"The Place Beyond the Pines."
"The Place Beyond the Pines."

The first quarter of 2013 ended off with significant promise at the specialty box office, with Focus Features' "The Place Beyond The Pines" and IFC Films' "Room 237" each managing very impressive debuts.

The former was definitely the MVP of Easter weekend (though it was also definitely the most marketable thanks to stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper). Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine," "Pines" soared to a huge $270,184 gross on just 4 screens, averaging $67,536. That's the year's second best per-theater-average (after "Spring Breakers") and among the 50 best of all time. It also managed to far exceed the $48,432 that "Blue Valentine" (which also starred Gosling) averaged from 4 screens back in 2010. All hopeful things for the expansion of "Pines" beyond New York and Los Angeles (where its biggest haul by far was at LA's Acrlight).
"'Pines' had an outstanding opening weekend with strong box office momentum on Friday and Saturday," Focus said. "The individual theater's box office indicates that 'Pines' is playing to a broad age group. The Arclight and Sunshine typically play to a younger adult audience and the Landmark and Lincoln Sq to an older demographic. The grosses in these houses indicate that 'Pines' is in demand with both demos. That balance in age demographic carries important potential for box office as the film expands."

"'Pines' expands on April 5th (adding an additional 13 markets) and again on April 12th (opening in an additional 77 markets).

Rodney Ascher's documentary "Room 237," meanwhile, also found some very strong numbers. A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick's film "The Shining," IFC Films saw "Room" gross $36,000 from 2 theaters in New York, averaging $18,000. What's more, the film's day-and-date release on VOD saw it take the #1 spot on both the Independent and Horror charts on iTunes all weekend.  

Both "Pines" and "Room" will expand the coming weeks, and Indiewire will keep you updated in both regards. For now, check out the below list of numbers for reporting openers and holdovers, ranked by per-theater-average (that includes "Spring Breakers," which crossed the $10 million mark in weekend three).

"Room 237."
"Room 237."
The Debuts:

1. The Place Beyond The Pines
Distributor: Focus Features
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $270,184
Theaters: 4
Average: $67,546
Cumulative Total:  $270,184

2. Room 237
Distributor: IFC Films
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $36,000
Theaters: 2
Average: $18,000
Cumulative Total:  $26,000

3. Renoir
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $63,663
Theaters: 6
Average: $10,610
Cumulative Total: $63,663

4. Blancanieves
Distributor: Cohen Media Group
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $25,102
Theaters: 4
Average: $6,276
Cumulative Total:  $25,102

5. Wrong
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $17,964
Theaters: 16
Average: $1,122
Cumulative Total:  $17,964

Check out the next page for holdover grosses.