Blue Valentine led limited releases for the fifth straight weekend, though it seems to be on the verge of yielding the top spot to surging Oscar hopeful Biutiful. Without any other significant new releases or notably successful expansions, the arthouse scene was pretty quiet, though this was generally in line with past Super Bowl weekends.
While it was able to retain its lead, Blue Valentine dropped a fairly steep 34 percent to $786,441. Its per-theater average of $1,748 was by far its lowest yet. Oscar buzz for Michelle Williams' role should help the romantic drama ease at a similar rate throughout the rest of the awards season, and, with a solid $7.3 million already in the bank, the movie is likely to close with around $10 million.
In its second weekend, From Prada to Nada was off 33 percent to $748,852 at 261 locations. In 10 days, the Latino-focused romantic comedy has earned $2.1 million.
Biutiful, which is also geared towards Latinos, expanded from 59 to 179 locations and was up 40 percent to $641,647. Though modest, its $3,585 per-theater average may warrant another minor expansion before the Academy Awards on Feb. 28. Including its Academy-qualifying showings, the movie has so far made $1.43 million.
The Company Men eased 18 percent to $548,925 at 231 locations. This brought its total to $2.3 million through its third weekend.
Mike Leigh's Another Year more than doubled its theater count and was up 44 percent to $443,589 (its best weekend yet). Its 236 theaters made it the widest release for a Leigh movie since Secrets & Lies, which ultimately closed with $13.4 million. However, with a comparatively meager $1.65 million so far, Another Year isn't faring better than Leigh's last movie, Happy-Go-Lucky.
A handful of new movies opened in fairly limited release. The Chinese remake of What Women Want earned a decent $53,224 at 26 locations for a four-day total of $64,053. Thriller Cold Weather had the weekend's best per-theater average, debuting to $14,513 at just one location in New York City. Waiting for Forever and The Other Woman featured bigger names and more theaters, but fell way short of Cold Weather's tally. Waiting for Forever, starring Rachel Bilson, earned $8,917 at three locations. The Other Woman was unable to take advantage of Natalie Portman's current "It" girl status, scoring just $6,224 at two venues. Finally, foreign movie How I Ended This Summer and documentary Into Eternity each opened at one location and earned $4,968 and $3,530, respectively.