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Independent Box Office: Lake Bell’s ‘In a World’ Connects in Debut

Its $23K per-screen average is weekend's highest. "Chennai Express" debut is tops for a Bollywood release and "Blue Jasmine" shines in expansion

“In a World,” Lake Bell‘s comedy-drama about movie trailer voice-over artists, averaged an impressive $23,600 per theater in its box office debut for Roadside Attractions.

The Sundance Film Festival pickup brought in $70,980 from three theaters, giving it the best per-screen average of any film in release this weekend.

Roadside’s Howard Cohen, co-president with Eric D'Arbeloff, pointed to the very film’s very strong reviews – 86 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes – as a reason for its strong start.

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“Next week we expand into eight new top markets and expect to be in the range of 25 screens, with further expansion in following weeks” Cohen said. 

It was one of several standout performances by indie films over the weekend.

India’s “Chennai Express” made its U.S. debut and nearly cracked the top ten in the biggest North American opening ever for a Bollywood film.

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Directed by Rohit Shetty and starring Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, “Chennai” brought in $2.2 million from 196 theaters for a strong $11,352 per-theater average.

Distributor UTV said that “Chennai” topped the old record of $1.9 million put up in 2010 by “My Name Is Khan.”

And Woody Allen‘s “Blue Jasmine” continued to roll.

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The Sony Pictures Classic comedy starring Cate Blanchett expanded from 50 to 119 theaters and rolled up $2.5 million for a $21,025 per-screen average.

That gives it roughly $6.2 million after three weeks, just behind the $6.7 million put up at that point by Allen’s highest-grossing domestic release, 2011’s “Midnight in Paris.”