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Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Her’ Logs On With $42K Per Screen in Limited Box-Office Opening

The sci-fi romance from Spike Jonze is off to a strong start after debuting in N.Y. and L.A. for Warner Bros.

Spike Jonze’s “Her” logged on with $257,815 in its limited debut for Warner Bros. this weekend, a strong opening given the crowed holiday market.

The sci-fi romance, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls for the female voice on his computer, averaged $42,969 in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles.

Jonze wrote, directed and produced the movie, in which Scarlett Johansson voices the female lead.

“Her” is coming off three Golden Globes nominations, including for best picture and best actor for Phoenix. Warner Bros. plans to hold off on expanding “Her,” which has taken in $361,494 since opening Wednesday, until next month.

Also read: Bilbo Bags Burgundy at Box Office as ‘Hobbit’ Surges Past ‘Anchorman 2’

Another of the weekend’s limited openers was Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past.” The Sony Pictures Classics drama, from the director of “The Separation,” averaged $10,314 in three theaters.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis” expanded from 15 to 148 theaters in its third weekend and took in just over $1 million for a $7,169 average. It’s taken in $2.1 million for CBS Films, which is waiting until next month to expandr. The CBS Films release has now grossed $2.1 million after three weeks.

For the fourth week, the Weinstein Company’s “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” remained in four theaters. It took in $28,472 from four theaters for a $7,118 average. TWC plans to go into 850 theaters next week.

TWC’s  “Philomena” fell from 835 to 738 theaters and took in $1.2 million, a $1,660 per-screen average for the drama which stars Golden Globes nominees Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Its domestic haul is up to $13.3 million.

Also read: ‘Hobbit’ Blasts Past $400M With Huge Overseas Box Office Weekend

Fox Searchlight cut back  Oscar frontrunner “12 Years a Slave” from 497 to 301 theaters and it brought in $365,000, a $1,213 average. The slavery drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofer is coming off seven Golden Globe nominations and has taken in more than $37 million after 10 weekends. Searchlight plans to expand the Steve McQueen-directed “12 Years” again after the Oscar nominations.

Matthew McConaughey’s “Dallas Buyers Club” dropped from 574 to 300 theaters and brought in $348,804. That’s a 70 percent drop from last weekend and a $1,057 per-screen average for the Focus Features AIDS drama co-starring Jared Leto. Its domestic total after seven weeks is $15.1 million.

Paramount Vantage expanded director Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” from 250 to 310 theaters, but the drama starring best actor contender Bruce Dern and Will Forte fell 36 percent from last week and took in $580,000, a $1,871 average. Its overall gross is up to  $4.3 million after six weeks.