Clint’s box office river ran deep, if not wide.
Warner Bros. enjoyed a boffo limited bow with the Clint Eastwood-helmed drama “Mystic River” this weekend, grossing an estimated $591,390 from 13 theaters.
Perf repped a mind-bending $45,500 per venue a week before the well-reviewed “River” winds into wide release. And though limited-release bows defy easy comparison, pic’s per-theater average easily ranks among the best in recent history.
Warners had hoped to stoke positive word of mouth with the limited bow, and distribution prexy Dan Fellman declared mission accomplished.
“Every primetime show I had was sold out all weekend,” Fellman said. “And the reviews have been the best reviews of the year and the best in Mr. Eastwood’s career.”
Limited-release auds skewed 60% over 35 and 57% female for the pic, toplined by Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. So it bears watching how broadly “River” draws in wide release.
‘Lost’ not translating wide
Meanwhile, Focus Features’ platformer “Lost in Translation” appears to have found its theatrical water level, playing this weekend in 882 venues and fetching $2.9 million. That repped an unexceptional $3,239 per playdate, so additional expansions are unlikely despite positive word of mouth on the Bill Murray starrer.
Focus distribution prexy Jack Foley said grosses in markets including Gotham, L.A. and Boston were hampered by competish from TV coverage of baseball playoffs.
“Boston really cratered Saturday,” Foley said, noting wide interest in the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees telecast.
‘Girls’ in limited release
Elsewhere in the specialty market, IFC opened “Girls Will Be Girls” with Gotham and L.A. exclus this weekend, grossing an estimated $13,850, or $6,925 per site, a week before expansion to top-five markets.
Distrib’s “Casa de los Babys” added seven playdates for a total 70 and grossed $76,294, or $1,089 per engagement. “Babys” bounces to 10 additional markets Friday.
ThinkFilm unspooled docu “Bus 174” with a Gotham exclu to gross $8,140 over three days and $10,395 since a Wednesday bow.
Distrib’s Christian drama “The Gospel of John” added four theaters for a total 19 and grossed $101,970. Perf — repping a sturdy $5,367 per venue — brings pic cume to $371,946 through three weeks of limited release.
Sony Classics drama “My Life Without Me” added seven engagements for a total 14 and grossed $42,362, or $3,025 per playdate, with a $138,940 cume.
And Miramax drama “The Station Agent” held in three locations to gross $37,000 — a notable $12,333 per location with a $120,377 cume.