A crowded weekend for new specialty releases saw Sunday morning numbers that suggest the newcomers spread audiences thin. Fox Searchlight’s Youth leads the pack of newbies with an estimated gross of $80K in 4 theaters. Amazon Studios went out with their first film, Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, via Roadside Attractions for a limited theatrical window with mixed results in a fairly wide 305 theaters, grossing $1.25 million. The big news continues to be The Weinstein Company’s Carol, with the New York Film Critics Circle’s best picture again taking the week’s highest theater average with $36,810. TWC also bowed Michael Fassbender starrer Macbeth in 5 theaters, averaging $13,574.

Searchlight brought Youth to four New York and Los Angeles locations over the weekend with a solid start. The title grossed $80K, averaging $20K. “We’re happy with the opening, giving us an encouraging $20,000 average,” said Fox Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez Sunday morning. “There’s a lot of great art films out there now, including Carol and The Danish Girl, so it was a good weekend.” The audience skewed ‘mature,’ according to Rodriguez, slanting 55% female. Searchlight will add 5 markets next week, reaching between 20 – 25 theaters by December 11. Rodriguez also noted Brooklyn‘s continued strength. In its 5th weekend, the feature which took Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan by the New York critics this week, grossed $2.43 million in 906 theaters, averaging $2,682.

Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq opened its limited theatrical window in 305 theaters over the weekend with so-so numbers. The title grossed $1,250,224, giving it a $4,092 per theater average. Amazon noted the film performed particularly well in Chicago, where the movie is set, averaging over $15K per theater in 22 venues. The company also said that the majority of its 305 theaters were in the “top three” grossing films. “We are thrilled with the opening performance of Chi-Raq and with our releasing partnership with Amazon Studios,” noted Roadside co-president Howard Cohen when reporting numbers Sunday. “(We) are excited to have the film continue playing in theaters. All other release windows are at this time TBD.”

Chi-Raq Macbeth poster 2-shot

TWC opened Macbeth by Justin Kurzel starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in 5 theaters. It grossed nearly $68K, giving it a tepid $13,574 average — the weekend’s third best PTA after Carol and The Danish Girl. The company said the film brought out a younger skewing audience, with 66% under 35. “It did OK, obviously we’d like a bit more,” said TWC’s president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. “The reviews were great and it was a ‘solid’ start. Shakespeare has the built-in fan base, so we are hopeful as we broaden it out. The audience liked the film and we (expect) word of mouth to drive it.” TWC will take Macbeth to the top 40 markets in the coming weeks.

TWC continues to score with Carol, now in its third weekend. The title is once again the best PTA of the week, grossing $147,241 in four theaters, giving it an impressive $36,810 PTA. “Carol is playing gangbusters,” said Lomis. “It dropped only 26% from the (last week’s) holiday weekend. It’s a great film and Todd (Haynes) did such a great job with it. It’s in the (Awards) conversation for director, movie and actress — maybe two actresses…” TWC is looking for a “targeted expansion” starting next week, adding theaters in New York and LA as well as bows in several major Canadian cities.

The weekend’s second-best PTA performer was Focus Features’ The Danish Girl. The film starring Eddie Redmayne grossed $106K in four locations, averaging a robust $26,500. Last weekend, the feature bowed in four theaters, growing $185K for a $46,250 PTA.

Cohen Media Group’s documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut bowed rather nicely in three theaters Friday. The feature by New York Film Festival director Kent Jones grossed over $30K, giving it a $10,041 average at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza in New York and the Nuart in L.A. It will hit markets around the country December 11. Said Cohen Media Group’s Daniel Battsek Sunday when reporting numbers: ”Following on from the incredibly positive critical response across the board, it is very gratifying that audiences are also embracing Kent Jones’ wonderful documentary.”

FilmRise added two dozen runs for its doc Janis: Little Girl Blue in its second frame. The feature grossed $65,100, averaging $2,504. It opened in two theaters last weekend grossing $24,024.

Open Road added 83 runs for its Oscar hopeful Spotlight for its 5th weekend. It grossed $2,926,844 in 980 theaters, averaging $2,987. The feature has cumed over $16.63M.

NEW

The Arabian Nights Vol I The Restless One [1 Theater] Weekend $4K
Chi-Raq (Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios) NEW [305 Theaters] Weekend $1,250,224, Average $4,092
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $30,123, Average $10,041
Fall In Love Like A Star (China Lion) NEW [36 Theaters] Weekend $130K, Average $3,611
Macbeth (The Weinstein Company) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $67,868, Average $13,574
Youth (Fox Searchlight) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $80K, Average $20K

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $106K, Average $26,500, Cume $351,732
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $65,100, Average $2,504

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 (4 Theaters) Weekend $147,241, Average $36,810, Cume $817,119
Legend (Universal) Week 3 [61 Theaters] Weekend $263,780 Average $4,324, Cume $906,681
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [906 Theaters] Weekend $2,430,000, Average $2,682, Cume $11,210,023
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Submarine Deluxe) Week 5 [25 Theaters] Weekend $37,061, Average $1,482, Cume $270,085
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 5 [980 Theaters] Weekend $2,926,844, Average $2,987, Cume $16,632,541
Trumbo (Bleecker Street) Week 5 [660 Theaters] Weekend $956,235, Average $1,448, Cume $4,170,480
Suffragette (Focus Features) Week 7 [193 Theaters] Weekend $146K, Average $756, Cume $4,328,491
Room (A24) Week 8 [175 Theaters] Weekend $209,125, Average $1,195, Cume $3,773,449