Eddie Redmayne’s ‘Danish Girl’ Off to Solid Start at Specialty Box Office

Film’s $46K average in four theaters is behind that of “Carol,” “Spotlight” and “Brooklyn” in crowded holiday marketplace

Awards hopeful “The Danish Girl” is off to a solid start, averaging $46,250 from four theaters in its limited box office debut over weekend.

The R-rated drama starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender character, Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery brought in $185,000 from two theaters in Los Angeles and two in New York for Focus Features.

That puts it in the middle of the pack in terms of Oscar contenders’ limited openings, but with the crowded holiday film lineup, the Tom Hooper-directed “Danish Girl” may have faced the toughest competition.

Its opening average is under the $63,458 that “Carol” averaged in its four-theater limited debut for The Weinstein Company last weekend, and the $59,000 that another Oscar hopeful, “Spotlight,” averaged in its five-theater opening for Open Road Films three weeks ago. But it is higher than the $29,575 that “Room” averaged in four theaters for A24, and the $14,835 average that “Trumbo” managed in its five-theater rollout in October.

“Brooklyn” and “Spotlight” continued to ace their expansion tests.

Fox Searchlight added 734 theaters for “Brooklyn” and the PG-13-rated drama, written by Nick Hornby, directed by John Crowley and starring Saoirse Ronan, cracked the top ten at No. 9. It took in $4.8 million from 835 theaters for the five days, giving it a $5,740 per-screen average and lifting its domestic total to $7.2 million.

It finished just behind “Spotlight,” which stayed a step ahead of the pack with a strong fourth weekend. The drama about the Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic Church molestation scandal finished eighth nationally with $5.7 million after expanding from 600 to 897 theaters. That’s an impressive $6,384 per-location average for the drama written and directed by Tom McCarthy, and its domestic total is now $12.3 million.

Bleecker Street took its Blacklist drama “Trumbo,” starring Bryan Cranston, from 50 to 616 theaters in its fourth weekend and it brought in $1,9 million for a $3,124 per-location average.

TWC kept the Cate Blanchett drama “Carol” in four theaters in its second week and it brought in $276,039, a 20 percent drop from its first week and a roughly 69,000 per-location average.