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“The Intouchables” Opens Strong On Just 4 Screens; Expands To 50 This Weekend

"The Intouchables" Opens Strong On Just 4 Screens; Expands To 50 This Weekend

I completely forgot about this earlier this week – the so-called specialty box office for last weekend; and what a weekend it was to miss, because The Intouchables, the award-winning French buddy comedy starring Omar Sy, openned on 4 screens last week Friday, in the USA, and went on to gross $137,000 over the 4-day holiday weekend.

That number might not seem impressive at first, but when you take the number of screens it played on, there lies a tale worth telling. It’s all in the averages. And The Intouchables averaged a whopping $34,000 per screen!

That figure made it the second best performing film (if looking at per screen averages) last weekend, behind Wes Anderson’s well-received Moonrise Kingdom – a film that had far more brand recognition we could say, in terms of the director, the starring cast (Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and others), and it’s English-language film, unlike The Intouchables

Its per screen average even beat out the number 1 grossing film last weekend, Men In Black 3, which opened on 4,244 more screens than The Intouchables did. 

And this weekend, as expected, The Weinstein Company (distributors of the film) added another 46 screens, for a total of 50 screens around the country where the film is playing; I’m looking forward to seeing how it does this weekend, now that it’s wider release. 

I won’t be surprised if its number of screens increases next weekend as well.

But, suffice it to say that the film is doing well. At least, it opened strong, meaning there’s a lot of interest in it. I’m curious to know what its audience demo is.

I saw it a few weeks ago, and reviewed onm S&A last week, before it opened. You can read my review HERE if you missed it (I didn’t care for the film much); also, Jasmin interviewed the star, Omar Sy himself, earlier last week, in which he addressed the backlash the film has received here in the USA, against what some consider racist depictions of black people (specifically, the character he plays) in the film; read that interview HERE if you missed that as well.

The film is enjoying a 77% Fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.

So check your local listings this weekend if you’re interested in checking it out for yourselves; it might be playing somewhere close by.

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Saw The Intouchables this weekend. It's more a drama with a few laughs or is it more a drama with a lot of laughs. It's funny. R-rated humor funny. And surprisingly, it's got a lot of heart. It's the 2nd best movie I've seen this year, after the Avengers.

I have never posted before but Shadowandact has made The Intouchables sound like a minstrel show and it's not so I wish to clarify that issue. If you consider Eddie Murphy's character in Trading Places stereotypical then you might find Omar Sy's character a stereotype though it never goes as far as that movie does. Anyway, there are more stereotypical and more offensive behavior in a Chris Rock directed movie. If you laughed to those, you will laugh at this largely because it's funnier.

Omar Sy's character Dris is just young and black. The movie does not dwell on his color of skin. His character could have been any immigrant, Serbian, North African, and all the other ethnic groups straddling the perimeters of French society. It's more rich vs poor, introverted vs extroverted, the right side of society vs the wrong side of society.

Regarding stereotypes, Dris doesn't listen to classical music. Who does really, if you are not old and white. If it was about stereotypes, they would have had him into rap music which is what dominates young blacks in France. Dris instead listens to 70s classic soul.
He is a painter. He knows who Berlioz, Bach or that painter he name checks at the end. They just don't influence his art.

The movie is a delight, thankfully bereft of stereotypes that reviews have claimed is there. Don't think it can be a big "hit" unless the Weinstein Co. find a way to reach the 25-40 years old. The average age of the audience in my theatre The Landmark, Los Angeles was closer to 55 and this movie is much more of a young person's movie. In other countries, they've found a way to reach that demographic. Here's wishing the Weinsteins luck.

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