Room brought down the house in a crowded weekend for specialty movies. The A24 release opened in 4 New York and L.A. theaters grossing $120K for an average of $30K, weekend’s highest any picture in release.  Sony Pictures Classics’ Truth and Well Go USA’s The Assassin each bowed with less than half that average in both cities, while Sundance doc All Things Must Pass opened in two NYC and L.A. theaters grossing $20K. Netflix’s child soldier saga Beasts Of No Nation, meanwhile, launched simultaneously in 31 theaters and to 40 million streaming households, giving it a tiny $50,699 theatrical gross. Universal added several dozen theaters for Steve Jobs, grossing over $1.55M easily the weekend’s top grossing feature in limited release and the second best overall PTA of $25,831. Steve Jobs will go wide on Friday. Room will expand to the top 20 markets October 30 followed by a nationwide rollout November 6.

TruthSony Classics’ Truth grossed $76,646 in six theaters, averaging $12,774. Although not a headline-grabbing start, SPC co-president Michael Barker said the film starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford is positioned to tap the adult audience as it expands slowly into the fall. “I think this last weekend was one of the most competitive one in a long time for the adult audience between Bridge of Spies, Steve Jobs and others. The reports we’re getting about the film from theaters is that it’s fantastic.” Barker noted that SPC’s 2012 title Searching For Sugar Man ($9,153 debut weekend average, $3.69M cume) and last year’s Whiplash ($22,565 debut average, $13M cume) grew in subsequent weeks.

After a terrific festival run including a Cannes Best Director win for auteur Hou Hsiao Hsien, The Assassin opened in four theaters. The art-house/martial arts title grossed $48,200, averaging $12,050. Jason Pfardrescher, Well Go USA’s SVP of Digital and Theatrical Distribution, said in a statement: “This weekend was a great start, but just the first step as we expand across the country over the next couple of months and through awards season.” The Assassin will head to 15 additional markets next weekend and will eventually go to 100 cities or more by the end of the year.

All Things Must Pass The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records posterSXSW doc All Things Must Pass, chronicling the rise and fall of Tower Records, kicked off in two theaters. The Colin Hanks-directed title grossed $20K, averaging $10K. Reporting numbers Sunday, Gravitas Ventures CEO Nolan Gallagher noted: “With a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes we are thrilled that audiences have loved Colin Hanks and Sean Stuart’s film. We look forward to sharing the story of Tower Records across the nation in theaters throughout the Fall.” The film opens in Sacramento next week and San Francisco the week after before expanding November 6.

Neflix rolled out Cary Fukunaga’s feature Beasts Of No Nation simultaneously in 31 theaters and to its legions of subscribers this weekend. The awards contender bombed in theaters grossing just $50,699 for an average of $1,635.

China Lion’s Goodbye Mr Loser was the other limited release holdover of note. The feature, which is a blockbuster-sized run at home in China, grossed $353,992 in 37 theaters (15 more than last weekend), averaging a respectable $9,567, and totaling nearly $913K, topping the company’s previous biggest grosser, Breakup Buddies (nearly $778K cume).

Fox Searchlight added 31 more theaters for its doc He Named Me Malala in its third frame. The Davis Guggenheim-directed feature about the young Nobel prize-winner grossed $350K in 477 locations, averaging $734. Searchlight noted its 17-day $1.5M gross, adding that the film is now at its “widest point of release.”

Phoenix posterOther Specialty titles crossed box office milestones this week. Alchemy’s Meet The Patels easily passed $1M ahead of the weekend, combined with a $127K gross in 99 theaters this weekend ($1.145M cume). Sundance Selects’ Awards contender Phoenix headed over $3 million this weekend, grossing nearly $19K in its 13th weekend in theaters, while Lionsgate/Panelion’s Spanish-language animated feature, Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos reached $9M in its seventh weekend.

On VOD, The Orchard’s documentary awards hopeful Cartel Land stands at an estimated $820K over three weeks. The title is still in theaters after 16 weeks with a $702K cume. The Orchard’s Finders Keepers, meanwhile, has cumed $75K in two weeks via VOD. Theatrically, it has grossed a combined $34,672 in four weeks.

NEW

the assassin oscarsAll Things Must Pass (Gravitas Ventures) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $20K, Average $10K
The Assassin (Well Go USA) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $48,200, Average $12,050
Beasts Of No Nation (Netflix/Bleecker Street) NEW [31 Theaters] Weekend $50,699, Average $1,635
Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (Reliance) NEW [49 Theaters] Weekend $104,542, Average $2,133
Room (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $120K, Average $30K
Truth (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend $76,646, Average $12,774

Film Title: Steve JobsRETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Goodbye Mr Loser (China Lion) Week 2 [37 Theaters] Weekend $353,992, Average $9,567, Cume $912,948
Steve Jobs (Universal) Week 2 [60 Theaters] Weekend $1,549,831, Average $25,831, Cume $2,260,312

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Freeheld (Lionsgate) Week 3 [148 Theaters] Weekend $137K, Average $926, Cume $323,391
Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (Kino Lorber) Week 3 [17 Theaters] Weekend $29K, Average $1,706, Cume $94,246
HE-NAMED-ME-MALALAHe Named Me Malala (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [477 Theaters] Weekend $350K, Average $734, Cume $1,537,334
Labyrinth Of Lies (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [46 Theaters] Weekend $77,158, Average $1,678, Cume $196,398
Talvar (Reliance) Week 3 [21 Theaters] Weekend $26,570, Average $1,265, Cume $331,923
99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures) Week 4 [347 Theaters] Weekend $133,920, Average $386, Cume $1,267,941
Finders Keepers (The Orchard) Week 4 [6 Theaters] Weekend $1,560, Average $260, Cume $34,672; VOD 2 Week Cume: $75K
Goodnight Mommy (RADiUS) Week 6 [90 Theaters] Weekend $94,350, Average $1,084, Cume $825,171
Meet The Patels (Alchemy) Week 6 [99 Theaters] Weekend $127,560, Average $1,288, Cume $1,145,619
Cartel Land PosterThe Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution (PBS Distribution) Week 7 [11 Theaters] Weekend $22,211, Average $2,019, Cume $419,089
Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 7 [55 Theaters] Weekend $34K, Average $618, Cume $9,061,216
The Second Mother (Oscilloscope) Week 8 [13 Theaters] Weekend $8K, Average $533, Cume $345,584
Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [136 Theaters] Weekend $138,430, Average $1,018, Cume $6,507,959
Learning To Drive (Broad Green Pictures) Week 9 [63 Theaters] Weekend $35,317, Average $561, Cume $3,354,426
Phoenix (Sundance Selects) Week 13 [25 Theaters] Weekend $18,750, Average $750, Cume $3,005,227
Mr. Holmes (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 14 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $, Cume $
Cartel Land (The Orchard) Week 16 [3 Theaters] Weekend $970, Average $323, Cume $702,346; VOD 3 Week 3 Cume: $820K