‘Ex Machina’ Comes Alive With Year’s Best Debut at Specialty Box Office

British sci-fi film written and directed by Alex Garland averages $62,489 in four theaters for A24

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The British sci-fi film “Ex Machina” posted the best specialty box-office debut of the year this weekend, taking in $249,956 from just four theaters.

That’s an impressive $62,489 per-theater average for the R-rated British sci-fi thriller written and directed by Alex Garland.

It tells the story of a computer coder (Domhnall Gleeson) who is hooked up with a artificially intelligent robot called “Ava” (Alicia Vikander) by his boss (Oscar Isaac). The well-reviewed film — it’s at 90 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes — is distributed by A24.

It was a good weekend for independent films, which helped fill the void created as the studios largely steered clear of the blockbuster “Furious 7.”

The Weinstein Company’s Helen Mirren-Ryan Reynolds arty drama “Woman in Gold” took in $5.6 million in its second-week expansion for seventh on the national chart.

The teen horror film “It Follows” was next with $2.6 million from 1,633 locations for Radius Dimension. Its domestic total is up $12.4 million after five weeks.

Writer-director Dan Fogelman’s “Danny Collins” was ninth for Bleecker Street with $1.5 million from 739 theaters. It’s the story of an aging rock star (Al Pacino) who decides to change his life when he discovers a 40-year-old letter written to him by John Lennon. Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner co-star.

And A24’s “While We Were Young,” a comedy starring Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller, rounded out the top ten with $1.3 million from 246 theaters.