Lulu Wang and A24’s The Farewell had a charmed opening weekend. Despite being an indie film with a limited distribution of just four theaters, it broke the record for most per theater revenue. Hence, while Avengers: Endgame made a record $357 million, it technically earned an average of $76,601 within 4662 theaters. The Farewell accrued $351,330 but that works out to about $87,833 per theater.
Undoubtedly the huge success of the indie comedy-drama’s premiere can be attributed to Asian Americans and their allies trying to support their representation in the entertainment industry. Based on a true story, and starring comedian-actress Awkwafina of Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8 fame, The Farewell chronicles one Chinese-American granddaughter’s emotional journey of saying goodbye to her cancer-ridden grandmother, who has not been informed of her terminal condition.
It’s even more of an accomplishment when you consider that one of The Farewell’s theaters, AMC Lincoln Square, suffered a loss of electrical power during the NYC blackout last weekend.
Writer-director Lulu Wang tweeted her sympathies regarding the Con Edison outage, declaring “To everyone in NYC that is missing @thefarewell screenings cuz of the power outage, I’m sorry!!! Come over to my house and I’ll screen it. You bring the food, I’ll bring the movie.”
She quickly clarified that this was a joke status, adding “Obviously joking. I’m in LA right now, but also, if my publicists were upset that I took brownies from a stranger in the audience (@ChrisSeesMovies), they probably wouldn’t approve of this private screening.
The Farewell will slowly trickle into more theaters across the United States with an official worldwide debut on August 2nd. Early critical reviews have been extremely positive towards its writing, acting, and directing. As of this week, it enjoys a 100% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.