In a sign that seasons are changing, a trio of prestige pictures ruled the box office this weekend, led by…um…The Prestige, the latest cinematic puzzle from Memento director Christopher Nolan. Proving that audiences weren't burnt out on turn-of-the-century magician hijinks after the surprise hit The Illusionist, the film grossed a healthy (if modest) $14.8 million and had the weekend's highest per screen average among major releases at $6,500. Holding strong at second place was Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which hasn't lost much momentum week-to-week and looks to climb easily over the magic $100 million mark within the next few weeks. Clint Eastwood's sprawling Iwo Jima film Flags Of Our Fathers had a lethargic third-place opening at $10.2 million, but with likely awards nominations to come throughout the fall and winter, it seems certain that the film will hang around the Top Ten for awhile. The week's other prestige opener, Marie Antoinette, only saw 859 screens, but did respectable business, with a $5.3 million gross and a solid $6,169 per screen average. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D, Running With Scissors, and The Queen all did phenomenal in limited release.
More detailed numbers can be found over at Box Office Mojo.