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Specialty pix pack ‘Punch’

'Frida' also fit for framing with boffo bow

Like the little engine that could, a specialty pic generally has to chug its way to box office success through sheer persistence.

And, as usual, several specialty platformers steamed into broader release this weekend. Whether they’re ticketed for truly notable destinations won’t be clear until a couple stops down the line.

So far, so good for Sony/Revolution’s “Punch-Drunk Love.” Distrib spiked “Punch-Drunk” with 403 additional theaters for a total of 481; pic grabbed seventh place for the weekend with $3.5 million.

Perf repped a solid $7,277 per venue just a week before black comedy goes wide. It also marked the third successive sesh of strong limited-release grosses, stoking optimism that the Paul Thomas Anderson-helmed Adam Sandler starrer can sustain the positive word of mouth so vital to platforming titles.

“Everything is moving ahead,” Revolution Studios partner Tom Sherak said. “You just have to stay with it with these pictures.”

United Artists’ gun-culture docu “Bowling for Columbine” added 14 engagements for a total of 111 and grossed $1.2 million. Perf repped an impressive $10,360 per playdate as cume rolled to $2.6 million.

Meanwhile, several pics bowed in limited release this weekend including Miramax’s high-profile Frida Kahlo biopic “Frida.” Salma Hayek starrer grossed $200,000 from just five Gotham and L.A. engagements. That repped an amazing $40,000 per playdate, as “Frida” — which drew largely positive early notices from critics — expands to top 10 markets Friday.

Miramax/Dimension’s urban drama “Paid in Full,” which rung up an estimated $1.4 million from 268 theaters, repping an acceptable $5,223 per venue.

But distrib’s Billy Bob Thornton laffer “Waking up in Reno” was dead on arrival with just $125,000 from 197 runs, just $634 per playdate.

United Artists’ Mike Leigh laffer “All or Nothing” unspooled with seven Gotham and L.A. runs, and grossed $27,000, a middling $3,850 per site.

‘Roger’ rolls

Artisan laffer “Roger Dodger” bowed in four Gotham and L.A. locations to gross $52,000, a nifty $13,000 per playdate.

Miramax expanded Jerry Seinfeld docu “Comedian” by 26 theaters to a total of 30 and grossed $215,000, a good-humored $7,166 per venue with a $375,000 cume.

Suddenly busy distrib broadened its “Heaven” drama by 11 runs to 34 and grossed $115,000, $3,400 per site with a $414,000 cume. “Naqoyqatsi,” Miramax’s Philip Glass-scored science/fantasy docu, gained six engagements for a total of eight to gross $21,000, $2,625 per playdate with a $47,136 cume.

Newmarket’s ethnic laffer “Real Women Have Curves” added 53 theaters for a total of 108 and grossed $371,562, $3,440 per venue with a $624,443 cume.