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Greater love for ‘Amour’

Film took in nearly $1 million in four days

It wasn’t an all-out love affair, but audiences still showed plenty of affection toward Sony Pictures Classics’ best pic nominee “Amour” during its final weekend before the Oscars ceremony.

Sony Classics expanded the film to 306 locations, up from 125, for a decent per-screen average of $2,805 from Feb. 15-18. The film took in nearly $1 million in four days, boosting its domestic cume to just north of $4 million.

While the pic’s weekend results weren’t all that surprising — it’s a foreign-language film, after all — some of its top-grossing theaters were not the usual suspects: No. 3 for instance, was Silverspot in Naples, Fla. No. 6 was City Cinemas Kahala in Honolulu.

Typically, the pic’s top locations were debuts, but SPC emphasized grosses were beyond expectations, averaging $8,000-$10,000 per venue in four days.

And the film actually may have done better than the numbers show. The nation’s top exhibitors, AMC, Regal and Cinemark, screened “Amour” as part of an Oscar best picture marathon. Exhibs reported enthusiastic turnout, and event grosses will be added later to the pic’s cume, according to SPC.

“Amour” already has outgrossed some of the more recent Oscar foreign-language winners, including 2010’s “In a Better World” ($1 million) and 2008’s “Departures” ($1.5 million). Depending on its post-Oscars love, it may eclipse last year’s “A Separation,” which cumed $7 million domestically. The millenium’s foreign-lingo domestic B.O. champ, 2006’s “The Lives of Others,” which took in $11 million Stateside, appears safe.

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