Magnolia Pictures’ Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro packed in audiences over the weekend, putting it on track to be one of the year’s highest-grossing non-fiction films. Magnolia bowed the Toronto premiere directed by Raoul Peck in 43 theaters, grossing $709K. Paladin’s Chapter & Verse, however, technically scored the weekend’s best per theater average, opening in a single location taking in $32K. The weekend’s widest opener in limited release, The Comedian starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann chuckled with over $1.1M. Abramorama’s documentary Mr. Gaga, meanwhile, danced out the gate with a $24K gross in two theaters, and Good Deed Entertainment’s Growing Up Smith saw nearly $19K in five locations. Cohen Media Group added over three dozen runs for its Best Foreign Language nominee The Salesman holding strong with a nearly $237K gross in its second frame. The Weinstein Company added 830 runs vs. last weekend for Lion, which is up for six Academy Awards, taking in just over $4M. Bleecker Street’s Paterson and Sony Pictures Classics’ Julieta crossed box office thresholds this weekend, while A24’s Moonlight is closing in on $20M.
I Am Not Your Negro, with narration by Samuel L. Jackson, tells the story of race in modern America through James Baldwin’s unfinished novel Remember This House. Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated doc launched in 43 locations in 18 markets this weekend, a big number that acknowledges the appeal of the film, which grossed $709K, averaging $16,500.
Magnolia said it added showtimes “to accommodate the rush of patrons.” The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Forum in New York are both on target to break their historical house records for an opening weekend gross, according to the distributor, with both theaters selling out every show Friday and Saturday and into Sunday. AMC’s Magic Johnson theater in Harlem grossed $42K.
Magnolia said Sunday the company will expand I Am Not Your Negro aggressively in the next two weeks.
Watch the trailer below:
SOURCE: Deadline – Brian Brooks