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by Peter Knegt
November 7, 2009 5:38 AM
5 Comments
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Box Office: "Precious" Soars On Opening Night; Averages $32K

Anyone skeptical of the box office power of Lee Daniels' "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire" should brace themselves. Last night, on 18 theaters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, the film took in $585,000, finding a first day average of $32,500, according to distributor Lionsgate.

The film sold out most of its shows, having to add prints to make up for the demand. Even with a massive drop off on Saturday, which we have no real reason to believe will happen, "Precious" is en route to grossing at least $1 million in its first weekend out, and could see itself averaging anywhere from $65,000 to $85,000.

For a film on 18 screens, that would be a truly stunning number, placing it within the top 25 per-theater-averages of all time. What's more the current top 25 are all films opening in 1-8 theaters, making "Precious"'s 18 seem wide by comparison.

indieWIRE will have a full report on "Precious"'s opening weekend tomorrow afternoon.

5 Comments

  • carlmartin360 | November 8, 2009 6:43 AMReply

    Those Saturday numbers will not be falling off. I saw it this afternoon at The Lankmark in Los Angeles. The house was jam packed and there was a line for the next showing developing as I exited. And after seeing it, I now get all the Oscar buzz. It's really good.

  • nhpbob | November 8, 2009 5:38 AMReply

    Miles, it's called platforming. A practice in film distribution for decades...especially when a studio feels they have Oscar gold on their hands, and they want to pace themselves all the way to wide release in February, as they collect accolades and awards (and growing box office) along the way.

  • milesmaker | November 8, 2009 4:09 AMReply

    Can someone explain why "Precious" opened in so few theaters?

    When your film wins 3 coveted awards at Sundance--then wins Toronto, and then gets backed by two of the most influential people in America with regards to their devoted audiences (Oprah and Tyler Perry) where's the logic in 4 cities and 18 theaters?? And DON'T say edgy subject matter!

    "Precious" should have been released in >1,000 theaters on opening weekend. Simply consider the social media tremors, word of mouth from select screenings and all the FREE advertising in addition to the traditional fare.

    Those cowering group of idiots over at Lionsgate...


    Miles Maker
    Writer/Director of 'Brown Baby'
    The totally FREE movie you can share, remix, re-use and rediscover!
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  • michaelny | November 7, 2009 9:56 AMReply

    Or if Spielberg decides you movie is really scary.

  • hardy jenns | November 7, 2009 8:54 AMReply

    Well, there you go. Independent film, provided it's massively hyped by Oprah, Tyler Perry, and the New York Times, can succeed.

    This bodes well.