Guiding an indie movie from the festival circuit to nationwide box office success is a tricky charge. But Precious, which Lionsgate picked up at Sundance for $5.5 million, is off to a great start after bringing in $1.8 million at just 18 theaters in four cities when it opened this weekend — a record for average take by any movie opening at more than six locations. This opening weekend success might stem from Lionsgate’s decision to target theaters in African American areas and affluent moviegoers, who are more likely to choose a movie based on reviews (Precious received a mountain of positive press). But will Precious become the next Slumdog Millionaire or the next The Aristocrats, which did well in limited release and then tanked? This Friday it will open in five new theaters and then nationwide one week later. Then we’ll know for sure.
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