UPDATED at 11:20AM PT with more numbers and analysis.

Sony ClassicsA Fantastic Woman opened with a solid start in the wake of a qualifying run last year.

The Chilean feature, which is nominated for an Oscar in the foreign language category, handily beat other limited-release debuts this weekend. The top specialty gross overall, though, went to Vertical Entertainment’s animated feature Bilal: A New Breed of Hero. It bowed in three hundred locations Friday, taking in $278,500.

Janus Films opened Abbas Kiarostami’s final film, 24 Frames, in an exclusive engagement that grossed $8,610. China Lion released Chinese-language plane-crash epic Till The End Of the World with $53,500 from more than two dozen runs.

Padmaavat collected more than $2.55M in its second frame, becoming the third highest-grossing Bollywood title.

The weekend was still owned by a familiar cluster of Oscar contenders, which have expanded to wider release in a bid to cash in ahead of the big night on March 4 — which is a week later than last year’s big show.

Neon/30West’s I, Tonya is now over $22.6M, while The Shape of Water is in the top 10, grossing $4.3M. Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is in more than seventeen hundred locations, taking in three million and Lady Bird played eleven hundred theaters, grossing more than $1.35M.

Chile’s A Fantastic Woman, which was acquired by Sony Classics before its premiere at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, stars Daniela Vega and is directed by Sebastián Lelio. It grossed $70,978 in five New York and Los Angeles theaters in its debut, averaging $14,196. Lelio had a box office winner back in 2014 with Gloria, which cumed $2.1M in North America via Roadside Attractions, one of the top foreign-language grosses of the year. When it opened in January of that year, it played three locations, grossing $56,454, averaging a bit higher at $18,818. Still, A Fantastic Woman likely has legs as it expands this coming week to the top dozen markets, including Washington, D.C., Chicago and the Bay Area.

“I think it’s a fresh movie and not like anything you’ve seen,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker ahead of the film’s commercial bow. “It has the qualities that people want to see in a great romantic drama.”

Vertical took animated Middle Eastern title Bilal: A New Breed of Hero to 300 locations on this continent in its theatrical debut. The film, based on an ancient story, grossed $278,500 for a slim $928 average. Vertical took on the feature, which took some time to find a backer in the U.S. “Many distributors liked the story, but they found it challenging to present something new like this to an audience,” said director Ayman Jamal earlier this week. “Most like talking animals etc., but Vertical accepted the challenge. I thank them for having the courage.”

Bollywood’s Padmaavat held well in its second frame, grossing $2.55M in 344 theaters in North America, which along with GKIDS’ Mary And The Witch’s Flower is the only 2018 limited-release debut so far to cross seven figures. Padmaavat opened in 326 locations last weekend, grossing more than $4M.

Focus Features added runs for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread in its seventh outing, taking in $2.14M in 1,186 theaters, one of a half-dozen Oscar nominees widening out after initially limited runs. Starring Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis in what he has said will be his final big-screen performance,  the feature was in just over a thousand runs last weekend, grossing $2.89M, averaging $2,831. The feature has cumed $14.17M.

Neon/30West’s I, Tonya joins the wide-release awards contenders, playing fourteen hundred and fifty locations this Friday to Sunday, taking in $2.55M ($1,763 PTA). The feature kept playdates limited in December, but went wider after the New Year. It has cumed over $22.6M.

Although James Franco was shunned in the Oscars, his directorial The Disaster Artist topped $21M in its tenth weekend, though this will likely be its final box office threshold. It grossed $50,714 in 65 locations over the weekend, averaging $780.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water landed in the top ten. With more than 2,300 runs, it would not typically land in the specialty report, but it spent all of December with fairly narrow exposure and just jumped over 1,800 locations last weekend. Starring Sally Hawkins, the film grossed $4.3M ($1,837 average).

Sony Classics’ Call Me By Your Name, a Best Picture nominee, peaked last weekend with 815 theaters. Now in its 11th frame, the feature by Luca Guadagnino played 581 locations, grossing just over a million dollars, averaging $1,723, a bit of an uptick from last weekend’s $1,651 PTA. Call Me took in $1.34M the weekend prior and has cumed $12.94M.

Focus added 153 theaters for Oscar nominee Gary Oldman’s Darkest Hour in its 11th weekend, grossing $2.42M in 1,486 theaters, averaging $1,629. The feature grossed $2.88M last weekend in 1,333 locations, averaging $2,164. It has cumed $48.84M.

Globes Best Drama pic Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ticked up 269 more runs in its 13th outing, grossing $3.05M in 1,726 theaters ($1,767 PTA). The film grossed $3.6M last weekend in 1,457 locations, averaging $2,471. It has cumed $41.8M.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, from A24, is in more than 1,100 theaters in week 14. Friday to Sunday, it grossed $1.35M, averaging $1,226, bringing its cume to over $43.73M.

NEW RELEASES

24 Frames (Janus Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,610

A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $70,978, Average $14,196

Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (Vertical Entertainment) NEW [300 Theaters] Weekend $278,500, Average $928

Till The End of The World (China Lion) NEW [27 Theaters] Weekend $53,500, Average $1,981

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Padmaavat (Viva) Week 2 [344 Theaters] Weekend $2,551,000, Average $7,416, Cume $9,012,000

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Forever My Girl (Roadside Attractions)  Week 3 [1,427 Theaters] Weekend $2,583,045, Average $1,810, Cume $12,844,699

Mary And the Witch’s Flower (GKIDS) Week 3 [30 Theaters] Weekend $57,002, Average $1,900, Cume $1,895,962

The Insult (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [36 Theaters] Weekend $118,995, Average $3,305, Cume $769,610

Vazante (Music Box Films) Week 4 [5 Theaters] Weekend $2,045, Average $409, Cume $15,916

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [34 Theaters] Weekend $54,407, Average $1,600, Cume $314,635

Hostiles (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 7 [2,934 Theaters] Weekend $5,523,000, Average $1,882, Cume $21,237,414

Phantom Thread (Focus Features) Week 7 [1,186 Theaters] Weekend $2,140,000, Average $1,804, Cume $14,174,000

I, Tonya (Neon/30West) Week 9 [1,450 Theaters] Weekend $2,556,250, Average $1,763, Cume $22,640,135

The Disaster Artist (A24) Week 10 [65 Theaters] Weekend $50,714, Average $780, Cume $21,000,108

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 10 [2,341 Theaters] Weekend $4,300,000, Average $1,837, Cume $44,580,050

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [581 Theaters] Weekend $1,000,790, Average $1,723, Cume $12,940,908

Darkest Hour (Focus Features) Week 11 [1,486 Theaters] Weekend $2,420,000, Average $1,629, Cume $48,843,000

The Breadwinner (GKIDS) Week 12 [9 Theaters] Weekend $11,077, Average $1,231, Cume $271,037

Thelma (The Orchard) Week 13 [1 Theaters] Weekend $813, Cume $146,215

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 13 [1,726 Theaters] Weekend $3,050,000, Average $1,767, Cume $

My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) Week 14 [2 Theaters] Weekend $2,200, Average $1,100, Cume $1,345,104

Lady Bird (A24) Week 14 [1,109 Theaters] Weekend $1,359,856, Average $1,226, Cume $43,733,193

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard) Week 16 [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,072, Average $1,536, Cume $105,746

The Florida Project (A24) Week 18 [38 Theaters] Weekend $47,190, Average $1,242, Cume $5,734,308