By Todd Cunningham
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Zero Dark Thirty" made the most of its expansion this weekend, running up a very strong $45,834 per-screen average from 60 locations in 11 U.S. cities.
Kathryn Bigelow's tale of the hunt for Osama bin Laden brought in $2.75 million, after expanding from five locations in two markets this weekend in the wake of several nominations from the Producers Guild (PGA) and Writers Guild (WGA).
Its overall total after three weeks is $4.4 million. Sony plans to go wide next week, after Thursday's Oscar nominations.
The Weinstein Company's "Silver Linings Playbook," which also earned nominations from the PGA and WGA, appeared to have received a boost, too.
It dropped just 11 percent - the best of any film in wide release - and brought in $3.6 million from 745 screens, a $4,847 per theater. It has now brought in $34.6 million over its eight weeks.
"We think we're positioned very well for the long haul," Erik Lomis, Weinstein's head of distribution said. The studio plans to go wide with the dark comedy from David O. Russell on January 18, the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.
Sony Classics' "Amour" averaged $21,199 after taking in $63,596 from three screens. The overall gross for Michael Haneke's dark and unsparing look at old age and death, a front-runner in Oscar's Best Foreign Language race, is now $315,011 after 17 days.