Blue Valentine and Biutiful effectively tied over the weekend to lead all limited releases, though Biutiful played at far fewer locations and therefore had a much stronger average. New comedy Cedar Rapids had a solid debut further down the chart, while the 2011 Oscar Shorts feature lived up to historical standards.
Blue Valentine barely held onto the top spot for the sixth straight weekend, dipping 26 percent to $585,508. The romantic drama has now earned $8.21 million. Biutiful finished $5,000 behind, easing just ten percent to $580,245. With a total of $2.26 million, the movie has passed star Javier Bardem's The Sea Inside, which was his last Spanish-language release.
The Illusionist more than tripled its theater count to 206 and was up 63 percent to $303,523 for its best weekend yet. The animated movie has so far earned $1.14 million and still notably lagged behind writer-director Sylvain Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville ($7 million).
Cedar Rapids debuted to $302,968 at 15 locations for a weekend-best per-theater average of $20,198. It's hard to find a specific comparison among Fox Searchlight's past quirky R-rated comedies, though it did perform similarly to Cyrus's 17-theater second weekend. Overall this was a respectable start for the Ed Helms comedy, and it should undergo decent expansions in the coming weeks.
The 2011 Oscar Shorts presentation grossed $300,706 at 95 locations, which was nearly identical to the 2010 Oscar Shorts. The weekend's other new releases fell much further down the chart. South Korean drama Poetry opened to $18,900 at three locations, while Argentine crime drama Carancho notched $15,810 at five venues. Vidal Sassoon: The Movie had a good $13,053 haul at just one theater, while fellow documentary Orgasm Inc. grabbed $8,773 at two locations.