With a healthy but still humble $7,743,294 gross so far in the US, Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" isn't exactly an art house blockbuster, but it's one of the summer's strongest survivors. Ten weeks after it first went into limited release back in May, the critics' favorite isn't just hanging around in theaters -- it's expanding once more. Sony Pictures Classics is tripling the film's screen count this weekend to 226 theaters, a move that should see the season's artiest franchise entry comfortably through to the fall.
That's good news for the film commercially, of course -- it's already out-grossed "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset," and its performance so far proves the validity of releasing well-chosen prestige films as summer counter-programming. (Particularly one that evokes summer as naturally as "Midnight" does.)