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‘PEOPLE’ TOPS B.O.

'Evita' sings backup, casts shadow on 'Shine'

NEW YORK – Sony Pictures’ “The People vs. Larry Flynt” strutted its way into the No. 1 position on the exclusives roster in its first weekend. Helmed by Milos Forman, the biopic about the founder of Hustler magazine scored with $242,422 on seven stages in Gotham and Los Angeles.

Walt Disney’s “Evita” also struck a chord with auds. The musical biopic starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas was the second most popular limited-release film, with weekend grosses of $197,127 on two parade grounds.

Fine Line’s “Shine,” which had topped the roster in recent weeks, fell to third. Scott Hicks’ biopic about Aussie concert pianist David Helfgott brought home $119,903 in eight conservatories on both coasts.

Paramount’s “Mother” made a strong debut. Directed by and starring Albert Brooks, the film about a middle-aged man’s return to the maternal nest grossed $108,076 in five households in New York and L.A.

Another buoyant newcomer was Gramercy’s “Portrait of a Lady,” which drew $96,198 in six galleries on both coasts. Also bowing in New York and L.A. were Castle Rock/Sony’s “Hamlet,” which brought home $65,854 on two screens, and Sony Pictures Classics’ “Thieves,” which stole $49,139 in four alleys.

The following are the weekend grosses of films playing on a limited number of screens in New York and Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

“The People vs. Larry Flynt” (Sony Pictures) debuted with $39,877 at the Universal City 18, $27,235 at the GCC Avco, $24,858 at the Cineplex Odeon Broadway and $23,737 at the AMC Century 14.

“Evita” (Walt Disney) debuted with $92,128 at the Pacific Cinerama Dome.

“Mother” (Paramount) bowed to $22,011 at the Cineplex Odeon Beverly Center, $15,186 at the AMC Santa Monica 7 and $10,714 at the AMC Century 14.

“Shine” (Fine Line) gained 21% to $14,271 in its sixth at the Laemmle Monica, slipped 12% to $10,393 in its sixth at the Cineplex Odeon Showcase, rose 48% to $8,554 in its fifth at the United Artists Westwood and added 16% to $7,578 in its sixth at the AMC Century 14.

“The Portrait of a Lady” (Gramercy Pictures) debuted with $14,257 at the Laemmle Sunset 5, $9,422 at the AMC Santa Monica 7 and $6,646 at the AMC Century 14.

“Hamlet” (Castle Rock/Sony) bowed to $29,612 at the Laemmle Royal.

“Ghosts of Mississippi” (Castle Rock/Sony) dropped 17% to $10,271 in its second at the AMC Century 14 and rose 13% to $9,980 in its second at the AMC Santa Monica 7.

“Thieves” (Sony Pictures Classics) debuted with $11,189 at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“The Crucible” (Twentieth Century Fox) gained 15% to $7,603 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Broadway and 7% to $6,081 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Beverly Center. It slipped 37% to $5,408 in its third at the AMC Century 14.

“Marvin’s Room” (Miramax) declined 14% to $8,153 in its second at the United Artists Westwood.

“Secrets & Lies” (October) surrendered 11% to $3,276 in its 13th at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion and rang up $4,212 in its first at the Laemmle Monica.

“Breaking the Waves” (October) brought home $5,747 in its first at the AMC Fine Arts, $1,955 in its first at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and $1,539 in its first at the Laemmle Monica.

“Swingers” (Miramax) brought home $6,468 in its first at the Mann Fourplex Westwood.

“Ridicule” (Miramax Zoe) gained 60% to $6,176 in its fourth at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“La Ceremonie” (New Yorker) lost 21% to $4,891 in its second at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“The Whole Wide World” (Sony Pictures Classics) bowed to $1,539 at the Laemmle Sunset 5, $1,429 at the Laemmle Monica and $1,372 at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“I’m Not Rappaport” (Gramercy) debuted with $4,653 at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Some Mother’s Son” (Castle Rock/Sony) bowed to $4,486 at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Sling Blade” (Miramax) brought home $4,142 in its first at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Big Night” (Rysher/Samuel Goldwyn) picked up 15% to $3,113 in its 15th at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Lone Star” (Sony Pictures Classics) gained 184% to $1,932 in its third at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Dadetown” (Castle Hill) bowed to $1,445 at the Landmark Nuart.

“Citizen Ruth” (Miramax) declined 53% to $1,229 in its third at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

New York

“The People vs. Larry Flynt” debuted with $46,264 at Loews Village Sevenplex, $40,717 at the Cineplex Chelsea West and $39,734 at Sony Lincoln Square.

“Evita” bowed to $104,999 at Sony Lincoln Square.

“Shine” rose 30% to $25,514 in its sixth at the City Cinemas 1, 2 and Third Avenue, slipped 14% to $17,270 in its sixth at Sony Lincoln Square, gained 12% to $22,391 in its fifth at the City Cinemas Angelika and brought home $13,932 in its first at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea.

“The Portrait of a Lady” bowed to $22,943 at the Loews Village Sevenplex, $22,934 at Sony Lincoln Square and $19,966 at the Cineplex Odeon First and 62nd Street.

“Mother” debuted with $30,883 at the Loews 72nd Street East and $29,282 at Sony Lincoln Square.

“The Crucible” declined 18% to $14,207 in its fifth at Sony Lincoln Square, grew 36% to $12,052 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Baronet, increased 14% to $11,919 in its second at the City Cinemas Angelika and fell 12% to $11,156 in its third at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea.

“Ghosts of Mississippi” (Castle Rock/Sony) increased 71% to $21,843 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Ziegfeld and 69% to $13,388 in its second at the Loews 19th Street East.

“Hamlet” bowed to $36,252 at the Loews Paris.

“La Ceremonie” surrendered 10% to $20,685 in its second at Lincoln Plaza and 13% to $12,148 in its second at the Quad.

“Thieves” debuted with $18,080 at the Lincoln Plaza and $11,748 at the Quad.

“Some Mother’s Son” bowed to $14,991 at the City Cinemas Angelika and $14,749 at the Sony Lincoln Square.

“Ridicule” rose 33% to $7,634 in its fifth at the City Cinemas Angelika, 4% at the $8,755 in its fifth at Lincoln Plaza and 1% to $5,080 in its fifth at the City Cinemas 68th Street.

“Swingers” increased 17% to $8,104 in its third at City Cinemas. It brought home $5,496 at the Screening Room and $4,842 at the Cineplex Odeon Carnegie Hall.

“Secrets & Lies” rose 36% to $14,978 in its 14th at Lincoln Plaza.

“Breaking the Waves” gained 22% to $14,177 in its seventh at the Angelika.

“Citizen Ruth” moved ahead 6% to $8,974 in its third at the City Cinemas Angelika and sacrificed 18% to $3,573 in its third at the City Cinemas Eastside Playhouse.

“I’m Not Rappaport” debuted with $9,299 at the Cineplex Odeon Regency.

“Microcosmos” (Miramax) expanded 56% to $7,159 in its 12th at the Film Forum.

“The Whole Wide World” bowed to $3,772 at the Quad and $3,231 at the Cineplex Odeon Carnegie Hall.

“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” increased 53% to $5,272 in its second at the Quad.

“Looking for Richard” (Fox Searchlight) brought home $2,891 in its first at the City Cinemas Sutton.

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