Miramax rules L.A., Gotham B.O.

The rich got richer as Miramax titles continued to dominate regional releases this past weekend, including an OK bow for distrib’s latest, “Just Another Girl on the IRT.”

Better weather meant across-the-board weekend increases of New York flicks compared to the weatherbeaten figures of a week ago.

That “IRT” girl started with $ 28,522 at three Gotham venues, but significantly its Greenwich Village booking out-grossed its Times Square opening by a 3-to-1 margin.

Miramax’s “Strictly Ballroom” scored an uptick with $ 26,050 at three L.A. houses plus $ 40,991 expanding to three sites in Manhattan. Same distrib’s “Like Water for Chocolate” earned $ 24,878 at two L.A. screens and $ 21,949 at two Gotham locations.

Zeitgeist launched two documentary titles, grossing a promising $ 11,012 in its first exclusive L.A. weekend for “Silverlake Life: The View From Here” and $ 7,611 in first Gotham exclusive weekend on “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.”

Italian import from Surf Film, “A Breath of Life” (aka “The Plague Sower”), launched with a light $ 2,274 first weekend exclusively in L.A.

The following are actual grosses for the three days for films in exclusive release in Los Angeles and New York.

Los Angeles

“Riff-Raff” (Fine Line) bowed with a fine $ 7,000 first weekend at Landmark Nuart.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (MGM/UA) (reissue) resurfaced for a quality $ 6,937 first weekend at Pacific Cinerama Dome.

“A Breath of Life” (Surf Film) debuted with a meek $ 2,274 first weekend at Laemmle Monica.

“El Mariachi” (Columbia) moved up a whopping 57% to $ 2,968 in fourth weekend at UA Coronet; up 36% to $ 4,006 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Like Water for Chocolate” (Miramax) up again (3%) to $ 12,567 in fourth weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; minus 3% to $ 12,311 in same at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Stolen Children” (Samuel Goldwyn Co.) off 8% to $ 4,598 in second weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; minus 33% to $ 3,045 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Ethan Frome” (Miramax) lost 27% for $ 2,917 in second weekend at AMC Century 14; up 4% to $ 2,237 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center; plummeted 72% (playing half-days only) to $ 643 in same at AMC Santa Monica 7.

“Olivier, Olivier” (Sony Pictures Classics) gave up 5% to $ 5,249 in second weekend at Laemmle Music Hall.

“The Last Days of Chez Nous”(Fine Line) down 13% to $ 4,623 in second weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5; off 16% to $ 4,170 in same at Laemmle Monica.

“Indochine” (Sony Pictures Classics) did a leggy $ 10,679 (down 4%) in 13th weekend at Laemmle Royal.

“Mac” (Goldwyn) moved over from Landmark Nuart to Cineplex Beverly Center for $ 2,050 in first weekend there.

“Strictly Ballroom” (Miramax) minus 13% to $ 7,592 in sixth weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; up 4% to $ 9,625 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center; up again (by 5%) to $ 8,833 in fourth weekend at Cineplex Broadway.

“The Abyss Special Edition” (Fox) (reissue) improved 3% to $ 5,712 in fourth weekend at Cineplex Century Plaza.

“Intervista” (Castle Hill) off 23% to $ 2,197 in fourth weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Close to Eden” (Miramax) improved 4% to $ 1,493 in third weekend at Landmark NuWilshire.

New York

“Just Another Girl on the IRT” (Miramax) opened boffo with $ 15,230 at Village Sevenplex; fair $ 8,243 first weekend at Orpheum; quiet $ 5,049 in same at Criterion.

“Family Prayers” (Arrow) debuted with a slow $ 1,615 first weekend at Worldwide; $ 1,879 at Quad.

“Ethan Frome” jumped up 32% to $ 9,677 in second weekend at Tower East; plus 28% to $ 6,850 in same at 19th St. East.

“Stolen Children” up 29% to $ 15,732 in third weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Olivier, Olivier” plus 17% to $ 13,496 in fourth weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“El Mariachi” improved 28% to $ 13,319 in fourth weekend at Village Sevenplex; also up 28% to $ 9,028 in second weekend inaugurating Angelika 57 house.

“Like Water for Chocolate” up 18% to $ 15,950 in fifth weekend at Angelika; up 4% to $ 5,999 in same at Carnegie Hall Screening Room.

“Strictly Ballroom” up 21% to $ 17,906 in sixth weekend at Angelika; plus 8% to $ 10,039 in same period at First & 62nd St.; and $ 13,046 in debut at Lincoln Plaza.

“The Last Days of Chez Nous” up 18% to $ 6,567 in fourth weekend at 68th St. Playhouse; improved 55% to $ 5,999 in same at Village East.

“Indochine” up 12% to $ 9,241 in 13th weekend at Lincoln Plaza; plus 34% to $ 6,383 in fifth weekend at Quad.

“Mac” plus 38% to $ 5,839 in fifth weekend at Carnegie Hall Cinema; up 14% to $ 7,592 in same period at Angelika.

“Riff-Raff” up 48% to $ 5,153 in sixth weekend at Quad.

“Tous les Matins du Monde” (October Films) improved 50% to $ 5,840 in 19th weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“The Lover” (MGM/UA) bounced back 40% for $ 6,199 in 21st weekend at Paris Fine Arts ($ 751,790 to date at this house).

“Bad Lieutenant” (Aries) improved 37% to $ 5,193 in 18th weekend at Angelika.

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