21 January 2013 8:01 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

While distributors ponder how much to spend on new films showcased at Sundance, the business of opening and playing off previous acquisitions continues, with most of the success coming from higher-level films from top companies, particularly those in the middle of the Oscar race. Among the new offerings (at least the two for which grosses were reported), the interest is more limited, meaning that earlier releases will continue to have to carry the burden in upcoming weeks. But at least two films - "Amour" and "Quartet" - are showing some real strength in still limited (36 and 32 screens respectively) release, though the temptation to add theaters quickly will be strong for both films. Increasingly, films that show any sign of initial success are broadened out, particularly at this time of the year (but hardly limited to awards season), which means strong competition for core theaters from close-by ones, while smaller films have trouble gaining traction. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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