’12 Years A Slave’ Wins The Box Office In Limited Release

October 22, 2013  |  

Gravity is out of this world! The film has solidified its place as No.1 for three consecutive weeks. “The movie featuring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney has joined  Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Fast & Furious 6 as the only pictures to claim three weekend crowns,” this year, USA Today added. The box-office hit raked in a total of $170.6 million.

But the real story might be 12 Years a Slave, the film about a Black man kidnapped into slavery starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. The critically-acclaimed movie was only been shown in 19 theaters and still pulled in $960,000 in total. Each location grabbed $50,000 — “one of the top averages ever for a movie opening in that number of theaters,” The Hollywood Reporter says.

Many critics agree with CNN’s label of 12 Years a Slave: “agonizingly magnificent.” While the pain-filled portrayal of slavery may cause the viewers to grimace, audience members are captivated by the protagonist Solomon Northup. “It’s Ejiofor’s extraordinary performance that holds 12 Years a Slave together. He gives Solomon a deep inner strength, yet he never softens the nightmare of his existence. His ultimate pain isn’t the beatings or the humiliation. It’s being ripped from his family,” CNN said.

After The Help, The Butler and Django Unchained there might be some surprise that yet another race-conscious film is capturing audience attention. ThinkProgress explained it best:

Unlike Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), the housekeeper in The Help, who goes from quiet acceptance of her lot to speaking her mind, or Django (Jamie Foxx), who begins Django Unchained in irons and ends it galloping off towards freedom with his wife, Solomon spends much of 12 Years A Slave traveling an opposite trajectory.

While the main characters from The Help and Django Unchained were somewhat bound in the beginning of the film, Solomon — being born a free man — lived and breathed liberty until he was forced into the brutality of slavery in 1841.

The film, which was released by Fox Searchlight in select theaters, reached primarily two types of audiences: African-Americans (of course) and the art house and cinema-nerds. However, this critic-favorite plans to reach different targets as it expands to 100 theaters next week.

If you’re wondering where the movie Carrie falls in with the movie frenzy, the thriller landed at No. 3 behind Captain PhillipsTom Hanks’ maritime thriller.

Have you seen any of these? Tell us what you thought!

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