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‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Darkest Hour’ Soar in Limited Openings

Awards contenders “Call Me by Your Name” and Gary Oldman’s “Darkest Hour” have both scored impressive platform openings over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Coming of age drama “Call Me by Your Name,” which led the way on Nov. 21 with six Spirit Award nominations, saw stellar returns from a Sony Classics release with $404,874 at four venues in Los Angeles and New York since its Friday launch for an impressive per-screen average of $101,219. That’s the best three-day limited opening of 2017, topping the “Lady Bird” launch with $364,437 on four screens on Nov. 3-5, and the highest since “La La Land” opened with $881,104 at five venues last December.

Call Me by Your Name” received Spirit nominations for best feature, Timothee Chalamet as best male lead, Armie Hammer as best male supporting, and Luca Guadagnino in the directing category, along with editing and cinematography nods. Chalamet plays a 17-year-old with Hammer as a postgraduate student who comes to stay with his family for the summer in Italy.

Sony Classics showed the movie at the Arclight and Landmark in Los Angeles and at the Paris and Union Square in New York City. It plans to begin expansion on either Dec. 8 or 15.

Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour,” starring Oldman as Winston Churchill, opened strongly with a $248,000 at four theaters for the five days. The well-reviewed film — which centers on Churchill’s early days as prime minister in 1940 with a possible Nazi invasion of Britain looming — is playing at the Arclight and Landmark in Los Angeles and the Union Square and Lincoln Plaza in New York City.

“Audiences are loving the film,” said Focus distribution president Lisa Bunnell. “Gary’s unrecognizable portrayal and seeing how one of history’s tried and true leaders used the power of words to unite his people. Exits polls have been through the roof in the mid 90s in the top two boxes, showing great signs that this film will have a very long run.”

“Darkest Hour,” directed by Joe Wright, will expand into other top 10 markets on Dec. 8 and go nationwide two weeks later. Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James and Ben Mendelsohn also star.

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