Auds on a ‘Mountain’ high

'Brokeback' beats out 'Bloodrayne,' 'Casanova'

Nothing is standing in the way of “Brokeback Mountain.”

Expanding to 214 new playdates and more than 60 new markets, including numerous small cities in mountain, Midwestern, and southern states, Focus’ cowboy love story averaged a still-strong $11,905 per theater.

Playing at 483 locations, weekend gross was $5.8 million, bringing the pic’s cume to $22.5 million.

“Brokeback” came out ahead of several new pics on twice or four times as many playdates, including “Casanova,” “Bloodrayne” and “Grandma’s Boy.”

Among the new markets where the critically acclaimed pic opened strong were Tulsa, El Paso, Des Moines and Lubbock, Tex.

Pic, which has been nominated for every major award thus far, also experienced its first flash of controversy as the Jordan Commons theater in suburban Salt Lake City reneged on a contract with Focus to play the pic. More information on reasons weren’t available, though it appears to be over the film’s same-sex romance.

With cities of every size in nearly every location doing well with “Brokeback,” the next challenge is expanding further into the suburbs. Pic will likely expand to around 600 playdates by Friday and closer to 800 by Jan. 20.

“The film is maintaining its rock-solid consistency, and I think suburban markets are now ready for it,” said Focus distrib topper Jack Foley.

DreamWorks pushed “Match Point” into 304 theaters after a spectacular bow at eight last weekend. Woody Allen’s dark drama grossed a solid $2.8 million, or $9,243 per play, bringing the cume to $3.7 million. After just two weeks, it’s already on the verge of outgrossing Allen’s last pic, “Melinda and Melinda,” which opened in spring 2005.

Pic is set to go wider, likely around 700 or 800 theaters, on Jan. 20.

“Cache” continues to be a boffo player in limited release for Sony Pictures Classics. French thriller grossed $72,124 at five locations, giving it a per-play average of $14,425. In its third frame, pic was virtually flat with its gross last weekend. Cume is $330,327.

SPC’s “The White Countess” did only $50,350 at nine theaters in its third frame, down 15%. Per play average for the Ralph Fiennes-starrer was $5,594 and cume is $269,088

Weinstein Co. comedy “The Matador” upped its print count from four to 28 and grossed $227,057 for the weekend. Per-play average was $8,109 and cume is $341,669.

The company’s Judi Dench starrer “Mrs. Henderson Presents” fell 28% to $112,058 at 15 playdates. Per-theater average was $7,471 and cume is $618,713.

“Transamerica,” also from Weinstein Co., made $57,713 at six theaters, a 24% drop. Per-play average was $9,553 and the cume for the transgender road pic stands at $369,587.

Thinkfilm took $13,165 on one screen in Gotham with “Fateless,” Hungary’s foreign-language Oscar submission. It hits L.A. on Jan. 27.

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