Although all eyes were on Pacific Rim and Grown Ups 2 over the weekend, writer-director Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed drama Fruitvale Station quietly did impressive business in limited release.
The film tells the story of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot and killed at point-blank range by a transit police officer. In a strange twist of fate, the drama opened in theaters on the same weekend that George Zimmerman’s verdict was announced.
According to BET News, Fruitvale Station was a hit in limited release over the weekend. The film earned a very tidy $377,285 from just seven theaters. The per-screen average was an impressive $53,898. The flick sold more tickets per theater this weekend than many of its competitors.
While many believe the George Zimmerman trial may have helped Fruitvale Station get some free publicity, The Weinstein Company’s Erik Lomis told Deadline that the picture succeeded simply because it’s a good film.
“It’s a counter-programmer to the summer popcorn fare. It’s a movie that really makes you think and makes you look inside. It has a great message about a tragic situation and we’re proud of the film and the talent. These numbers speak for themselves,” Lomis explained.
He added, “[‘Fruitvale Station’ has] a similar issue and in the public sphere — we didn’t plan that of course. I think our picture has a very important message and we want as many people to see it as possible.”
On the other end of the box office, both Pacific Rim and Grown Ups 2 couldn’t beat the animated comedy Despicable Me 2 over the weekend. Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s sequel pulled in approximately $44 million from moviegoers. This helped push its domestic total to $229 million.
Fruitvale Station is currently slated to expand into more theaters next weekend.