‘Indochine,’ ‘Close to Eden’ get a pre-Oscar push

Grosses for limited-run pictures rose across the board last weekend, especially for films in the Oscar spotlight such as “Indochine” and “Close to Eden.”

Skouras launched its offbeat “Watch It” to middling results: $ 10,656 at two Los Angeles screens and $ 14,206 at three Gotham venues.

Strand’s Canadian import “Masala” had an encouraging $ 8,004 debut at New York’s Quad.

Miramax’s “Like Water for Chocolate” continued its upbeat word-of-mouth run with $ 28,508 in its fifth weekend at two L.A. sites plus $ 20,159 at two Manhattan screens.

Another non-nominee, Goldwyn’s “Stolen Children,” nonetheless improved to $ 8 ,745 at two L.A. screens plus $ 15,142 solo in New York.

Zeitgeist’s documentary “Manufacturing Consent” scored an impressive $ 8,334 second weekend at Greenwich Village’s Film Forum. Distrib’s “Silverlake Life” encored with $ 6,058 in second weekend at L.A.’s Vista.

SPC’s “Indochine” rose to $ 13,702 in its L.A. exclusive run while earning $ 16,804 at two N.Y. houses. Miramax’s “Close to Eden” rose 55% to $ 2,316 solo in L.A. but has yet to resurface in Manhattan.

Miramax’s “Just Another Girl on the IRT” had a convincing sophomore session with $ 25,682 at three Manhattan salles.

Los Angeles

“Watch It” (Skouras) started with a decent $ 5,506 first weekend at General Cinema Avco in Westwood; $ 5,150 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Like Water for Chocolate” (Miramax) up again (17%) to $ 14,676 in fifth weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; plus 12% to $ 13,832 in same at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Indochine” (Sony Pictures Classics) rode the Oscars bandwagon with a 28% jump to $ 13,702 in 14th weekend at Laemmle Royal.

“Stolen Children” (Goldwyn) up 12% to $ 5,127 in third weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; plus 19% to $ 3,618 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Olivier, Olivier” (Sony Pictures Classics) dead even at $ 5,227 in third weekend at Laemmle Music Hall.

“The Last Days of Chez Nous” (Fine Line) up 3% to $ 4,777 in third weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5; plus 6% to $ 4,431 in same at Laemmle Monica.

“Strictly Ballroom” (Miramax) improved 10% to $ 8,345 in seventh weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; off 12% to $ 8,472 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center; down 11% to $ 7,843 in fifth weekend at Cineplex Broadway.

“The Abyss Special Edition” (Fox) (reissue) sank 44% to $ 3,175 in fifth glub-glub weekend at Cineplex Century Plaza.

“Close to Eden” (Miramax) jumped 55% pre-Oscars to $ 2,316 in fourth weekend at Landmark NuWilshire.

“Ethan Frome” (Miramax) minus 29% to $ 1,596 in third weekend at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“A Breath of Life” (Surf Film) nosedived 56% to $ 997 in second weekend at Laemmle Monica.

New York

“Masala” (Strand) opened with a fine $ 8,004 first weekend at Quad.

“Watch It” launched with minor $ 3,836 first weekend at First & 62nd St.; $ 5 ,287 in same at Orpheum; $ 5,083 in same at 19th St. East.

“Just Another Girl on the IRT”(Miramax) lost 11% to $ 13,590 in second weekend at Village Sevenplex; minus 30% to $ 5,781 in same at Orpheum; up 25% to $ 6,311 in same at Criterion.

“Like Water for Chocolate” dead even with $ 16,024 in sixth weekend at Angelika; down 31% to $ 4,135 in same at Carnegie Hall Screening Room.

“Strictly Ballroom”down 7% to $ 16,660 in seventh weekend at Angelika; off 13 % to $ 8,746 in same period at First & 62nd St.; up 3% to $ 13,477 in second weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Ethan Frome” off 27% to $ 7,089 in third weekend at Tower East; plus 28% to $ 6,850 in same at 19th St. East; $ 4,776 in debut at Quad.

“Stolen Children” off 4% to $ 15,142 in fourth weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Olivier, Olivier”off 1% to $ 13,355 in fifth weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“El Mariachi” (Columbia) minus 2% to $ 12,997 in fifth weekend at Village Sevenplex; up 1% to $ 9,087 in third at Angelika 57.

“Indochine” up 3% to $ 9,491 in 14th weekend at Lincoln Plaza; plus 15% to $ 7,313 in sixth weekend at Quad.

“The Last Days of Chez Nous” up 9% to $ 7,184 in fifth weekend at 68th St. Playhouse; off 2% to $ 5,900 in same at Village East.

“The Lover” (MGM/UA) plus 16% to $ 7,213 in 22nd weekend at Paris Fine Arts.

“Tous les Matins du Monde”(October Films) up 8% to $ 6,286 in 20th weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Riff-Raff” (Fine Line) up 9% to $ 5,602 in seventh weekend at Quad.

“Bad Lieutenant” (Aries) up 7% to $ 5,543 in 19th weekend at Angelika.

“Mac” (Goldwyn) down 26% to $ 4,300 in sixth weekend at Carnegie Hall Cinema; minus 13% to $ 6,605 in same at Angelika.

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