“42” Smacks $27.3-million Home Run in Debut, Wins Weekend Box Office

"42" smacks box-office home run

Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in “42,” which did better than expected at the box office this weekend.(Warner Bros.)
Jackie Robinson beat the odds again this weekend, as a film about the player who broke baseball’s color barrier outperformed at the box office.  42,” which tells the story of the first African American Major League Baseball player, debuted as the highest-grossing movie with a robust $27.3 million this weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. That figure far exceeded prerelease industry polling, which suggested the film would start off with about $21 million.

Those who saw “42” this weekend loved it, assigning the film a rare perfect average grade of A+, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That’s great news for Warner Bros. Nearly every film that has earned an A+, including such movies as “The Avengers” and “The Help,”  has gone on to become a commercial hit.  “42” attracted both genders in nearly equal measure and played well with all races in suburbs and in cities. The picture drew an older crowd, however, with 59% of the audience over 35. Dan Fellman, the studio’s president of domestic distribution, said that indicated the resonance of Robinson’s tale with those familiar with his story.

“Most adults remember what he accomplished and the purpose of what he did for not only baseball but the betterment of mankind,” Fellman said. “I think the story is proving to be a lot greater than many people had anticipated.”  “42,” which stars Hollywood newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson alongside Harrison Ford, was financed by Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures for $40 million. The movie is set in 1947, when Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, illuminating the country’s racial tensions. 

article by Amy Kaufman via latimes.com

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