Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Fox Searchlight’s highly anticipated The Sessions starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy debuted with a robust $30,100 average in its four-theater run in New York and Los Angeles, by far topping newbies in the specialty arena, in another crowded field of newcomers. Three other titles debuted with fairly solid showings. Producers Distribution Agency’s Brooklyn Castle bowed with an $11,061 average in two New York theaters, placing it second in per-theater average among the newcomers, but whether the homegrown pic will exhibit legs in other cities. Sundance Selects’ doc The Flat averaged over $10K in two NYC venues, while Cannes/NYFF surreal feature Holy Motors also bowed in two Gotham theaters, averaging $9,744.

“It was quite an impressive weekend. It exceeded our expectations a bit,” said Searchlight’s SVP Distribution Frank Rodriguez. “We thought it would come in in the $20K-25K per screen range, so we were very happy. We’re going to open five new markets next week including two in San Francisco, Boston where we’re still finalizing the number of screens, two in Washington D.C., three in Chicago and and one more in Toronto. We’ll also do a bit of an expansion in New York and LA. The filmmakers were very happy. We can tell the word of mouth is great on the stand-out performances.” Searchlight’s other Sundance standout, Beasts Of The Southern Wild averaged $42,426 when it bowed late June. That title has cumed nearly $11.17 million to date.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Sessions’, ‘Holy Motors’, ‘All Together’, ‘Tai Chi Zero’

Cinetic head/entertainment lawyer John Sloss who is spearheading Brooklyn Castle‘s release through the Producers Distribution Agency label said, “We are heartened by the solid beginning for Brooklyn Castle. We have a crowd- and critic-pleasing film … Word of mouth is starting to kick in; we’ll be in this for the long haul.” Speaking about Holy Motors‘ rollout, Indomina’s Rob Williams noted it has grossed $28K in its two NYC theaters since opening last Wednesday. “The gross has been steadily building to soldout weekend shows, suggesting good word-of-mouth. The strong New York performance is encouraging as we expand to other markets at the end of the month.” An IFC spokesperson noted that The Flat, which is being released through its Sundance Selects label, performed particularly well its uptown showing in Manhattan. The Flat will head to Los Angeles this Wednesday and continue out to the top 20 markets over the next two weeks.

Kino Lorber and Tribeca Film’s French-language All Together starring Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin fared comparatively lighter with a $1,666 average. The septuagenarian comedy will expand to San Francisco and other cities in the coming weeks. Magnolia Pictures’ Nobody Walks averaged $3,750 in two theaters, while Well Go USA’s Tai Chi Zero averaged a so-so $2,722 after bowing in 29 theaters. It will hit additional markets in coming weeks.

Among holdovers, The Film Arcade’s Simon And The Oaks added six theaters in its second weekend, grossing averaging over $3K in 7 locations. Last weekend it opened in just one theater with $10,377. Sony Pictures Classics’ Smashed added 16 theaters, averaging $2,443 in 20 cinemas. Simon averaged an initial $7,506 in four runs. Well Go USA’s The Thieves held over solidly with a 5 theater expansion in its second run, averaging $9,094 at 16 locations. It debuted last week with a $12,500 average at 11 theaters. It will expand to 22 theaters in week 3.

Millennium’s The Paperboy added 25 theaters in its third weekend, averaging $1,580 with a cume just under $400K. Roadside Attraction/Lionsgate’s Arbitrage sailed passed the $7 million cumulative mark in its 6th week, averaging $1,891 in 168 theaters. Summit’s The Perks Of Being A Wallflower continues in its fifth week as the specialty star, placing 12th in the overall box office in terms of gross. It took in $2.15M, holding strong with a $2,886 average in 745 theaters. Last week it averaged $2,983 in 726 theaters, Its cume is now over $9.12 million.

Related: ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Opens With $30M; Tyler Perry As ‘Alex Cross’ Low $12M; ‘Argo’ Holds


All Together (Kino Lorber, Tribeca Film) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend $10K, Average $$1,666

Brooklyn Castle (Producers Distribution Agency) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $22,122, Average $11,061

The Flat (Sundance Selects) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $20,800, Average $10,400

Holy Motors (Indomina) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $19,488, Average $9,744

Nobody Walks (Magnolia Pictures) 2 Theaters] Weekend $7,500, Average $3,750

Tai Chi Zero (Well Go USA) NEW [29 Theaters] Weekend $78,966, Average $2,722

The Sessions (Fox Searchlight) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $121,005, Average $30,100


Middle Of Nowhere (AFFRM/Participant) Week 2 [21 Theaters] Weekend $54,395, Average $2,590, Cume $127,137

Smashed (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [20 Theaters] Weekend $48,852, Average $2,443

The Thieves (Well Go USA) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $145,516, Average $9,094, Cume $337,457

Simon And The Oaks (The Film Arcade) Week 2 [7 Theaters] Weekend $21,621, Average $3,088, Cume $35,893


The House I Live In (Abramorama) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $15,912, Average $3,978, Cume $76,875

The Paperboy (Millennium Entertainment) Week 3 [74 Theaters] Weekend $116,921, Average $1,580, Cume $399,475

Wuthering Heights (Oscilloscope) Week 3 [11 Theaters] Weekend $16,765, Average $1,524, Cume $44,741

The Waiting Room (International Film Circuit) Week 4 [4 Theaters] Weekend $28,838, Average $7,210, Cume $49,721

The Other Dream Team (The Film Arcade) Week 4 [13 Theaters] Weekend $22,928, Average $1,764, Cume $102,677

Hellbound? (Area 23a) Week 5 [1 Theater] Weekend $1,554, Cume $20,453

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Summit Entertainment) Week 5 [745 Theaters] Weekend $2.15M, Average $2,886, Cume $9,120,625

Arbitrage (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 6 [168 Theaters] Weekend $318K, Average $1,891, Cume $7,092,126

The Master (The Weinstein Company) Week 6 [412 Theaters] Weekend $535K, Average $1,299, Cume $14,752,536

Detropia (Loki Films) Week 7 [24 Theaters] Weekend $26,450, Average $1,102, Cume $287,639

Lawless (The Weinstein Company) Week 8 [184 Theaters] Weekend $85K, Average $462, Cume $37,264,007

Samsara (Oscilloscope) Week 9 [70 Theaters] Weekend, $136,111, Average $1,945, Cume $2,002,793

Sleepwalk With Me (IFC Films) Week 9 [45 Theaters] Weekend $40,500, Average $900, Cume $2,150,756

Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [137 Theaters] Weekend $215,121, Average $1,570, Cume $1,986,223

Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 22 [29 Theaters] Weekend $19,375, Average $668, Cume $45,489,176

The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company) Week 28 [60 Theaters] Weekend $48K, Average $800, Cume $12,825,553