‘Downton Abbey’ Opens to $30 Million, Crushing Specialized Competition

  • Indiewire
‘Downton Abbey’ Opens to $30 Million, Crushing Specialized Competition
For core arthouses with access to “Downton Abbey,” this is a very lucky weekend. The theatrical-feature extension of the hit ITV/PBS English upper-crust soap opera opened to nearly $30 million, opening in over 3,000 theaters this weekend.

Not long ago, this is a film that would have opened limited, then gradually widened. However, for specialized films with brand-name recognition, this seems to be the trend: If you don’t need to spend time getting the word out, don’t. Push it wide and get it while the getting’s good.

Focus bet (correctly) that it held broad and immediate appeal, although that meant independent theaters had to share the largesse with chain megaplexes — and in some cases, couldn’t play it at all. There also were some sharp drops from last weekend’s top specialized films as would-be customers flocked to “Downton.”

Otherwise Sony Pictures Classics’ documentary “Where’s My Roy
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