After picking up a string of awards nominations, If Beale Street Could Talk made a strong statement at the weekend box office.
The drama — written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Barry Jenkins — debuted with an estimated $219,173 from four theaters, according to Comscore.
That added up to an impressive $54,793 per theater average for the film, which is playing in limited release.
The Annapurna Pictures release, adapted from James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, stars newcomer Kiki Layne and Stephan James as Tish and Fonny, an engaged couple in Harlem expecting their first child.
Fonny is falsely accused of rape, forcing Tish and her family to try to prove his innocence. Regina King co-stars Tish’s mother.
King’s performance has been widely praised, with the actress picking up Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards nominations for her co-starring turn.
Earlier this month, the film received three Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, best screenplay and a best supporting actress nod for King.
The film also picked up five Critics’ Choice Award nominations, and King was named best supporting actress by the African American Film Critics Association.
Among the other newcomers at the specialty box office, Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built brought in $40,436 from 33 theaters. That averaged out to $1,225 per theater.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics release Capernaum earned $27,588 from three theaters, for an average of $9,196. The critically acclaimed drama from Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki tells the story of a streetwise 12-year-old boy named Zain, who flees his abusive parents and sues them for the “crime” of giving him life.
Capernaum is nominated for a best foreign language Golden Globe.