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“Moonrise Kingdom” Breaks Box Office Record

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Frances McDormand and Bill Murray star in Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” (credit: Focus Features)

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - While mega-blockbuster “Men in Black 3″ was unseating “The Avengers” from the top of the box office chart, a much smaller movie was making independent film history this past weekend. Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” grossed $669,486 over Memorial Day weekend with limited release.

On Sunday, the film had already broken records, earning a per-location average of $130,752 while playing in just four theaters — the highest average ever for a non-animated film, said distributor Focus Features in a Los Angeles Times report. The record was previously held by 2006′s “Dreamgirls.”

The film follows two 12-year-olds who fall in love in 1960s New England. It stars Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman, and has received favorable reviews with some critics some even calling it Anderson’s best film to date.

Anderson was born in Houston and launched his career in Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he met frequent collaborator Owen Wilson. The two penned “Bottle Rocket” together in Austin in the early 1990s and shot the film in the DFW area. Wilson has appeared in all of Anderson’s films up until “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Focus Features says it plans to expand “Moonrise Kingdom” into several hundred theaters throughout June. The film opened Friday playing in two theaters in New York City and two more in Los Angeles. The movie also opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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