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Sex sells for ‘Kinsey’ bow

Biopics are big business at indie B.O.

Biopics bowed big for indies over the weekend.

Fox Searchlight got good returns on sexologist story “Kinsey,” which bedded $175,026 from five Gotham and L.A. screens, averaging $35,005 per gig.

Meanwhile Miramax found $240,956 for “Finding Neverland” from eight bicoastal engagements, giving it a stout $30,120 screen average.

Both pics, which have Oscar hopes, got good enough starts.

Searchlight chief Steve Gilula said expansion plans on Liam Neeson starrer “Kinsey” call for adding 13 cities next week, bringing its theater count up to about 35. For Thanksgiving, the total will move up to around 150, where it will stand until December 17, when distrib plans to move closer to a national release pattern.

Miramax plans a more aggressive pattern for Johnny Depp starrer “Neverland.” Pic will move into about 20 markets Friday for a total of about 60 to 70 screens, with another push planned for Thanksgiving.

Among the holdovers, Searchlight continued to see good numbers from “Sideways,” now in its fourth week. Playing on 144 screens, an expansion of 78 from last week, the Alexander Payne-helmed pic grossed $1.4 million, averaging $9,722. Distrib plans to push the pic wider over the next two weeks, reaching about 500 screens over Thanksgiving.

Two other indie vets leveled out over the weekend. Sony Classics’ “Being Julia,” now in its fifth week, pulled in $336,331 from 106 screens over the weekend, averaging $3,182 and padding its cume to $1.7 million.

Meanwhile, Focus downshifted “The Motorcycle Diaries” a bit in the eighth week of its run, narrowing its release to 238 screens, down 30 from the previous week. Over the weekend, Che Guevera biopic grossed $745,566, an average of $3,133 per, bringing its cume to $11.8 million.

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