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Sidney Lumet’s dark crime drama “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” posted the best per-screen average among specialty pics slugging it out at the weekend box office, while Roadside Attractions’ inspirationally themed “Bella” also debuted strongly.

“Devil,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke, opened at an estimated $73,500 from two theaters in Gotham for a healthy per-screen average of $36,750. Also starring Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei, the film tells the story of two brothers who decide to rob their parents’ jewelry store.

“Bella” debuted at an estimated $1.3 million from 165 theaters in key markets across the country for a per-screen average of $8,026.

Roadside targeted faith-based auds and Latinos in marketing the English-language “Bella,” which won the people’s choice award at the Toronto Film Fest in 2006. Film stars Mexican telenovela star Eduardo Verastegui.

The Weinstein Co.’s docu “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song” posted strong numbers in its debut at the Film Forum in New York, where it grossed an estimated $12,500. Film opens in L.A. on Nov. 16.

Conversely, it was tough going for several other new limited entires, including Sony Pictures Classics docu “Jimmy Carter Man From Plains,” which debuted at an estimated $10,573 from seven runs for a per-screen average of $1,510. MGM’s “Music Within” debuted at $45,000 from 17 runs for a per-screen average of $2,647.

Pics expanding over the weekend included TWC’s Ian Curtis biopic “Control,” which grossed an estimated $97,000 as it expanded to 17 runs for a cume of $219,000 and per-screen average of $5,100.

Ang Lee’s erotic thriller “Lust, Caution” grossed an estimated $470,872 for a per-screen average of $3,293 as it rolled out in an additional 18 theaters for a total run count of 143.

Ryan Gosling starrer “Lars and the Real Girl” grossed an estimated $952,000 as it expanded to 296 runs for a per-screen average of $3,216 and a cume of $1.3 million.

“The Darjeeling Limited” grossed an estimated $1.7 million as Fox Searchlight expanded the film to 698 theaters for a per-screen average of $2,486 and a cume of $6.1 million.

Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” from Paramount Vantage, grossed an estimated $1.6 million as it expanded to 658 theaters for a per-screen average of $2,482 and cume of $9 million.