Brandon Gray

Fueled by its 13 Oscar nominations, “The Lord of the Rings” enjoyed a 38% bump-up to an estimated $5.0 million this weekend (Feb. 15-17), though the five new releases kept it in 11th place. “Rings'” improvement was all the more impressive given how many people have already seen it. Oscar usually benefits the little seen movies the most, but “Rings'” surge was better than fellow Best Picture nominees “A Beautiful Mind” (up 35%), “Gosford Park” (up 30%) and would have been better than “In the Bedroom” (up 47%) had that picture not increased its theater count by 36%.

After 61 days, “Rings” has pulled in $277.9 million.

“Rings'” New Line Cinema stable mate “John Q” took the top spot with an estimated $20.6 million, while Britney Spears’ big screen debut “Crossroads” rode into 2nd place with an estimated $14.6 million.

4-day studio estimates for the long Presidents Day weekend will be issued Monday. Actual 3- and 4-day numbers will be released Tuesday evening.

Weekend Chart: