Art and Experience: Lionsgate’s awards contender “La La Land” is off to a sizzling start with about $300,000 on Friday at five theaters in Los Angeles and New York, early estimates showed.

Should the romantic comedy-drama, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, maintain that pace through the weekend, “La La Land” would wind up with around $800,000 to $900,000 for the three days. That would give it $160,000 to $180,000 per location — by far the top figure of 2016.

A24 set the best mark of the year for a platform release in late October when its coming-of-age drama “Moonlight debuting to $414,740 in just four New York and Los Angeles theaters for a per-screen average of $103,685.

“La La Land” could post the best opening weekend for a platform release since “The Grand Budapest Hotel” took in $811,116 from four theaters for a location average of $202,792 in March, 2014. “Budapest Hotel” is the ninth-highest limited opening ever with  “The Lion King” at the top with $1.6 million at two sites.

Lionsgate plans to expand “La La Land,” directed by Damien Chazelle, to about 200 locations on Dec. 16 and go wider on Dec. 25. The movie won the top film award from the New York Film Critics Circle and was named as one of AFI’s Top 10 Films of the year.

Stone stars as an aspiring actress while Gosling portrays a jazz musician. Lionsgate and Black Label media co-financed the $30 million project, which carries a 96% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.