Darren Aronofsky has made a huge comeback with a spectactular opening day from his new drama, The Wrestler. On Wednesday, the Fox Searchlight feature opened to $46,928 from just 4 theaters for a $11,732 per theather average, or nearly quadruple the average posted by fellow Searchlight film, Slumdog Millionaire, on it’s opening Wednesday. Millionaire has grossed nearly $10 million so far in limited release. Wrestler’s opening day was driven by some of the year’s best reviews, which give high praise to Mickey Rourke’s performance and Aronofsky’s direction. Word of mouth appears to be stellar judging by its already high placement in imdb’s Top 250.
Going into the weekend the per theater average should exceed $70,000, which would be the highest of the year. As for its long term prospects, even in an increasingly crowded award season playing field, The Wrestler will easily make it into wide release. The box office performance could resemble or exceed last year’s late December Oscar contender, There Will Be Blood, which finished with an impressive $40 million.
Box Office Data Source: The Numbers