31 March 2013 1:09 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

"The Place Beyond the Pines" is the second limited opening of the month to open better than expected, and among the strongest ever early-year launches. Focus Features, coming off the disappointment of the wider release of "Admission" last week, maximized its starry cast and strong marketing to make a major initial impact. Two European films with positive festival reaction ("Renoir" and "Blancanieves") also opened at lower levels. though the former did strong business at its two prime theaters. More disappointing was the second week of Weinstein's "The Sapphires" which doesn't seem to be headed towards any sort of breakout. Opening "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Focus) - Metacritic score: 63; Festivals include: Toronto 2012 $270,000 in 4 theaters; PSA (per screen average): $67,500 Marking the best total gross for a limited release this year and the second best PSA (after the unlikely initial weekend success of "Spring Breakers" in one less theater), "The Place Beyond the. »


- Tom Brueggemann

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