'Blood' boils at box office

Focus Features’ “Atonement” is continuing its strong box office run.

Expanding to 583 theaters over the weekend, the arthouse title grossed an estimated $5.1 million in its fifth frame for a cume of $19.2 million. That landed the period pic at No. 10 overall.

“The film is building, but we’re still being careful in terms of how many theaters we add,” said Focus president of distribution Jack Foley.

Fox Searchlight’s “Juno” and “Atonement” are leading a B.O. surge in the specialty marketplace that, as of a few weeks ago, had produced only one crossover hit, Miramax’s “No Country for Old Men.” Surge could help to bring further shape to the awards race.

Although still very early in its run, Paramount Vantage’s “There Will Be Blood” is posting strong results as well. Expanding to 51 theaters over the weekend, pic saw a per-screen average of $26,216 for an estimated gross of $1.3 million and a cume of $1.8 million.

“Blood” is a Vantage and Miramax co-production.

Logging the next-best per-screen average for the frame was Warner Bros.’ Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer “The Bucket List,” which grossed an estimated $80,058 from 16 locations in its second weekend for a cume of $1.3 million and a per-location average of $19,688.

“Bucket List” goes wide this Friday.Also in its second frame, Sony Pictures Classics’ animated coming-of-age story “Persepolis” grossed $80,058 in its second frame from seven runs for a per-screen average of $11,437; cume is $316,831.

Picturehouse enjoyed strong numbers as it expanded Spanish horror hit “The Orphanage” into 66 theaters in the film’s second weekend. Pic grossed an estimated $500,851 for a per-location average of $7,589. Cume is $917,936

“No Country for Old Men” added an estimated $1.8 million to its coffers in its ninth frame, playing in 819 theaters and posting a per-location average of $2,250. Cume is $44.7 million.

Paramount Classics and DreamWorks’ “The Kite Runner” grossed $1.7 million from 384 locations in its fourth frame for a per-location average of $4,443; cume is $8 million.

Another awards contender, Miramax’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” grossed $342,000 from 57 theaters in its sixth frame for an impressive per-location average of $6,000 and cume of $1.4 million.

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