IN THE SPOT­LIGHT

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - KICKOFF -

vic­tim killed her­self in 2012. As the con­tro­versy con­tin­ued through the sum­mer and fall (Parker ap­peared on “60 Min­utes” last week­end), Fox Search­light worked in vain to di­rect fo­cus back to­ward Parker’s movie. On open­ing night Thurs­day, protesters held a silent vigil for vic­tims of rape and sex­ual as­sault out­side a Los An­ge­les the­ater.

Paul Der­garabe­dian, se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for comS­core, was hes­i­tant to say how large a role the con­tro­versy played in the film’s per­for­mance.

“It’s hard to know, but con­sid­er­ing the ini­tial prom­ise of the movie and all the pos­i­tive talk about the film and its Os­car prospects, you would have fig­ured that it would do more busi­ness,” Der­garabe­dian said. “Now it’s in the mar­ket­place where the au­di­ence can de­cide how they feel about the movie.”

Also open­ing in wide re­lease was the CBS Films and Lion­s­gate re­lease “Mid­dle School: The Worst Years of My Life,” based on the James Pat­ter­son books about a teenager who ter­ror­izes his prin­ci­pal with pranks. It de­buted with $6.9 mil­lion.

Last week’s top film, Tim Bur­ton’s “Miss Pere­grine’s School for Pe­cu­liar Chil­dren,” slid to sec­ond place with $15 mil­lion in its sec­ond week for 20th Cen­tury Fox. The Lion­s­gate real-life dis­as­ter film “Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon” took in $11.8 mil­lion in its sec­ond week.

DREAMWORKS PIC­TURES/UNI­VER­SAL PIC­TURES VIA AP

Emily Blunt ap­pears in a scene from, “The Girl on the Train.”

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