A Serious Man (movie)

Smaller films making inroads with holiday movie audiences

Over the holidays, most moviegoers have opted for big-budget, spectacle-heavy and family-friendly films at the box office. But while "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Frozen" have been packing them in for weeks now, a few smaller, independent pictures have quietly been doing respectable business in far fewer  theaters.

With the Academy Award nominations just over two weeks away, the indie award-season hopeful that has far-and-away grossed the most at the multiplex is "12 Years a Slave." The 19th century period drama, which follows a man's journey to escape slavery in the South, has grossed $37.8 million since its limited release on Oct....