Was it good acting, literary source material, or the prospect of a naked beauty that lured people to this weekend's top box office draw? With a $17,000 per-screen average, Isabel Coixet's drama Elegy easily led all comers, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo. Despite Christopher Campbell's negative review, the combination of Ben Kingsley, Penélope Cruz, and a Philip Roth novel evidently proved to be irresistible. We'll see what happens when the film expands to 25 markets in two weeks.
Another film that resonated well in New York, Steven Sebring's doc Patti Smith: Dream of Life, took home $8,080 from its sole Gotham engagement, while wine lovers pushed period comedy / drama Bottle Shock to a per-screen average of $6,145 at 48 locations. The presence of Toby Keith did not scare up very many beer drinkers to come see his comedy / adventure Beer for My Horses, which opened at 91 locales to the tune of $2,483 per screen.
Three other films expanded notably, with predictably mixed results. Wildly acclaimed doc Man on Wire stretched beyond Manhattan into 59 theaters and earned a healthy $4,576 per screen average. In its third week of release, the slick doc American Teen pushed into 76 theaters but could muster only $1,802 at each location. Its expansion will still continue into the Top 60 markets this Friday, per Variety. Period romantic drama Brideshead Revisited unwound into 349 theaters and made $3,034 per screen, giving it a total of $3.3 million in three weeks.