Riding a wave of awards season buzz and critical acclaim, the Hollywood-set musical “La La Land” launched in five theaters over the weekend and topped the indie box office.
Starring a singing and dancing Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s film earned an estimated $855,000 on its debut weekend, representing the highest per-location average of all time in five theaters.
The film’s estimated $171,000 per screen average is also the second-highest per location average of all time.
It’s also the highest per-location average of the year.
The film centers on Gosling as a jazz pianist and Stone as an aspiring actress. They fall in deeply in love, but their relationship is tested as their careers go in different directions.
“La La Land,” distributed by Lionsgate in the U.S., also features Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko and John Legend. It has a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and is earning major awards buzz, winning Best Film from the New York Film Critics Circle earlier this month.
Fox Searchlight’s “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman, made $495,000 as it played in 26 locations during its second weekend for a strong per screen average of $19,038.
The Weinstein Company’s “Lion” continued to roar in its third weekend with a per screen average of $11,461 as it played in 15 theaters for $171,909.
“Manchester by the Sea” from Roadside Attractions expanded to 366 locations in its fourth frame, earning $3.2 million. That represents a healthy per screen average of $8,621.