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‘Brooklyn’s’ Finest’ draws African American moviegoers

‘Brooklyn’s’ fine opening “Alice in Wonderland,” made the competition seem small in its opening weekend, but the cop drama “Brooklyn’s Finest” managed to do solid business, largely by appealing to African American moviegoers in big cities. Overture Films opened the Antoine Fuqua-directed film, which stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes to a respectable $13.5 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend. According to exit polls, 86% of attendees were nonwhite and an estimated 60% were African American. Fuqua’s most successful film to date was another gritty cop tale, 2001’s “Training Day,” which opened to $22.6 million; it costarred Hawke and Denzel Washington, who won a lead actor Oscar for the role. “We did best in big-city markets, and the East Coast was really strong,” said Kyle Davies, Overture’s executive vice president of distribution. The movie cost$20 million to make and was a hot property at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the now- defunct distribution arm of Senator Films bought the rights. Overture ultimately bought domestic distribution rights for a little less than $3 million. It’s the second decent opening in a row for Overture, following last week’s horror movie “The Crazies.” The small studio’s future is in doubt as corporate owner Liberty Media considers selling or shutting down its film assets.-- Ben Fritz


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