Buoyed by three Oscar nominations, "Albert Nobbs" took a solid $772,730 in its first weekend of wide release.
The Roadside Attractions movie, which earned Glenn Close a best actress nomination, Janet McTeer a best supporting actress nomination and the makeup team a best makeup nomination, opened at 245 locations. Including its Oscar qualifying numbers, the R-rated movie has taken in $822,981.
That's a per-location average of $3,154.
Academy Award nominations were good for a raft of indie films this weekend: The Weinstein Company's "The Artist," nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture, and "The Iron Lady," nominated for two, each passed $15 million at the box office.
"The Artist," now in its 10th weekend in release, took in $3.3 million at 897 locations. It now has grossed $16.7 million. "The Iron Lady" took $3.2 million at 1,244 locations, for a total of $17.5 million. That movie is in its fifth weekend.
Fox Searchlight expanded the film by 1,441 locations, to 2,001, and saw its numbers increase by 176 percent over last weekend — to $6.55 million. That's good enough to put it at No. 7 at the overall box office.
"This is a great result for the Academy nominated movie that has benefited big time from the Award Season and has become the darling of the general movie going audience," Sheila DeLoach, Fox Searchlight's executive VP distribution, told TheWrap. "When you nurture these pictures on this journey and then they break through like this to the general audience, it becomes such a special movie."
It also broke — or is about to break — a few records.
With its new total of $58.8 million, "The Descendants" is now the top-grossing independent film released in 2011. Sony Pictures Classics' "Midnight in Paris" — also a best picture nominee — had been No. 1 $56.43 million.
The movie is on the way to becoming director Alexander Payne's top-grossing film. His 2002 "About Schmidt" grossed $65 million and his 2004 "Sideways" took $71.5 million.
Finally, "The Descendants" is about to surpass "Little Miss Sunshine" as Fox Searchlight's fifth highest-grossing film ever. The 2006 "Little Miss Sunshine" took $59.9 million.
Another Oscar nominee, Wim Wender's "Pina," broke the million-dollar mark this week, according to Rentrak.
The 3D film, nominated for best documentary, is about dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch. It expanded from 10 locations to 35, and now has grossed just short of $1.05 million.
Other new indie films opening this weekend include IFC's "Declaration of War," which, according to Rentrak, took $14,400 at six locations, and "An Inconsistent Truth," which grossed $20,282 at one location.
"Inconsistent Truth," from Rocky Mountain Pictures, attempts to rebut the Oscar-winning 2006 documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," about global warming.