Distributors expanding pics to more screens

As the holiday crush of specialty film eases a bit, distribs are attempting to take advantage of the extra legroom by expanding their pics.

Picturehouse’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” added 150 screens over the weekend for a total of 194 and took in $2.1 million during the three-day frame. With a healthy $10,682 per screen, Picturehouse topper Bob Berney said, “It’s playing very mainstream and not like you’d expect a foreign-language film” to play. Label plans to expand the Guillermo del Toro-helmed fantasy, which has cumed $4.3 million, to around 500 screens on Friday.

Fox Searchlight’s “Notes on a Scandal” grossed $1.6 million after it expanded to 200 screens, more than double last weekend’s run, with a per-screen average of $8,125. Cume is $4.1 million.

Also maintaining a strong per-screen average as it grew was Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima,” which took $362,000 over the frame, averaging $10,343. Warner Bros. lifted pic’s screen count to 35 this weekend, up from five last week. Cume is $871,000.

Sony Pictures Classics’ aggressive expansion of “The Curse of the Golden Flower” didn’t quite bloom, as the Zhang Yimou pic took in $2 million from 1,234 screens (up from 55 last week) in its fourth weekend, or $1,624 per screen.

But the division’s “Volver” continued to show some legs in its 11th weekend, taking in $522,338 from 113 screens, an average of $4,622. Cume on Pedro Almodovar’s film is $6.7 million.

Miramax’s “The Queen” also showed signs of a boost from kudos talk surrounding it. In its 16th frame, Stephen Frears pic took in $1.1 million from 344 screens, bringing cume to $31.5 million. That makes for a screen average of $3,122.

Label’s “Venus,” from Roger Michell, grossed $28,500 off three screens in its third weekend, averaging $9,500 and putting cume at $209,000.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Miss Potter,” also in its third frame, grossed $162,000 from 29 screens, or $5,586 per screen. Cume is $348,000.

Warner Independent’s “The Painted Veil,” which expanded by 130 screens this weekend for a total run of 202, grossed $1 million, or an average of $5,099. Cume is $2.5 million.

Meanwhile, in its 12th week, Paramount Vantage’s “Babel” grossed $384,157 from 173 screens, for an average of $2,221, bringing cume on the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu film to $21.3 million.

And in its first week of release, Newmarket’s “God Grew Tired of Us” picked up $21,858 from a screen each in Gotham and L.A., for an average of $10,929.

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