Box Office (Specialty): 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Shines

The critically acclaimed film marks the best limited start ever for Joel and Ethan Coen; "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" sees strong hold after the death of Nelson Mandela.

Scoring a major victory, CBS Films' awards contender Inside Llewyn Davis opened to $402,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a stellar location average of $100,500.

That's the best theater average of the year so far after Sony Pictures Classics' Blue Jasmine ($102,011), as well as the best number ever for directors Joel and Ethan Coen. Their previous best was A Serious Man ($41,890).

CBS Films says Inside Llewyn Davis -- which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in May before snagging best picture at last week's Gotham Awards -- marks the seventh-best specialty opening of the last decade in terms of screen average.

STORY: The Making of 'Inside Llewyn Davis' 

Inside Llewyn Davis will begin expanding on Dec. 20, but won't be playing nationwide until January.

Produced by Scott Rudin, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund.

Among holdovers, biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom fell only 8 percent in its second weekend after news of Nelson Mandela's death in South Africa on Thursday. He was 95.

From The Weinstein Co., Mandela is playing in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $77,652 for the weekend for a location average of $19,413, the second best of the weekend.

Mandela, which will expand nationwide on Christmas Day, stars Idris Elba as the iconic civil rights leader.