Feature films starring African Americans and backed by black filmmakers have been doing mega box office lately. But this weekend, not all fared well. The much-hyped Black Nativity, a $17.5 million film featuring such mega stars as Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson, finished outside the top 5 despite all the marketing hype surrounding it. The movie pulled in just $5 million since Wednesday, reports Entertainment Weekly.
And it was even worse news for veteran filmmaker Spike Lee. His remake Oldboy grossed an embarrassing $1.3 million from 583 theaters between Wednesday until Sunday ($850,000 between Friday and Sunday). “The film’s awful $1,458 per-theater average won’t merit further expansion in the weeks to come,” notes EW. Lee’s flick is a reinterpretation of the violent cult 2003 South Korean film from director Park Chan-wook. One wonders why Lee wanted to remake a film whose original grossed a mere $850,000, except that the movie has gained a bit of cult status from those in the know.
The Best Man Holiday stayed in the top 5, coming in fourth with a weekend gross another $11.1 million over five days ($8.5 million for the traditional weekend frame). In all, Universal’s $17-million comedy sequel has now raked in $63.4 million total. And due to its success another sequel is already in the works.
Meanwhile, the much-lauded Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has set a box office record in South Africa where it opened on Thursday. Moviegoers there were eager to see the film about their national hero and there are reports that some even took the day off work to attend screenings in cities and in the countryside, reports Deadline.com (via EUR).
The film starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris was No. 1 at the box office with $73,747 for a per-screen average of $858. This equals about 23,000 admissions and is a record for a non-holiday Thursday, according to Videovision.
It will be curious to see how the film does in America; it was released on Friday in New York and Los Angeles.