Hotel Mumbai‘s prospects in the US look very promising after Anthony Maras’ thriller played to full houses in its platform release in Los Angeles and New York last weekend.
Bleecker Street launched the film co-written by Maras and John Collee, which stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher and Tilda Cobham-Hervey, at four cinemas, grossing $88,065 for a per-screen average of $22,016.
Hotel Mumbai was the No. 1 film at the Angelika and third at Lincoln Square in New York behind Jordan Peele’s Us (which rang up a superb $71.1 million nationwide in its debut) and Captain Marvel.
The thriller produced by Basil Iwanyk, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan, Andrew Ogilvie and Jomon Thomas ranked second behind Us at the Landmark and the Arclight in LA.
Bleecker Street’s Jack Foley told Deadline there were sell-outs and near-sell outs at all four locations, from matinees through to evening sessions.
“Those heavy matinee and post prime evening sales trends reveal Mumbai’s broad demographic attraction with older matinee patrons and younger ticket buyers who attend later evening shows,” Foley said.
Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures, which co-acquired the US rights after The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy, plan to expand the release to 800-plus screens next Friday.
ShivHans has financed a number of Bleecker Street acquisitions including Jay Roach’s Oscar-nominated Trumbo (which grossed $7.8 million in 2015) and Brad Anderson’s war drama Beirut ($5 million).
Generally positive reviews helped Maras’ film. The Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan praised the director’s strategy of combining harrowing re-creations with largely conventional character development, observing: “What Hotel Mumbai does best is re-create — to an at times unrelenting extent — what the terror and confusion of being in this kind of situation must be like.”
Rolling Stone’s Pete Travers said Maras brings a Hitchcockian feel for suspense and a documentarian’s eye for detail to the brutal events and he creates a sense of actual lives hanging in the balance.
Travers predicted that releasing the film so soon after the grisly carnage in Christchurch will fuel the ethical debate about “gilding the lily of real-life horror” and marketing it as entertainment.
In Australia the Icon release scored $632,000 in its second weekend, easing by 35 per cent, hoisting the total to a solid $2.06 million.