And here’s the specialty box office… Congratulations Marvel’s The Avengers, you win. But some people did break away from the mobs to see something different. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel did a fine job launching in 27 theaters, grossing $750K for a $27,789 average. Pretty darned good all things considered, and only a tad shy of last weekend’s $30K per-theater average for Richard Linklater’s Bernie. The people behind it weren’t shy singing its praises. “Bernie! is a potential crossover hit  best reviews of [Jack] Black’s career. His audience could show up big,” Cinetic’s John Sloss told us. His The Best Exotic Marigold Hotelcompany sold the film to Millennium back in July and he’s still looking out for it on a sunny Sunday. “We’re exceptionally pleased with Bernie’s numbers this second week.” Added Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee, “It’s proving to be a true sleeper hit and continues to sell out a significant number of shows. We grossed more this weekend then we did all of last week by adding only three Texas towns. With the film’s unique sensibility and powerhouse performances we know that audiences will continue to discover Bernie as we expand it across country.”

Sundance Selects threw a nice party Friday night for its dance doc First Position — ahem — and some company execs were outside the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Brunin Munroe Theater asking folks what they thought of the film sort of anonymously. Reactions to the movie and they kept looking over to see who might be buying tickets for the next showing (“are they seeing Marley or First?” someone not necessarily from IFC rhetorically asked.) So, it did pretty well, averaging $10,200. Not a shock, the Lincoln Center screenings were pretty packed, downtown not so much but not bad.

But the specialty love really belongs to Marigold this weekend. Fox Searchlight told us they’re pleased (aren’t they all?) and they have good reason. The Dame Judi Dench starrer has cha-chinged $70 million outside the U.S. and they’re hoping for more this side of the pond. Producing partner Participant Media (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) also weighed in. “Although it’s early days in what looks like to be a long run, it’s extremely gratifying that moviegoers in the U.S. are embracing this film with the same degree of enthusiasm as international audiences,” said Participant CEO Jim Berk. “It’s a recipe for a hit,” And from a from a competing distribution exec, “For a [picture] set in India going against Avengers doing this well, it’s a hit.”

Among second weekenders, it’s not always easy to own up, but here goes. Fox Searchlight’s Sound Of My Voice took on 23 more venues, grossing $52K for an average of $1,881 vs its opening average of $8,014 in three theaters. Kino Lorber bowed last weekend with some sexy films, Whores Glory and a Juliette Binoche starrer, Elles. Whores has apparently tapped out in NYC and not playing anywhere now. It’s headed to San Francisco May 25th. But Elles took in $30K in 13 theaters, averaging $2,307.

NEW

1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) NEW [27 Theaters] Weekend $750K, Average $27,789

2. First Position (Sundance Selects) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $51K, Average $10,200

3. A Little Bit Of Heaven (Millennium Entertainment) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $9K, Average $894

Returning / 2nd Weekend

1. Headhunters (Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $87K, Average $5,438, Cume $148K

2. Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $85K, Average $28,602, Cume $121K

3. Darling Companion (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [46 Theaters] Weekend $67K, Average $1,471, Cume $211K

4. Sound Of My Voice (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [28 Theaters] Weekend $52K, Average $1,881, Cume $101K

5. Elles (Kino Lorber Films) Week 2 [13 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $2,307, Cume $67K

Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends

1. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (CBS Films) Week 9 [247 Theaters] Weekend $270K, Average $1,093, Cume $8.22M

2. Monsieur Lazhar (Music Box Films) Week 4 [81 Theaters] Weekend $221K, Average $2,726, Cume $912K

3. Bully (The Weinstein Company) Week 6 [263 Theaters] Weekend $168K, Average $639, Cume $2.53M

4. Damsels In Distress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [205 Theaters] Weekend $159K, Average $778, Cume $630K

5. Marley (Magnolia Pictures) Week 3 [55 Theaters] Weekend $100K, Average $1,818, Cume $752K

6. Footnote (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [82 Theaters] Weekend $96K, Average $1,179, Cume $1.69M

7. Jiro Dreams Of Shushi (Magnolia Pictures) Week 9 [61 Theaters] Weekend $92K, Average $1,508, Cume $1.987M

8. The Kid With A Bike (Sundance Selects) Week 8 [70 Theaters] Weekend $70K, Average $1,000, Cume $1.27M

9. Darling Companion (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [46 Theaters] Weekend $67K, Average $1,471, Cume $211K

10. The Deep Blue Sea (Music Box Films) Week 7 [36 Theaters] Weekend $46K, Average $1,301, Cume $956K

11. Jeff Who Lives At Home (Paramount Vantage) Week 8 [47 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $638, Cume $4.19M

12. Casa De Mi Padre (Lionsgate) Week 8 [68 Theaters] Weekend $28K, Average $423, Cume $5.847M

13. Women Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day (Code Black Entertainment) Week 4 [30 Theaters] Weekend $26K, Average $889, Cume $1.136M

14. Coriolanus (The Weinstein Company) Week 16 [18 Theaters] Weekend $13K, Average $639, Cume $727K

15. The Artist (The Weinstein Company) Week 24 [41 Theaters] Weekend $13K, Average $317, Cume $44.24MTouchback (Anchor Bay ) Week 5 [12 Theaters] Weekend $7K, Average $583, Cume $198K

16. Undefeated (The Weinstein Company) Week 12 [13 Theaters] Weekend $6K, Average $462, Cume $530K

17. Rampart (Millennium Entertainemnt) Week 13 [10 Theaters] Weekend $3,892, Average $389, Cume $969K

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