Already a hit overseas, ‘Marigold Hotel’ has strong U.S. debut

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‘The Avengers’ may have dominated the box office this weekend, but that didn’t stop a handful of older moviegoers from checking in on ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.’

The well-reviewed film, which follows seven British retirees on a trip to India, debuted in 27 domestic theaters this weekend and collected $750,301, according to an estimate from distributor Fox Searchlight. That means the film notched a strong per-theater average of $27,789.


Heading into the weekend, ‘Marigold Hotel’ was already a hit overseas with its international gross of $70 million. Playing in 17 foreign countries this weekend, the movie grossed an additional $1.3 million, raising its tally abroad to $72.4 million. The well-reviewed picture has performed best in the United Kingdom, where many of its stars — including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson — hail from.

The film succeeded in the U.S. this weekend due to interest from the Baby Boomer crowd, Searchlight said. A number of matinee screenings for the movie were sold out, indicating that older adult audiences were the key demographic for the film, according to the studio’s Executive Vice President Sheila DeLoach.

Searchlight and partner Participant Media financed the picture for $12 million after rebates and tax credits.

Next weekend, the movie will expand to 24 markets and will play in about 150 theaters. By Memorial Day, Searchlight hopes the picture will be in around 800 locations.


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— Amy Kaufman