‘Stoker’ is aces in limited play

Korean director's English-language film well-placed to succeed

Marking a solid Stateside debut for South Korean helmer Park Chan-wook, Fox Searchlight’s stylistic suspenser “Stoker” scored the best per-screen average over the March 1-3 frame, with $22,935 from seven engagements, for a three-day total of $160,547.

While Searchlight launched the pic in some of the usual top-grossing markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago Boston and Toronto — the debut is a noteworthy run-up to the increased traffic for movies during spring break and Easter later this month.

Featuring a script by “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller, “Stoker” has a recognizable cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, and capitalizes on “Oldboy” helmer Park’s popularity among fanboys and arthouse filmgoers.

The thriller’s immediate prospects look promising. Tentpole pics bowing this month, such as “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “The Croods,” target families, and the audience for vfx-driven sequel “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” doesn’t figure to draw many adults.

Only a few other notable specialty titles bow throughout March and early April: Focus Features’ Toronto acquisition “The Place Beyond the Pines” launches March 29 in limited release, followed by Searchlight’s own “Trance,” from Danny Boyle, on April 5.

The distrib’s platform rollout for “Stoker” is a patient one: The pic adds screens March 8 in existing markets only.

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