‘Dear White People’ Helps Score One Of The Year’s Best Indie Box Office Weekends

October 21, 2014  |  

Did you go see Dear White People over the weekend? Well, a lot of people are curious about the Justin Simien flick and it along with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman gave the year’s best weekend for indie’s at the box office.

Even though both had limited debuts, they turned out great numbers. In fact, Birdman had one of the best limited debuts of all time. It took in an impressive $415,000 from just four theaters (yes, only four!) to average $103,750. “That makes it one of only 10 live action films to average north of $100,000, and the company it joins is pretty impressive: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Dreamgirls, American Hustle, Brokeback Mountain, Precious, Blue Jasmine  and Inside Llewyn Davis,” reports Indiewire.

Dear White People opened in 11 theaters this weekend and grossed $344,136, averaging an amazing $31,285.  The Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate film was sold out many of its theaters. The success was due in part to creative social media marketing.

“We created an event with Dear White People via continuous social media engagement, complemented with traditional PR and college outreach that attracted a young and diverse audience to theaters,” Roadside’s Howard Cohen said. “Exit polls showed 77 percent of the audience was in the 21 to 39 age range, with 29 percent between the ages of 21 to 24 — younger than the typical specialty-film audience.”

Dear White People expands to 350 theaters in the top 75 markets on October 24th. The film is sparking a lot of conversation and buzz. The movie “is an ensemble piece set at the fictional Winchester University, where four black students with opposing points-of-view struggle to find their identities on a mostly white campus,” reports Complex.

Starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zack Galifianakis,  Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough, Birdman is a black comedy about an actor who is famous for portraying an iconic superhero but is about to star in a serious Broadway play. It will add 18 new markets  on October 24, bringing its total theater count to 45 to 50 locations.

Below is an interview that Dear White People director Justin Simien recently did with Stephen Colbert.

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