'The Bling Ring'

Emma Watson stars as Alexis Neiers in "The Bling Ring," which debuted in five theaters this weekend and did well in limited release. (A24)

“The Bling Ring” made out like a bandit at the box office this weekend.

Sofia Coppola’s take on a real-life group of San Fernando Valley youths who burglarized celebrity homes in 2009 debuted in limited release and grossed $210,001, according to an estimate from distributor A24 Films. Playing in two theaters in New York and three in Los Angeles, the film earned a healthy per-theater average of $42,000. Though the movie is set in Hollywood’s backyard, the film did the most business this weekend at a cinema near New York University.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the film about a gaggle of teens who live for fashion and idolize Paris Hilton is so far appealing mostly to young females.

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“Sofia’s fans came out, but the majority of the crowd were females between 17 and 34,” said Nicolette Aizenberg, A24's head of publicity.

“The Bling Ring” posted the biggest per-theater average ever for a Coppola film in limited release, beating the $40,221 “Lost in Translation” averaged per-location in 2003. That film, for which she earned an original screenplay Oscar, went on to become her highest-grossing to date with a $44.6 million total.

Still, “The Bling Ring” didn’t get off to as strong of a start as “Spring Breakers,” another A24 release that also features young adults engaging in bad behavior. When it opened in March, the Harmony Korine-directed film notched a $87,667 per-theater average -- still the highest such figure of the year -- and has since gone on to collect $14.1 million.

Next weekend, “The Bling Ring” will expand to roughly 500 locations -- about 500 less than “Spring Breakers” played in during its second frame in theaters.

“I think they’re going to play out differently,” Aizenberg said. “Even though people like to lump them together, they’re very different movies. We want this to be more of a slow burn because it’s summer and feels like a fun time of year.”

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