"Bernie," the Jack Black comedy from Millennium Entertainment, is off to a fast start.
The movie, directed by Richard Linklater, took in $90,438 from just three screens in Austin, Los Angeles and New York, for a glossy $30,146 per-screen average.
"Bernie" is based on a real-life story of a closeted gay funeral director so beloved by the residents of a small Texas town that they want to keep him around, even after he murders an 81-year-old woman and stuffs her body in a freezer.
"This is a very proud moment for Millennium Entertainment," said CEO Bill Lee. "We could not be more pleased with our opening weekend numbers and look forward to amplifying the film’s good word of mouth as we carefully expand throughout the country."
Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey co-star in "Bernie."
Another newcomer, Magnolia Pictures' "Headhunters," from Norway, grossed $45,000, an $11,250 per-screen average.
"Sound of My Voice," the Fox Searchlight film starring Brit Marling as a cult leader, took in $40,069 on five screens in its debut.
The NC-17-rated Juliette Binoche film "Elles" bowed on six screens and $26,000, a per-screen average of $4,333 in its first outing.
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," in its eighth week of release from CBS Films, rang up another $440,000 on 335 screens, raising its overall domestic gross to $7.7 million.
The Weinstein Co.'s docu "Bully" crossed the $2 million overall gross mark, adding $330,000 on 263 screens.
Editor's note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly attributed Bill Lee's quote.