Rebecca Rubin Film and Media Reporter Ari Aster’s latest anxiety-inducer “Beau Is Afraid” is taking the indie box office by storm. The A24 film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as an apprehensive man who endures a lot over the course of three hours, grossed $320,396 on four screens in New York and Los Angeles. Those ticket sales translate to a sizable $80,099 per location, the biggest screen average of the year. It’s also the second-best per-screen-average for A24 after Adam Sandler’s “Uncut Gems.” Now, “Beau Is Afraid” needs to sustain its momentum as it expands nationwide next weekend. That’s been a struggle for plenty of indies in post-pandemic times, although A24 has managed to propel films like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Whale” to box office success. But “Tár,” “Triangle of Sadness” and other acclaimed arthouse films weren’t as successful in parlaying their huge screen averages — which is the key metric for platform releases — to robust theatrical runs. Those films fizzled after struggling to connect with mainstream audiences.