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‘Compass’ off to modest start

Fantasy pic nets $8.6 million Friday

Moviegoers found their way to New Line’s fantasy epic “The Golden Compass” on Friday, shelling out $8.6 million at 3,528 theaters.

 Pic’s opening day take is on par with last December’s “Eragon,” also based on a young adult fantasy book, which grossed $8.7 million on its first day and $23.2 million during its opening weekend.

Towering over late November holdovers yesterday, “Compass'” is expected to continue its northward path to the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office.

In second place, Disney’s “Enchanted” entranced $2.9 million, a 40% dip from last Friday, from 3,520 castles, bringing its cume to $76.1 million.

Sony-Screen Gems’ “This Christmas” remained festive in third on Friday, partying up $1.5 million from 1,879 theaters, down 39%, for a total haul of $39.3 million.

In fourth, Warner Bros.’ “Fred Claus” bagged $1.3 million from 3,185 chimneys, down 20%, for a total cume to date of $62.2 million.

Placing fifth, Paramount/Shangri-La’s “Beowulf” grossed $1.27 million from 2,976 playdates, down 49%, for a total domestic take of $72.9 million.

Miramax’s “No Country for Old Men” tailed “Beowulf,” nabbing $1.26 million from an expanded theater count of 1,324.  The total B.O. for the Coen Brothers’ film currently stands at $25.9 million.

Focus Features’ period piece “Atonement” led the plethora of limited openers yesterday, counting $226,000 from 32 theaters.  According to Rentrak, pic’s opening day marks a high for Focus’ limited fare this year, outstripping the $168,000 that “Eastern Promises” posted on its first day in September.  The Joe Wright-helmed epic, which has played in prime Euro territories such as the U.K., Germany and Italy, has already raked in $31 million abroad.

Fox Searchlight’s Jason Reitman comedy “Juno” also played strongly among the Gotham-L.A. arthouse set, touting a boffo theater average of $17,917 from seven hardtops for a daily take of $125,000.  Since its Wednesday bow, “Juno” has grossed $236,000.

Eros Entertainment’s “Dus Kahaniyaan,” a collection of 10 Bollywood shorts, generated $23,000 from 55 playdates, while Slowhand Releasing’s pugilist Michael Madsen topliner “Strength and Honor” rang up a sluggish $16,000 from 109 locales.

Auds unloaded $13,000 to see Guy Ritchie’s 2005 Blighty actioner “Revolver” at 18 sites.  The pic, which played in some key foreign territories two years ago, has cleared some $7 million overseas – an underperformer next to the helmer’s 2000 hit “Snatch” which racked up over $50 million abroad and another $30 million stateside.

Rounding out yesterday’s arthouse bows, the Weinstein Company’s “Grace is Gone” posted $4,000 from four locales in Gotham and New York.

 

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