Box Office Report: George Clooney's 'The Descendants' Off to Strong Start

9:07 AM PST 11/17/2011 by Pamela McClintock
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Alexander Payne-directed awards contender opened Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles.

Alexander Payne's awards hopeful The Descendants--starring George Clooney--nabbed $39,864 as it opened in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Wednesday in a bid to build word-of-mouth heading into Thanksgiving week.

From Fox Searchlight, the specialty film sported a per location average of $7,973. That's slightly ahead of the opening day location average of Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, which grossed $52,645 last Wednesday from seven theaters for an average $7,521.

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On Friday, Descendants expands into an additional 29 theaters in 11 more markets. On Nov. 23, in a major push, the comedy-drama will be playing in 400 or more theaters across the country.

Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, Descendants also stars Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard and Shailene Woodley.

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Descendants tells the story of Matt King (Clooney), the trustee of his family's ancestral land in Hawaii who tries to reconnect with this two daughters when his wife slips into a coma after a boating accident.

The film was produced by Jim Burke and Jim Taylor.

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