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.