'Paperboy,' 'Butter' fall short in tough frame

The latest crop of indie pics was caught in the season’s usual calm before the awards-season storm during the Oct. 5-7 frame.

Millennium Entertainment’s “The Paperboy” averaged a so-so $9,337 from 11 locations, while Radius-TWC’s dark comedy “Butter” melted quickly with a piddling $788 per-screen average at 90 playdates.

“Paperboy,” which benefits from a buzzed-about scene between Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron, did better overall than “Butter,” despite playing at far fewer locations. “Paperboy” grossed just over $102,000 in three days vs. “Butter,” which barely hit $70,000 through Oct. 7, but that pic, an ensemble laffer starring Jennifer Garner, has been playing for several weeks now via digital and video-on-demand.

Though none of the weekend’s limited new entries has been tearing up the B.O., a few specialty holdovers have been building steam.

Summit’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” for instance, expanded to 221 Stateside engagements in its third frame — more than double the weekend before — and earned $1.6 million, for a domestic cume of $3.3 million. The teen pic has scored well with critics and audiences (including those over 25), leading Summit to broaden its release to more than 700 engagements Oct. 12.

The Weinstein Co.’s “The Master” also showed surprising resilience in its fourth frame, commanding $1.9 million (off just 31%) for a domestic cume of $12.3 million.

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