Stephen Hawking Drama ‘Theory of Everything’ Brilliant in Limited Opening

The romance starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones averages $41,000 on five screens in debut

Oscar hopeful “The Theory of Everything” got off to a sizzling start at the specialty box office this weekend.

Director James Marsh‘s drama about the relationship between astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane, played by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, took in $207,000 from just five theaters.

That’s an impressive $41,400 per-theater average for the film, making it the fourth-best limited debut this year after “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Birdman” and “Boyhood.”

“It’s a tremendous love story,” said Focus Features distribution chief Jim Orr, “and an outstanding film with amazing performances and tremendous direction, and audiences reacted accordingly.”

“The Theory of Everything” drew a crowd that was 60 percent female and 67 percent over the age of 30.

The exit polls were strong, according to Orr, and Focus will expand to about 40 runs in 18 mainly art house and upscale markets next weekend.

The target is to go nationwide by Thanksgiving, which will give the film time to find its audience and in theory generate more awards buzz for the film, Marsh and its two young stars.

“That can only help,” Orr said.