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Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’ Starts Fast at Specialty Box Office

The Fox Searchlight drama averages $30,000 in 21 theaters. ”The Imitation Game“ is strong in expansion

Reese Witherspoon‘s “Wild” got off to a fast start at the specialty box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $630,000 from 21 theaters in seven cities.

That’s a impressive $30,000 per-screen average for the Fox Searchlight drama, which was directed by Jean Marc Vallee and written for the screen by Nick Hornby. It’s based on the best selling true story written by Cheryl Strayed, “Wild.”

“The film performed well in both art and specialty venues as well as in upscale mainstream complexes indicating to us that it should be able to reach a very broad audience,” said Fox Searchlight sr. vice-president Frank Rodriguez.

“Wild” was produced by Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea, and Bill Pohlad.

Rodriguez said the plan is to open “Wild” in 13 more markets as well as expanding a bit in already opened cities next weekend, looking to reach a total of 90-100 theaters, and reach 800-900 theaters by Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, the Weinstein Company expanded “The Imitation Game” from four to eight theaters and it brought in $401,570. That’s a very strong $50,196 per theater average for the drama about British cryptologist Alan Turing, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

Another Fox Searchlight awards hopeful, “Birdman,” finished in the top ten for the fourth consecutive week. It took in $1.1 million to raise its domestic total just under $19 million after eight weeks.

Sony Pictures Classics added three theaters and “Foxcatcher” took in $528,000 from 75 locations for a 7,040 per-screen average. The Steve Carell-Channing Tatum murder saga based on the true life tale of millionaire John du Pont and wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz is up to $2.7 million after four weeks.

SPC’s Miles Teller drum drama “Whiplash” brought in $307,000 from 173 locations for a $1,775 per-theater average. It’s domestic total after nine weeks is $4.3 million.