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"Kinyarwanda" Opening Weekend Numbers + Extended Run News + 5-Ticket Giveaway! Enter Now!

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 8, 2011 11:50 AM
7 Comments
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AFI-Kinywarwanda

AFFRM's second release - Alrick Brown's Kinyarwanda - made its theatrical debut last week Friday on 9 screens in 7 cities. 

So, how did it do on opening weekend?

According to Box Office Mojo, it managed just over $21,000, averaging around $3,000 per screen. Not the strongest numbers, but, considering the kind of film it is, and the challenges I felt it faced in attracting audiences, not too shabby either.

To compare it to AFFRM's first release - Ava DuVernay's I Will Follow... that film grossed over $56,000 on its opening weekend (in fewer theaters - 5), averaging a hefty $11,000+ per. So, obviously a much stronger showing, but I'd also say that it was a more accessible film, given AFFRM's target audience.

So, what now? 

Well... the good news is that if you haven't seen Kinyarwanda, and you live in the following cities in which it opened last weekend - NYC, LA, Philly, Seattle, Washington DC and Atlanta - you'll have another shot to do so, because its run has been extended in those cities for another week; meaning you've got until December 15 to see it! 

And to maybe encourage you to do so, I'm giving away 5 FREE tickets to the Sunday, December 11th, 3:50pm screening of the film in New York City this weekend (the only other showtimes are 9:10pm and 11:55pm, which I don't think helps the film; it'll be tough to get people out to see a film like this at those hours; 3:50pm is just about right). To win one of those tickets, all you have to do is email me with your name. That's it! Just send me an email with your name to obensont@gmail.com, with the words "Kinyarwanda Tickets" in the subject box; you have until 11:59pm eastern time tomorrow, Friday, the 9th to do so. And then on Saturday morning, I'll randomly pick 5 names to give the 5 tickets to. I'll email the winners and announce here as well.

Do it now!

Here's a recently-released 30-second spot for the film:

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7 Comments

  • Mr. Honest | December 8, 2011 3:23 PMReply

    Let's be honest. The movie is cool but not all that. There's a reason the white companies didn't pick it up. Big ups to Ava and AFFRM for trying but honestly nobody wanted to see that movie. The director should be kissing the ground of these film festivals who been working to put it out all these months. They are grinding but nobody wanted to see this movie. I saw it. It was cool but like I said it's a reason why the white man passed it by. I'm glad the black woman picked it up on general principal but some things need to be on DVD and that's just honest.

  • Marco Bolo | December 8, 2011 3:04 PMReply

    Congrats to Mr. Brown, I still remember him from the IfC show. I have been waiting for these numbers for a few days, and might I add I'm not surprised! This has nothing to do with Kinyarawanda but everything to do with the model of distribution being used by aaffrm. There is nothing revolutionary about what Ava and co are doing, all though I applaud their efforts it's the same thing all of the niche indie distributors do when dealing with black content, put it where black people won't see it, art house theatres! Now I know that AAfrm is getting it's movies in multiplexs like lowes and Amc through thier "indie programs" (lol) but it can't compete in the same theatre with Hollywood blockbusters! A movie like Kinyarawanda needs to be viewed in alternative venues like large bookstore, lounge, gallery, or social club/restaurant venues where it can be viewed then discussed. Essentially a chitlin circuit distribution where films are screened @ different venues reguarly and we redefine the black movie going experience. Now I'm not saying to stop aiming for multiplexes but also release in alternative venues to maximize your profits. Kinyarawanda won't even make $50,000 in the theaters and
    the film cost will not be recouped and this great black movie will fall off to never never land with other great black indies like (good day too be black and sexy, medcine for melancholy, restless city, and gunhill road) all movies that where darlings on the sundance circuit but never seen by black audiences. Tambay I know you feel the same way I feel about alternative viewing houses. Let's start a list of business that can hold a sizeable audience and dedicate a night a week to these releases and then bring together the films that have no distribution and begin to funnell this content to these venues. If you are serious about it shadow and act can compile these numbers every week and begin to give you the chitlin box office weekend totals! It might not look like much @ the start but within a year I bet top bill that these numbers will increase week in week out! That's just my suggestion I think it beats having good movies being "released" on less then 20 movie screens for 2 weeks then thrown out on to the street to a even more bleek DVD market only to turn up in some bargin bin for 99 cents and Alrick Brown never gets to make another movie for 10 years because kinyarawanda was a commercial flop!

  • Marco Bolo | December 8, 2011 7:29 PM

    Bolo here... Prancer & Honest your both Homo's
    Bolo out!

  • DancerPrancer | December 8, 2011 3:59 PM

    Yes! Every film-maker wants to play in a coffe shop. Great idea! Forget the AMC theater. I want to show in a bookstore!

  • Jennifer A. | December 8, 2011 2:51 PMReply

    When I saw AFFRM select "Kinyarwanda" to release next, I was intrigued since it is a solid film, but I was also concerned that it wouldn't break $1,000 per screen. $3,000 is a pleasant surprise to read. I feel Ms. DuVernay and particularly the presenters in New York City did a very commendable job on a difficult movie by way of marketing. By way of distribution, the job is nothing short of sensational and those outside of the industry may not recognize the weight of what is happening here. Screens (the theaters in which the film plays) are not easy to come by especially in the middle of Oscar season. They are difficult to book and quite difficult to holdover. AFFRM is competing with studios for those screens who are releasing Oscar fodder at this time. I cannot imagine how she held the screens for a second week in this booking climate but I must say stellar work. I commend AFFRM on the choice of film, the marketing and most impressively the distribution.

  • Quentin | December 8, 2011 1:12 PMReply

    Not shabby but not good. I really wish Kinyarwanda did better than this. Such quality, eventful film storytelling deserves just as much love and support (if not more) as the boring uneventful ones that masquerade as films. I'll be sure to spread the word about this poignant motion picture.

  • ROKO | December 8, 2011 11:57 AMReply

    Congrats to AFFRM. I wanna see this. What's the email address?

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