‘Shine’ buff at exclusive B.O.; ‘Crucible’ 2nd

Going into Christmas week, Fine Line’s “Shine” once again tops the exclusive roster.

Aussie helmer Scott Hicks’ drama about an Australian classical pianist who triumphs over a debilitating mental condition rang up $95,612 at seven theaters in Gotham and L.A.

As 20th Century Fox’s “The Crucible” widened from three to 136 screens nationwide, the gap on the exclusive roster between “Shine” and that pic widened as well. “The Crucible’s” take in L.A. was $20,830 on three screens; in New York, $41,880 on three screens.

Following behind “Shine” and “The Crucible” was the Castle Rock/Sony release of “Ghosts of Mississippi,” which bowed for Oscar qualification at $54,651 in five haunts in New York and L.A., and in 21 theaters nationwide.

Also opening for limited Oscar qualification were Miramax’s “Marvin’s Room,” which picked up $38,190 from one screen on each coast, and “In Love & War” (New Line), which struggled to a $2,515 weekend on one screen in L.A.

Miramax’s “Swingers” continued its twirl with a respectable $34,092 on six dance floors in Gotham and L.A.

The New Yorker pic “La Ceremonie” celebrated third place on New York’s exclusive roster with $37,003 on two screens. Pic brought in $6,179 on one screen in L.A.

Among the reissues revisiting screens this holiday season are “North by Northwest” (Turner), which bowed on one screen in L.A., taking in $3,361; and “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” (Sony Pictures Classics), which took in $9,670 on two screens in Gotham.

While the producers of “Eva Peron: The True Story,” Argentina’s foreign-language Oscar submission, fourwalled the pic, no numbers were available.

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

Los Angeles

“Shine” (Fine Line) gained 21% to $11,820 in its fifth at the Cineplex Odeon Showcase and 10% to $11,821 in its fifth at the Laemmle Monica, slid just 3% to $6,535 in its fifth at the AMC Century 14, and dropped 31% to $5,791 in its fourth at the United Artists Westwood.

“Ghosts of Mississippi” (Castle Rock/Sony) scared up $12,439 in its debut at the AMC Century 14 and collected $8,821 at the AMC Santa Monica 7.

“The Crucible” (20th Century Fox) tumbled 58% to $8,572 in its second at the AMC Century 14, and bowed at $6,584 at the Cineplex Odeon Broadway and $5,674 at the Cineplex Odeon Beverly Center.

“Swingers” (Miramax) fell 24% to $4,978 in its 10th at the Cineplex Odeon Broadway, 33% to $3,524 in its 10th at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and 45% to $3,083 in its second at the Mann Regent.

“Marvin’s Room” (Miramax) bowed to $9,438 at the United Artists Westwood.

“Ridicule” (Miramax Zoe) drooped 23% to $3,852 in its third at the Laemmle Music Hall and gave up 23% to $3,679 in its third at the Laemmle Monica.

“Breaking the Waves” (October) broke even with the prior week, taking in $6,800 in its fifth at the Laemmle Royal.

“Sling Blade” (Miramax) jumped up 17% to $6,663 in its fourth at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“La Ceremonie” (New Yorker) celebrated with $6,179 in its first at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Secrets & Lies” (October) gained 63% to $3,701 in its 12th at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“North by Northwest” (Turner) Cary-ed away $3,361 in its first week of reissue at the Landmark Nuart.

“Big Night” (Rysher/Samuel Goldwyn) rose 10% to $2,711 in its 14th at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Citizen Ruth” (Miramax) held firm at $2,611 in its second at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“In Love and War” (New Line) took in $2,515 in its first at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza.

“Beautiful Thing” (Sony Pictures Classics) faded 36% to $1,526 in its eighth at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Unhook the Stars” (Miramax) dropped 45% to $1,254 in its eighth at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn.

“Bitter Sugar” (First Look) fell 56% to $1,052 in its fifth at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Microcosmos” (Miramax) dropped 48% to $792 in its 10th at the Landmark NuWilshire.

“Jude” (Gramercy) though still obscure, gained 67% to $324 in its third at the Laemmle Monica.

New York

“Shine” fell 13% to $20,105 at the Sony Lincoln Square, gained 1% to $19,979 in its fourth at the City Cinemas Angelika and 3% to $19,561 in its fifth at the City Cinemas 1, 2 and Third Avenue.

“The Crucible” surrendered 30% at $20,323 in its fourth at Sony’s Lincoln Square, 49% to $12,692 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea and bowed at $8,865 at the Cineplex Odeon Baronet.

“La Ceremonie” rang up $23,047 in its first at Lincoln Plaza and $13,956 in its first at the Quad.

“Ghosts of Mississippi” bowed at $12,777 at the Cineplex Odeon Ziegfield, $12,719 at Loews Village Sevenplex and $7,905 at Loew’s 19th Street.

“Marvin’s Room” gathered $28,752 in its first at Sony Lincoln Square.

“Swingers” dropped 13% to $9,949 in its 10th at the City Cinemas Angelika, drooped 3% to $6,918 in its second at the City Cinemas Sutton, and bowed at $5,640 at the Cineplex Odeon Regency.

“Ridicule” fell 30% to $9,131 in its fourth at Lincoln Plaza, 30% to $6,629 in its fourth at the City Cinemas Angelika and 36% to $5,011 in its fourth at the City Cinemas 68th Street Playhouse.

“Big Night” gained 17% to $10,049 in its 14th at Lincoln Plaza, but slid 4% to $4,542 in its fifth at the Cineplex Odeon Cinema 3.

“Breaking the Waves” matched last week’s take with $13,139 in its sixth at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“Citizen Ruth” dropped 22% to $8,479 at the City Cinemas Angelika and 27% to $4,345 in its second at the City Cinemas Eastside Playhouse.

“Secrets & Lies” fell 15% to $8,399 (in only two days) in its 13th at the Lincoln Plaza, and gained 9% to $3,288 in its fourth at the Screening Room.

“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” (Sony Pictures Classics) dropped 20% to $6,218 in its seventh at Lincoln Plaza. It rang up $3,452 in its first at the Quad.

“Microcosmos” fell 12% to $4,889 in its 11th at the Film Forum.

“Sling Blade” surrendered 26% to $4,809 in its fourth at Lincoln Plaza

“Beautiful Thing” tumbled 19% to $3,716 in its 11th at the Quad.

“Losing Chase” (CFP) decreased 50% to $2,832 in its third at the Quad.

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