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Indie fare kicks up heels in N.Y., L.A. exclusives

While many Oscar-nominated films were in wide release, limited play for “Indochine” and such new arrivals as “Strictly Ballroom” produced solid results for indie distributors.

Miramax’s “Strictly Ballroom” evidently had strong word-of-mouth, with big improvement in its second weekend to $ 37,429 at two L.A. houses and dead-even $ 38,281 second on two N.Y. screens.

Sony Pictures Classics’ “Indochine” extended its run in Gotham for a bright $ 33,323 weekend at two theaters plus a 39% improvement to $ 18,282 solo in L.A.

Goldwyn launched John Turturro’s “Mac” on its home turf in New York with a quality $ 26,597 opening weekend on two screens.

Miramax’s “Passion Fish” was up to $ 18,074 over the weekend at three L.A. bijous, expanding its N.Y. run to $ 35,938 on three screens.

The nine noms for “Howards End” brought Sony Pictures Classics $ 29,632 at five L.A. sites.

Miramax didn’t receive the expected foreign-language nom for Alfonso Arau’s “Like Water for Chocolate,” but Mexican pic started nicely anyway, with $ 32,688 in first five days at two N.Y. houses.

Los Angeles

“Strictly Ballroom” (Miramax) improved 11% to $ 15,966 in second weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; zoomed up 52% to $ 21,463 in same at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Indochine” (Sony Pictures Classics) took its double noms up 39% to $ 18,282 in ninth weekend at Laemmle Royal.

“Howards End” (Sony Pictures Classics) benefited from nine noms with sunny $ 7,953 in first weekend at AMC Century 14; $ 5,576 at General Cinema Avco Westwood; $ 4,600 at Laemmle Monica; $ 4,234 at Cineplex Universal City 18; and rose 71% to $ 7,269 in 16th weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Passion Fish” (Miramax) used two noms to skyrocket 76% to $ 4,684 in fourth weekend at Cineplex Century Plaza; up 60% to $ 6,892 in 10th five days at Laemmle Sunset 5; more than doubled to $ 7,466 in seventh weekend at Landmark NuWilshire.

“Enchanted April” (Miramax) used Oscar recognition to climb 34% to $ 3,858 in fifth weekend at Cineplex Beverly Center; up 8% to $ 3,908 in 16th weekend at Landmark NuWilshire.

“Chaplin” (TriStar) got a Downey boost with $ 4,660 in first weekend at AMC Century 14.

“Lorenzo’s Oil” (Universal) moved up via Susan Sarandon’s nom to $ 4,005 in first weekend at AMC Century 14; improved 26% to $ 2,246 in sixth weekend at Cineplex Beverly Center.

“Malcolm X” (WB) had a so-so reaction to Denzel Washington’s nom with $ 2,571 in first weekend at Cineplex Showcase and $ 1,795 in same at Cineplex Westwood.

“The Player” (Fine Line) lost 3% to $ 2,589 in ninth weekend at Laemmle Monica after $ 4,438 in eighth week.

“Brother’s Keeper” (Creative Thinking) dipped 10% to $ 6,804 in second weekend at Landmark Nuart after $ 11,701 bow.

“Claire of the Moon” (Demi-Monde Prods./Strand Rel.) slid 32% to $ 5,012 in fourth weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5; off 29% to $ 3,478 in same period at Laemmle Monica in third.

“Volere Volare” (Fine Line) slid 10% to $ 1,960 in second weekend at Cineplex Beverly Center after debuting with $ 2,807.

“Glengarry Glen Ross” (New Line) was impervious to Oscar noms with a poor $ 462 in first weekend at Laemmle Monica.

“Peter’s Friends” (Goldwyn) improved 6% to $ 2,449 in ninth weekend at Cineplex Beverly Center after $ 3,767 in eighth.

“Tous les Matins du Monde” (October Films) had no nominationss but improved 30% to $ 5,879 in ninth six-day period at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion.

“Bad Lieutenant” (Aries) moved up 7% to $ 5,117 in fifth weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5; dropped 49% to $ 1,061 in fifth five-day period at Laemmle Monica. “The Match Factory Girl” (Kino) bowed with solid $ 4,413 in first weekend at Laemmle Monica.

New York

“Mac” (Goldwyn) bowed with strong $ 13,409 in first weekend at Carnegie Hall Cinema; $ 13,188 in same at Angelika.

“Like Water for Chocolate” (Miramax) opened with $ 22,847 in first five days at Angelika; $ 9,841 in same period at Carnegie Hall Screening Room.

“Strictly Ballroom” up 2% to $ 22,065 in second weekend at Angelika after $ 37,414 debut; down 1% to $ 16,216 in same period at First & 62nd St.

“Riff-Raff” (Fine Line) down 20% to $ 8,581 in second weekend at Quad; off 36 % to $ 5,023 in same at Festival.

“Utz” (First Run/Castle Hill) slid 35% to $ 5,539 in second weekend at Film Forum 1 after debuting with $ 13,985.

“Dead Alive” (Trimark) divebombed 45% to $ 5,298 in second weekend at Criterion after $ 13,672 opening week; down 51% to $ 3,818 in same period at Village Sevenplex after $ 11,717 bow.

“Indochine” up 11% to $ 24,779 in ninth four-day period at Lincoln Plaza (two screens); opened with $ 12,141 in first weekend at Quad (two screens).

“Passion Fish” dipped 11% to $ 16,127 in third weekend at Gotham after $ 32, 926 in second week; $ 11,828 in first weekend at Chelsea; $ 7,983 in same at Movieland 8th St.

“Howards End” doubled to $ 10,924 in 17th weekend in 70mm at Village East; more than doubled to $ 7,518 in 17th two-day period at Cinema 3.

“Damage” (New Line) with Miranda Richardson’s nom improved 5% to $ 12,882 in ninth five days at Cinema 3rd Avenue; down 24% to $ 9,315 in same at Village Sevenplex; dipped 24% to $ 4,349 in second weekend at Worldwide after $ 8,595 in first week.

“Love Field” (Orion) capitalized on Pfeiffer’s nom for a 35% improvement to $ 5,505 in second weekend at New York Twin; up 3% to $ 2,677 at Embassy 2,3&4 in same; up 66% to $ 4,156 at 34th St. Showplace in same; plus 32% to $ 6,822 at Village East; down 9% to $ 3,153 in second weekend at Olympia.

“Enchanted April” off 10% to $ 7,118 in 30th weekend at Angelika after $ 12, 614 in 29th week; up 15% to $ 5,042 in ninth weekend at Worldwide after $ 7,769 in eighth week.

“Chaplin” slid 10% to $ 2,021 in third weekend at Worldwide after $ 3,178 in six-day second week.

“A River Runs Through It” (Columbia) earned a quiet $ 2,530 in first five days at Plaza; $ 3,225 in first weekend at 19th St. East.

“Lorenzo’s Oil” bowed with $ 5,217 weekend at Chelsea.

“Malcolm X” opened at 59th St. East with $ 3,661 weekend.

“Tous les Matins du Monde” down 18% to $ 7,029 in 15th weekend at Lincoln Plaza; off 27% to $ 3,348 in ninth weekend at Quad.

“The Oak” (MK2 Prods. USA) off 14% to $ 3,960 in fifth weekend at Lincoln Plaza after $ 7,722 in fourth week.

“Used People” (Fox) dipped 29% to $ 4,092 in 10th five days at Baronet; off 37% to $ 2,210 in eighth five days at Village East; slow $ 1,680 in first five days at Worldwide.

“The Player” (return) fell 26% to $ 2,368 in ninth weekend at Value Art East.

“Bad Lieutenant” down 28% to $ 6,360 in 14th weekend at Angelika after $ 14, 674 in 13th week.

“The Lover” (MGM) slid 26% to $ 7,968 in 17th weekend at Paris Fine Arts.

“Guncrazy” (Man Ray Assoc.) off 30% to $ 5,191 in fourth weekend at Film Forum 3.

“Volere Volare” fell 24% to $ 3,711 in third five days at 68th St. Playhouse.

“Flirting” (Goldwyn) improved 7% to $ 4,518 in 13th five-day period at Gramercy.

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