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‘Wrestler,’ ‘Road’ expand screens

Golden Globes driving theater traffic

Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” got a big boost in the wake of its Golden Globe wins, enjoying a 56% surge in business at the weekend box office.

The Fox Searchlight release grossed an estimated $5.9 million from 582 locations for a per-location average of $10,137 and a cume of $42.7 million in its 10th week, according to Rentrak.

The Globes have become increasingly influential in driving theater traffic.

During the Nov. 11 kudocast, “Slumdog” won Globes in the drama, director, original screenplay and original score categories.

Searchlight’s “The Wrestler” and Paramount Vantage’s “Revolutionary Road,” which picked up Globe performance awards, also saw an uptick at the domestic box office.

“Wrestler,” for which Mickey Rourke won the actor in a drama kudo, grossed an estimated $1.8 million as it successfully expanded from 84 theaters to 144 locations in its fifth week. Per-screen average was $12,153; cume was $5.1 million.

Kate Winslet-Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “Revolutionary Road” grossed an estimated $1.7 million from 171 locations for an impressive per-theater average of $10,199 and cume of $5.7 million in its fourth week. Film increased its theater count by 36 and was up 22% week over week.

Winslet won the Globe for actress in a drama for “Revolutionary Road” and supporting actress for the Weinstein Co.’s “The Reader.”

“The Reader,” however, didn’t seem to benefit as much as other titles. Film declined 9% to an estimated $1.2 million from 417 runs for a per-location average of $2,930; cume is $7.5 million in its sixth week.

With Oscar nominations to be announced Thursday, a number of specialty titles, including “Slumdog Millionaire,” will expand nationwide on Friday after limited runs.

Over the weekend, “Frost/Nixon” posted a per-location average of $4,615 as it grossed an estimated $706,095 from 153 runs for a cume of $8.7 million in its seventh week.

“Milk” grossed an estimated $764,218 from 223 runs for a per-location average of $3,427 and cume of $20.4 million in its eighth weekend.

Sony Pictures Classics’ awards contender “Rachel Getting Married” continues to play in a small number of theaters. The Anne Hathaway drama grossed an estimated $124,166 over the weekend from 62 theaters for a per-location average of $2,003 and cume of $10.6 million in its 16th week.

Elsewhere at the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics’ foreign drama “Waltz With Bashir” grossed $84,034 from nine locations for a per-theater average of $9,337 and cume of $513,627 in its fourth sesh.

Warner Bros.’ Bollywood title “Chandni Chowk to China” did well in its domestic debut, grossing an estimated $651,000 from 130 locations for a per-location average of $5,008.

Two specialty films that did go wide over the weekend were Paramount Vantage’s “Defiance” and Overture Films’ “Last Chance Harvey.”

“Defiance” placed No. 8 overall, grossing an estimated $9.2 million from 1,789 theaters for a cume of $9.5 million in its third sesh.

Toplining Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, “Harvey” grossed an estimated $4.7 million from 1,054 locations for a cume of $5.2 million in its third sesh.

Miramax’s “Doubt,” which went wide over Christmas, played on 562 fewer theaters over the weekend. Film earned an estimated $1.3 million from 725 runs for a cume of $25.4 million.

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