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‘The Immigrant’ Scores in Aggressive Expansion at Independent Box Office

Weinstein Company takes it from three to 147 theaters and connects; ”Belle“ and “Chef’ widen and hold well

A trio of independent movies showed promise in their box-office expansions this weekend, especially the tough period drama “The Immigrant.”

James Gray wrote and directed the film, which stars Starring Marion Cottiliard as a Polish immigrant lured into prostitution. Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner co-star.

Distributor Weinstein Company aggressively jumped the film, a 2013 Palme d’Or nominee at the Cannes film festival, from three to 147 theaters and it paid off with $463,000 — a $3,150 per-screen average for the lightly promoted film.

Also read: 10 People, Places and Things to Remember From the Cannes Film Festival

Jon Favreau‘s comedy “Chef” and the British period drama “Belle” held up well as they expanded, too.

Open Road Films’ “Chef,” written and directed by Favreau, went from 72 theaters to 498 for its third weekend, and should bring in just under $3 million over the four-day holiday. That’s a $5,830 per-screen average that ups its domestic total to just over $4 million. It wound up No. 9 in the overall box office rankings.

The story of a disillusioned chef who finds fulfillment on a food truck co-stars John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr. and Dustin Hoffman.

Also read: Cult Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky Sounds Off on Why Spielberg Is ‘Killing the Cinema,’ Talks Comeback

Fox Searchlight took “Belle,” which is directed by Amma Asante and stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, from 173 locations to 453 in its fourth week. It should come in with just over $2 million for the four days, a per-screen average of $4,635, raising its domestic total to $4.3 million.

Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson co-star in the tale, inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. It tells a true story of an illegitimate biracial child born to a British admiral and a former slave he loved.

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