Riding a wave of near-unanimous praise, Andrew Wagner's Starting Out in the Evening began its box office sojourn at the top, earning an estimated $11,610 per screen at seven theaters, according to Leonard Klady at Movie City News. Wagner previously made the fascinating dysfunctional family comedy drama The Talent Given Us, which starred his own family, but this time performances by non-family members Frank Langella and Lauren Ambrose have been roundly acclaimed. (Check out reviews by Cinematical's James Rocchi and Ryan Stewart.)

Todd Haynes' I'm Not There has received some ecstatic critical response, which translated into "encouraging but less than superlative response," in the words of Mr. Klady. By the numbers, the film made an estimated $5,310 per screen at 130 engagements, which actually sounds pretty good for an unconventional film that even the critics have had difficulty getting a handle on. (Read more: Cinematical reviews by James Rocchi and Jeffrey M. Anderson.)

The third new specialty release, Izuru Narushima's Midnight Eagle, barely opened, earning an estimated $1,630 per screen at two theaters. The action thriller also opened the Tokyo Film Festival but is probably most notable because it's the first time in memory that a Japanese film has opened day and date in Japan and the United States. Sadly, it was slaughtered by the few US critics who saw it, as recorded at Rotten Tomatoes.

Margot at the Wedding expanded from two to 35 theaters and continued to perform well, raking in $11,200 per screen, while No Country for Old Men jumped out into 860 theaters and made an estimated $9,000 per engagement. Mr. Klady pointed to three holdovers: Sean Penn's Into the Wild ($1,920 per screen), Alejandro Monteverde's Bella ($1,970 per screen) and Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ($3,190).