'Capote,' 'Luck' rake in more auds

Warner Independent saw a promising debut for “Paradise Now,” and both “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Capote” showed crossover appeal as they expanded their runs over the weekend.

“Good Night,” the George Clooney-helmed tale about Edward R. Murrow, took in $2 million from 272 screens in its fourth week of release, for an average of $7,353 per playdate. The Warner Independent pic has garnered $7.2 million to date.

Also starting to expand in its fifth frame, Sony Classics’ Philip Seymour Hoffman pic “Capote” harvested $1.3 million from 165 venues, giving it an average of $7,897 and raising its cume to $3.7 million.

Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale” is making a more cautious expansion, playing 59 screens this weekend. Samuel Goldwyn and Sony Pictures reported it grossed $318,600, or an average of $5,400. Cume on the pic is now $1.3 million.

Hany Abu-Assad’s “Paradise Now,” about two Palestinian friends preparing for a suicide bombing, claimed $49,000 from its first four screens, giving it a strong average of $12,250 per screen.

Highest screen average for the frame actually came from the Sony Pictures Classics’ re-release of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1975 switched-identity film “The Passenger,” starring Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider. Booked at two engagements, pic took in $27,649 over the frame, or $13,825 per screen.

While it had success with slasher sequel “Saw II,” Lions Gate’s “Three … Extremes,” a triptych of three short films by Asian horror helmers, didn’t scare up much biz, collecting just $35,000 from 19 screens, for an average of $1,842 per.

Among holdovers, Walt Disney’s “Shopgirl,” starring Steve Martin and Claire Danes, stayed strong in its second week, taking in $459,000 from 42 screens for a screen average of $10,929. Cume on the romancer is now $771,000.

Picturehouse’s “Ushpizin” continues to do strong niche biz in its second frame, with $100,123 this weekend from 22 engagements. Cume stands at $207,834. Topper Bob Berney said the film’s release has so far been targeted to Jewish communities in Gotham, L.A., D.C. and Chicago, but starting Friday the distrib will begin to expand, with an eye for a major expansion on Nov. 23.

“It’s all heavily religious right now, but we’re going to see if we can cross it over,” said Berney.

Also in its second weekend, Thinkfilm’s “Protocols of Zion” grossed $15,248 from five screens, giving it a screen average of $3,050 and bringing cume to $47,235.

In its seventh week of release, Aloha Releasing widened “G” to 495 screens and found grosses of $1.3 million, or $2,631 per screen. Cume is now $1.9 million.

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