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'Nurse 3D' grosses $4,981 in DOA theatrical debut

MoviesEntertainmentFilm FestivalsArts and CulturePaz de la HuertaStarbucks Corp.Margin Call (movie)

Lionsgate's "Nurse 3D" flatlined in its opening weekend, grossing $4,981 in a 10-theater debut run, according to exhibitors' initial reported data.

The Santa Monica-based studio released the horror film concurrently in theaters and on video-on-demand services Friday -- a first for a movie produced by a major studio, according to industry executives.

The movie centers on a nurse, played by Paz de la Huerta, who seduces lecherous men and then kills them. Its opening weekend per-theater average gross was a stiff $498.10.

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"Nurse 3D" screened at the AMC Orange 30 in Orange, where a total of 65 tickets to the movie were sold over the weekend, according to the venue's manager, Oliver Yakoub.

The early release of movies into the home has been a contentious issue for film exhibitors, who have challenged the strategy over concerns that it could cannibalize theatrical revenue. 

But Lionsgate's "Nurse 3D" strategy hasn't upset exhibitors because of the limited release of the movie.

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A spokesman for Santa Monica-based Lionsgate said that the studio has yet to receive data on how the film performed on video-on-demand platforms. Typically such information becomes available a week or so after a film gets its home entertainment debut.

Starting Friday, "Nurse 3D" was available on video-on-demand platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and various cable operators' services.

A film's video-on-demand release is often thought of by distributors as a marathon and not a sprint, with it sometimes taking several weeks for movies to find their footing. 

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The film has a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Los Angeles Times' review of "Nurse 3D" said the picture is "too self-satisfied with its wink-wink naughtiness to be either fun-dumb or scary-sexy." 

"Nurse 3D's" theatrical release is being handled by Film Arcade, an independent distributor with whom Lionsgate has previously partnered with to release other pictures.

For several years, smaller film companies such as Magnolia Pictures have given simultaneous theatrical and video-on-demand releases to their films. And Lionsgate has also done so for several movies it and partners have acquired at film festivals. Among those have been Sundance Film Festival titles "Margin Call" and "Arbitrage."

No major studio has attempted to debut a wide-release concurrently in theaters and on video-on-demand platforms.

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