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Every year, a slew of smaller budget movies are created with the hope that they'll resonate with a wide audience and maybe even win an award nod or two. Many of these movies fade from public memory rather quickly, but some do go on to see success at the box office and we're pleased to report that this week one of those movies broke through. The Big Sick was only released in five theaters this weekend, but it nabbed the highest per theater average of a film this year.
The Big Sick, which comes from Silicon Valley's Kumail Nanjiani, opened in New York and Los Angeles this weekend and will be going wide in the coming weeks. The latest box office reports from Box Office Mojo indicate that the movie made $435,000 during its opening weekend, which means it averaged $87,000 per theater. For comparison, the other higher profile indie this weekend, Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled, brought in $240,545 in four theaters, an average of $60,136 per theater. As you can see The Big Sick did a little better, but it's been a good weekend for movies overall.
To really give you an idea of how big an $87,000 per theater average is, prior to this weekend Disney's Beauty and the Beast had the largest per theater average in 2017, bringing in $41,508 per theater. It's easier to average a higher number if a movie is in fewer theaters, but for that to be possible for an indie, a lot of interest has to be drummed up. Clearly, in the case of The Big Sick and also The Beguiled, there was more than enough interest.
The movie was a joint venture between Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, and as such will eventually be showing up on Amazon Video. Head of marketing at Amazon Studios Bob Berney told Deadline that the movie found success mostly because it offers something different at the box office, noting:
Kumail and Emily's true story provided audiences of all ages a much-needed alternative to the summer blockbusters. Michael Showalter's film delivers the laughs and heartfelt moments that will propel it through the summer.
The movie, directed by Michael Showalter, is about the real-life courtship of Kumail Nanjiana and his now-wife Emily Gordon. It explores an interracial relationship and the various reactions of the family members of both characters to the relationship, especially after Emily ends up in the hospital. We'll have to wait and see how many people are interested once the movie goes wide, but with a dearth of romantic comedies coming out over the next couple of months, we're pretty hopeful.