“Beyond The Lights” Has Disappointing Opening Weekend With $6.5M In Receipts

November 17, 2014  |  

Beyond the Lights, the latest film from Belle star Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Secret Life of Bees director Gina Prince-Bythewood, debuted this weekend in a distant fourth place with only $6.5 million at the box office. The top spot went to Dumb and Dumber To (ugh!) with $38.1 million. In number two was the family movie Big Hero 6 with $36 million. And Interstellar came in third with $29 million.

Gone Girl, which has been in theaters for seven weeks, still managed to stay in the top five with $4.6 million, behind Beyond the Lights. 

Beyond the Lights opened in 1,187 theaters, but only averaged $3,633 per screen. According to Indie Wire, theaters will start removing the movie by week’s end as a result. The site suggests some reasons why the film fell short: It was released alongside big time Oscar contenders, it’s lacking in big names to draw an audience, the one big name it has — Prince-Bythewood whose previous work is well known, particularly among Black audiences — wasn’t emphasized, publicity overall was lacking, and what publicity there was didn’t sell the movie as anything more than a run-of-the-mill love story.

On that last point, I was talking about that with the other ladies here at MN on Friday and said the same exact thing. The only thing I could recall from the trailer was the two leads flirting with each other on a couch. I didn’t even notice that Mbatha-Raw had purple hair.

While it does have, according to reviews, romantic qualities, the film has also gotten really positive reviews for its complexity and rich storytelling. Slate went so far as to call out the leads with the headline “‘Beyond the Lights’ Had Better Make Stars of Its Two Hot Leads.”

There’s still time to catch Beyond the Lights in theaters. But anyone interested needs to act fast.

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