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With foreign grosses now accounting for a larger percentage of total takes, studios have begun to think about how individual movies might play in specific countries outside of the United States. Whether it be incorporating actors and specific themes that will play well in certain parts of the world or shooting scenes in foreign countries, ways to maximize a film’s appeal are now actively being brainstormed the second funding is secured. Luckily for some, however, the subject matter can be a huge draw in certain places on its own. Take for example, Nelson Mandela and South Africa.
Idris Elba’s latest Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom follows the Civil Rights leader and one-time President of South Africa as he experiences the highs and lows of life, going from poverty in the deeply segregated country to prison and later to the highest office in the land. It’s been getting some award buzz, especially concerning the lead actor’s performance, and let the record show it has gone over very well in Mandela’s native South Africa. According to Deadline, the film grossed more than $70,000 there on Thursday, which might be a drop in the bucket compared to the States but is more money than film has ever grossed in South Africa on a non-holiday Thursday ever.
You can go ahead and check out the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom below…
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom begins playing in limited release in the United States this weekend. In order to try and drive up interest from potential award season voters, The Weinstein Company has agreed to offer free tickets to anyone in the Screen Actors Guild who would like to attend. In theory, that could hurt the film’s bottom line a little bit, but if Elba is able to secure an Academy Award nomination, it would pay huge dividends in terms of the number of people motivated to hit the theater and see it.
Long Walk To Freedom definitely won’t be breaking any box office records in the United States, but hopefully, the film will be able to find an audience of dedicated movie fans interested in seeing challenging, real life stories. We’ll keep you updated on the film’s run through theaters as it progresses.