Focus Features opened Sylvia, a biopic about the troubled poet and suicide Sylvia Plath, in 45th place last weekend on $57,819. Christine Jeffs' film stars Gwyneth Paltrow and averaged $19,647 from three venues - by far the biggest of the top 60.

Focus' current triumph Lost In Translation dropped 33% and one place to 11th in its sixth week, adding $1.9m for an excellent $20.9m total. Sophia Coppola's beguiling slice of life has benefited from a high-profile theatrical run that should keep it uppermost in the minds of awards voters at a time when the Motion Picture Association of America's proposed ban on screener tapes threatens to strangle the prospects of arthouse releases.

Buena Vista opened the true-life crime drama Veronica Guerin, which stars Cate Blanchett, in 17th place on $611,276 for a $1,295 average from 472 sites. Peter Hedges' acclaimed Thanksgiving drama Pieces Of April opened through MGM in 53rd place on $48,422. The film stars Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson and Derek Luke and averaged $8,070 from six sites.

At five this week was Warner Bros' Mystic River, which expanded from 13 to 1,467 sites in its second week, climbing 1,530% and 12 places to fifth on $10m for $13.5m. Overall box office was strong on $113.9m, up 26% against the same period last year.