‘Dove’ wings to No. 1 spot on arthouse circuit

Miramax’s “The Wings of the Dove” continued to soar at the exclusive box office during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Helena Bonham Carter-starrer was the most popular limited-release film during the three-day frame. Based on the Henry James novel, Iain Softley’s costumer captured $129,079 in seven cages on both coasts.

Fine Line’s “The Sweet Hereafter” held onto the No. 2 spot with grosses of $86,660 on four screens in New York and L.A. Directed by Atom Egoyan, “Hereafter” is based on the Russell Banks novel about a school bus crash.

Remaining in third place was Fox Searchlight’s “The Ice Storm,” which swept away $65,471 in five venues in Gotham and L.A.

Newcomers included Miramax’s “Welcome to Sarajevo,” which arrived with $55,876 in four battlefields on both coasts, and MGM’s “Bent,” which twisted $55,645 in four playdates in New York and Los Angeles.

Several pics on the roster reported gains over the holiday weekend. Among them were Miramax’s “Mrs. Brown” and “Shall We Dance?” and Buena Vista’s “Washington Square,” all in New York, as well as October’s “Kiss or Kill” in L.A.

The following are the weekend grosses of pics playing on a limited number of screens in New York and L.A.

New York

“The Wings of the Dove” (Miramax) dropped 7% to $33,354 in its fourth at the Cineplex Odeon Beekman; 2% to $25,963 in its fourth at Sony Lincoln Square; 19% to $19,716 in its fourth at the City Cinemas Angelika; and 15% to $17,582 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea.

“The Sweet Hereafter” (Fine Line) gained 12% to $34,305 in its second at Lincoln Plaza and 2% to $24,883 in its second at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“The Ice Storm” (Fox Searchlight) melted 3% to $15,884 in its 10th at Lincoln Plaza; gained 36% to $12,110 in its 10th at City Cinemas 1, 2 and Third Avenue; added 11% to $11,441 in its sixth at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea; and lost 22% to $10,690 in its 10th at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“Welcome to Sarajevo” (Miramax) bowed to $20,029 at the City Cinemas Angelika and $15,201 at the Sony Lincoln Square.

“Bent” (MGM) debuted with $17,605 at the City Cinemas Angelika and $14,248 at the Sony Lincoln Square.

“The Tango Lesson” (Sony Pictures Classics) climbed 25% to $8,503 in its third at the Cineplex Odeon Regency and declined 25% to $7,975 in its third at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“Washington Square” (Buena Vista) expanded 85% to $14,069 in its ninth at the Paris.

“Shall We Dance?” (Miramax) advanced 56% to $11,120 in its 21st at Lincoln Plaza and 19% to $2,111 in its third at the Screening Room.

“Kiss or Kill” (October) dropped 14% to $7,489 in its third at Lincoln Plaza and 10% to $5,240 in its third at the Quad.

“Mrs. Brown” (Miramax) climbed 60% to $6,192 in its third at the City Cinemas East Side Playhouse.

“The House of Yes” (Miramax) declined 13% to $2,684 in its third at the Cineplex Odeon 62nd Street and Broadway and 8% to $1,150 in its third at the Screening Room.

“Happy Together” (Kino Intl.) fell 24% to $3,316 in its fourth at the Quad.

“Bang” (Panorama) bowed to $3,256 at the Quad.

“Tar” (Mongrel Movies) bowed to $2,776 at the Guild Embassy 2, 3 and Four.

“Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist” (CFP) rang up $2,136 at the Quad.

Los Angeles

“The Wings of the Dove” gained 7% to $14,180 in its fourth at the Landmark NuWilshire; fell 18% to $12,770 in its fourth at the Laemmle Sunset 5; and gained 13% to $5,514 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza.

“The Sweet Hereafter” climbed 7% to $14,139 in its second at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and 39% to $13,333 in its second at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Bent” bowed with $18,347 at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and $5,445 at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Welcome to Sarajevo” debuted with $10,456 at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and $10,190 at the Laemmle Monica.

“The Ice Storm” gained 8% to $15,346 in its seventh at the Laemmle Royal.

“Kiss or Kill” surged 39% to $7,183 in its third at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and 23% to $6,075 in its third at the Laemmle Monica.

“Shall We Dance?” rose 39% to $5,651 in its seventh at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion and lost 7% to $2,717 in its seventh at the Laemmle Monica.

“Hamsun” (First Look) slipped 28% to $3,219 in its second at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Bad Boy Bubby” (P&B Films) arrived with $3,038 at the Landmark Nuart.

“My Mother’s Courage” (Natl. Center for Jewish Film) bowed to $1,960 at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“A Life Apart” (First Run) dropped 68% to $1,411 in its second at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Never Met Picasso” (Turbulent Arts) debuted with $1,271 at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Washington Square” surrendered 51% to $1,073 in its eighth at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Bugis Street” (Margin Films) lost 73% to $820 in its second at the Laemmle Music Hall.

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