $26,846. Foreign drama The Time That Remains grossed $6,453, while another Wednesday starter, If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle, debuted to $2,999 for a total of $5,228.

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'127 Hours' Holds Off 'Blue Valentine'

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