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Judi Dench, Box Office Queen: ‘Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Hits $100 Million

Judi Dench, Box Office Queen: 'Exotic Marigold Hotel' Hits $100 Million

Never underestimate the power of demographic that’s almost always ignored. Fox Searchlight has announced that John Madden’s older-skewing “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has crossed the $100 million mark worldwide.

Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” depicts a group of British senior citizens who head to India to retire. It opened in North America three weeks ago, after already grossing nearly $80 million internationally.  In its native UK, it’s the fourth highest grossing film of the year, after “The Avengers,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Woman in Black”. Its also the fourth best international grossing film released worldwide by Fox Searchlight Pictures, behind only “Black Swan” ($224.6M), “The Full Monty” ($212M), and “The Descendants” ($93.2M).

But  a very successful wide expansion over Memorial Day weekend has pushed its worldwide gross past the century mark. And that marks quite the milestone.  It’s already topped the worldwide grosses of similar older-skewing hits like “The Queen” and “Calendar Girls,” and there’s likely much more where that came from.  The film is really just getting started Stateside. This weekend should see the film cross the $20 million mark, making it the only platform release to do so domestically in 2012. The $30 million mark is a certainty, and time will tell beyond that.

“’The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ continues to perform beyond our wildest expectations,” Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley said. “It is a true humanist story that resonates with audiences of all ages everywhere and is a return to pure character driven drama.  John Madden is a master storyteller and has drawn great performances from the crème de la crème of British cinema.”

Considering the quicky aging American population, perhaps the film’s performance should make others take notice. There’s a lot of folks out there the same age as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. And, clearly, they like to go to the movies too.

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