‘Hercules’ mighty on single Gotham screen

NEW YORK — Walt Disney’s “Hercules” conquered the exclusives roster during its first weekend at the newly renovated New Amsterdam Theatre in Gotham. With help from lofty ticket prices, Disney’s 35th full-length animated feature captured a mighty $589,120, nearly 10 times its nearest competitor.

Prices range from $15 to $55 a seat for the “Hercules” screening, which also includes a live stage show of classic Mouse House characters. The animated epic, which was created by “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” team of John Musker and Ron Clements, opens wide Friday.

Orion’s “Ulee’s Gold” was the second-most-popular limited-release pic. The latest film from “Ruby in Paradise” helmer Victor Nunez struck $64,657 in five mines on both coasts. In “Gold,” Peter Fonda plays a stoic Florida beekeeper who keeps his cool when his family is threatened by violence.

CFP’s “The Pillow Book” remained plump in its third weekend. Peter Greenaway’s erotic exploration of bodypainting mapped out the No. 3 spot on the roster. It opened $49,680 in four bedrooms.

Sony Pictures Classics’ “While the Cat’s Away” entered Gotham in leonine style, capturing $38,004 on two screens. Also joining the list from SPC was “Dream With the Fishes,” which hooked $26,209 in three ponds on both coasts.

Fine Line’s “For Roseanna,” another New York newcomer, had a modest bow of $6,579.

Making its Los Angeles debut was Arrow Releasing’s “Ponette,” which grossed $11,291 on one screen on the West Coast. Jacques Doillon’s moving tale of a newly orphaned four-year-old also brought home $10,088 in three Gotham playdates.

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

Los Angeles

“Ulee’s Gold” (Orion) slipped 23% to $10,749 in its second at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and 16% to $10,353 in its second at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Dream With the Fishes” (Sony Pictures Classics) debuted with $7,138 at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and $4,942 at the Laemmle Monica.

“Ponette” (Arrow) bowed with $11,291 at the Laemmle Music Hall.

“Temptress Moon” (Miramax) fell 31% to $11,235 in its second at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn.

“The Pillow Book” (CFP) sank 40% to $9,616 in its third at the Landmark Nuart.

“Bliss” (Sony) surrendered 40% to $2,841 in its third at the AMC Santa Monica 7.

“Brassed Off” (Miramax) was flat at $5,626 in its fifth at the Laemmle Royal.

“La Promesse” (New Yorker) slipped 12% to $4,448 in its second at the Landmark NuWilshire.

“Love! Valour! Compassion!” faded 53% to $2,194 in its sixth at the Cineplex Odeon Showcase and 19% to $1,773 in its sixth at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Waiting for Guffman” (Sony) gave up 3% to $3,657 in its 18th at the Landmark NuWilshire.

“The Professionals” (Columbia reissue) debuted with $3,235 at the Laemmle Monica.

“Kolya” (Miramax) surrendered 9% to $3,012 in its second at the Laemmle Monica.

“The Designated Mourner” (First Look) dropped 45% to $2,016 in its third at the Landmark Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Wedding Bell Blues” (Legacy/BMG Independents) fell 51% to $1,355 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Beverly Center and 70% to $511 at the Mann Regent.

“The Daytrippers” (CFP) and “Swingers” (Miramax) rang up $1,637 in a split-bill at the United Artists Westwood.

“Nowhere” (Fine Line) declined 57% to $1,280 in its seventh at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Children of the Revolution” (Miramax) gave up 2% to $885 in its fourth at the AMC Fine Arts.

“Timothy Leary’s Dead” (Strand) fell 49% to $803 in its third at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Squeeze” (Miramax) surrendered 72% to $607 in its second at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

New York

“Hercules” (Walt Disney) conquered $589,120 in its first at the New Amsterdam.

“The Pillow Book” slipped 21% to $17,320 in its third at the City Cinemas Angelika and 18% to $11,323 in its third at Lincoln Plaza. It brought home $5,873 in its first at Loews 19th Street and $5,548 in its first at Loews 72nd Street East.

“Ulee’s Gold” gained 5% to $17,036 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Regency, 15% to $11,795 in its second at City Cinemas 1, 2 and Third Avenue and 37% to $10,755 in its second at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“When the Cat’s Away” (Sony Pictures Classics) bowed with $20,164 at Lincoln Plaza and $17,840 at the Quad.

“Temptress Moon” faded 12% to $14,212 in its second at the City Cinemas Angelika and 6% to $14,329 in its second at Lincoln Plaza.

“Love! Valour! Compassion!” rose 8% to $6,868 in its sixth at Loews 19th Street and 3% to $5,040 in its sixth at the City Cinemas 1, 2 and 3rd Avenue. It fell 30% to $5,506 in its sixth at Sony Lincoln Square.

“Dream With the Fishes” (Sony Pictures Classics) debuted with $14,129 at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“Fall” (Capella) bowed to $12,045 at the City Cinemas Angelika.

“Ponette” rose 20% to $3,961 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon Waverly. It fell 20% to $3,153 in its fifth at the Cineplex Odeon Carnegie Hall and 25% to $2,974 in its fifth at City Cinemas 1, 2 and Third Avenue.

“La Promesse” picked up 6% to $6,228 in its sixth at Lincoln Plaza and lost 6% to $3,796 in its sixth at the Quad.

“Kolya” jumped 28% to $8,239 in its 22nd at Lincoln Plaza and gave up 26% to $1,994 in its second at City Cinemas 86th Street East.

“For Roseanna” (Fine Line) debuted with $6,579 at the City Cinemas Eastside Playhouse.

“Flamenco” (New Yorker) moved ahead 16% to $5,861 in its ninth at Lincoln Plaza.

“The Last Time I Committed Suicide” (Roxie) bowed to $4,032 at the Cinema Village.

“The Van” (Fox Searchlight) climbed 48% to $4,017 in its second at the Cineplex Odeon 62nd Street.

“The Daytrippers” rang up $3,808 at the Angelika 57.

“Diary of a Seducer” (Leisure Time) slipped 42% to $3,404 in its second at the Quad.

“Squeeze” gained 31% to $2,573 in its second at the Loews State.

“Wedding Bell Blues” dropped 53% to $1,097 in its second at City Cinemas 68th Street.

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