Specialty Films Off to Strong Start at Holiday Box Office


The Fighter and Black Swan were outdone only by four big 3D titles --Tron: Legacy (which placed No. 1 for the day), Yogi Bear, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tangled, respectively.

On Tuesday, The Fighter came in at No. 5 with $1.9 million to boost its cume to $16.1 million.
The Fighter is appealing more heavily to women than anticipated; they made up 53% of the audience turning out during the Dec. 17-19 weekend. Paramount began courting this demo in its marketing campaign after it became apparent during test screenings that women were drawn to the picture.

Relativity fully financed The Fighter after taking the project over from Paramount, working with producers David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg to bring the budget down and bring aboard director David O. Russell as well as stars Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams.

Paramount retained rights to distribute the movie domestically.

"Without a doubt, all of this is a sign that there is still an audience for smart, savvy independent film," Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser said. "It's reminiscent of five years ago when you had films like Brokeback Mountain and Crash.

"Audiences want something that is off the beaten path, provoking conversation and talk," he added.

On Wednesday, another specialty film, Focus Features' Somewhere, unspooled in a limited run, and Sony Pictures Classics' The Illusionist debuts Friday. On Dec. 29, three more indie films bow: Sony Classics' Another Year, the Weinstein Co.'s Blue Valentine and Roadside Attractions' Biutiful, which bows in an awards qualifying run. Biutiful officially launches in late January.

King's Speech's gross was $3.3 million through Tuesday. The Tom Hooper-directed film posted the highest per-screen average of the day, as it did over the weekend.

Elsewhere at the box office Tuesday, Disney's Tron grossed $6.2 million for a five-day cume of $56.2 million. Placing No. 2, Yogi grossed $2.9 million for a five-day total of $21.8 million, followed by Narnia ($2.7 million for a 12-day cume of $47.7 million) and Tangled ($2.5 million for a cume of $132.4 in its fourth week in release).

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