Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is far from typical box office fare. Nevertheless, the film is enjoying quite a bit of success in this department, particularly when it comes to South African audiences. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Idris Elba starrer, which opened Thursday, is already the top earner in cinemas operated by the two major South African chains, Ster Kinekor and NuMetro, as well as the leading independent cinemas groups.
The Idris Elba and Naomie Watts starrer is enjoying a sgnificant boost from South African audiences.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which stars Elba as the South African revolutionary and Naomie Harris as Mandela’s wife, Winnie, an activist in her own right, has so far grossed $73,000 (or around 750,000 rand). These are just the proceeds from Thursday showings. The film has topped the previous record for the period and with just four showings per day, as opposed to the usual six. To put this into perspective, the movie opened as number one in the country, leaving even The Hunger Games: Catching Fire behind by 39%.
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South African producer Anant Singh, who spent 16 years developing the film, said to THR: "It is extremely gratifying for us as filmmakers to have our home audience embrace our film and react so positively to it. We are proud that a South African film is competing so well against one of the most anticipated sequels of all time."
The film opens in the US today (Friday, November 29). Unfortunately, it won’t get to enjoy the same success stateside as the film will only get a very limited release in four theatres, according to Screen Rant.
The film is slated to give both Elba and Harris a significant shot, come awards season.