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'Black Swan' passes $300 million in global box office

The film, for which Natalie Portman won an Oscar, reaches exceptional earnings for an independent film.

May 16, 2011

'Swan' flies high

"Black Swan" has danced past the $300-million mark at the global box office, a feat few independent films are able to accomplish.

The film, which earned star Natalie Portman an Academy Award for lead actress earlier this year, has quietly continued to roll out overseas. This weekend, the movie finally opened in Japanese theaters, where it collected $6.1 million, according to an estimate from distributor Fox Searchlight. That was enough to push its international total to $198.4 million, and its worldwide tally to $305 million.

Few other low-budget, independently released movies have reached that milestone. "Slumdog Millionaire," which won the 2008 Oscar for best picture, grossed $377.9 million worldwide, and Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" collected $611.9 million.

Gibson's current independent release, "The Beaver," will not follow that trajectory. This weekend, the actor's most recent film expanded from 22 to 105 theaters, but the movie yet again failed to resonate with audiences. The film collected a dismal $158,000 this weekend for a per-theater average of $1,505; compare that with last weekend's per-theater average, which was already weak at just $4,745. The movie is supposed to go into wide release next weekend, but it remains to be seen if distributor Summit Entertainment will change the film's rollout because of the lackluster ticket sales.

— Amy Kaufman

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