J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Yeardistributed by A24, easily dominated the weekend’s Specialty openers, grossing a robust $188K in four theaters, for a very healthy three-day per-theater average of $47K .

Most Violent YearThe film, which stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, is Chandor’s best first-weekend rollout  in terms of theater averages. Last year’s All Is Lost with Robert Redford grossed $93,583 in six theaters, giving it a $15,597 PTA when it opened in mid-October (note that All Is Lost was a unique project, with only Redford on camera and very little dialogue). That film went on to cume $6.263M. Chandor’s debut, Margin Call, featured Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and Zachary Quinto. It opened in 56 locations back in 2011, grossing $561,906, for a $10,034 average. Margin Call cumed $5,354,039.

A Most Violent Year had a most wonderful start, beginning its run on the last day of 2014,” A24 said in a release. “Buoyed by ecstatic reviews and awards buzz, the (National Board of Review) winner for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress…[It had] sellouts across the board with theaters playing at capacity and many turnaways reported. It is a very strong start to the film and we are incredibly excited to roll it out over the coming weeks leading into our nationwide opening on Jan. 30.”

2015’s first weekend otherwise had few new Specialty titles. Kino Lorber bowed P’tit Quinquin in a single location, grossing $2,500. The title is Bruno Dumont’s theatrical cut of his French miniseries, a dark comedy that was featured in last year’s Cannes, Toronto and New York film festivals. At 3.5 hours, the title had only three daily showings. It will expand to other markets nationwide in the coming weeks.

IFC Films opened the first theatrical doc of the year, The Search For General Tso’s Chicken. The film, inspired by a New York Times bestseller, grossed $9,600 ($4,800 PTA).

american sniper 2Among holdovers, Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper continued to dazzle despite staying pat at the same four New York and L.A. theaters where it opened so well last week. The film is clearly benefitting from word-of-mouth and an A+ CinemaScore, growing $640K for a still-spectacular $160K PTA. The film starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Kyle Gallner opened Christmas weekend with a four-day $850K gross, averaging $212,500. Its two-week cume is just under $2.2M.

Sony’s controversial comedy The Interview added 250 theaters in its second weekend, grossing $1.1M, averaging $1,893. The title opened on several digital platforms as well as 331 theaters Christmas week, grossing $2.8M over the four-day holiday reporting period for an $8,459 PTA. Last week, Sony said the title grossed $15 million online through Dec. 27. Since then, the film’s online availability has expanded to Apple’s iTunes Store and host of cable, satellite and telecom on-demand video providers.

Selma posterParamount added three locations for Civil Rights-set drama Selma, grossing $645K in 22 theaters, averaging $29,318. The film by Ava DuVernay bowed with a $590K 3-day weekend gross last week, averaging $31,053. Its two-week cume has now pushed the title just over $2 million.

One of the longest-running of the current specialty offerings, My Old Lady, crossed a small milestone this weekend, passing $4 million in cumulative box office after 17 weeks. It remains in seven theaters, where this weekend it brought in another $5,500 for a grand total of $4,000,834.

NEW
A Most Violent Year (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $188K, Average $47K (3-day)
P’tit Quinquin (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $2,500
The Search For General Tso’s Chicken (IFC Films) Weekend $9,600, Average $4,800

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND
American Sniper (Warner Bros.) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $640K, Average $160K, Cume $2.192M
The Interview (Sony Pictures) Week 2 [581 Theaters] Weekend $1.1M, Average $1,893, Cume $4,915,000
Leviathan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $30,901, Average $10,300, Cume $78,984
Love On The Cloud (China Lion) Week 2 [11 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $2,273, Cume $240,731
Selma (Paramount) Week 2 [22 Theaters] Weekend $645K, Average $29,318, Cume $2.08M
Two Days, One Night (IFC Films) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $31K, Average $15,500, Cume $109,774

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
A Tale Of Winter (Big World Pictures) Week 3 [1 Theater] Weekend $2K, Cume $14,864
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [24 Theaters] Weekend $231,227, Average $9,634, Cume $962,818
P.K. (UTV) Week 3 [215 Theaters] Weekend $791,451, Average $3,681, Cume $9,940,841
Inherent Vice (Warner Bros.) Week 4 [16 Theaters] Weekend $239K, Average $14,938, Cume $1,451,000
Wild (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [1,361 Theaters] Weekend $4.5M, Average $3,306, Cume $25,814,471
The Babadook (IFC Midnight) Week 6 [46 Theaters] Weekend $64,400, Average $1,400, Cume $727,601
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 6 [754 Theaters] Weekend $8.111M, Average $10,757, Cume $30,808,228
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [298 Theaters] Weekend $902,762, Average $3,029, Cume $7,942,789
The Homesman (Roadside Attractions/Saban Films) Week 8 [54 Theaters] Weekend $60,950, Average $1,129, Cume $2,279,395
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 9 [651 Theaters] Weekend $1.114M, Average $1,711, Cume $24,780,019
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 11 [49 Theaters] Weekend $62,953, Average $1,285, Cume $2,263,016
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 12 [282 Theaters] Weekend $845K, Average $2,996, Cume $25,415,829
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [84 Theaters] Weekend $210,789, Average $2,509, Cume $5,901,617
My Old Lady (Cohen Media Group) Week 17 [7 Theaters] Weekend $5,500, Average $793, Cume $4,000,834
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 26 [24 Theaters] Weekend $40,800, Average $1,700, Cume $24,290,774