This is it, fam: Opening weekend for Middle Of Nowhere, the film that earned Ava DuVernay Best Director honors at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. As I noted when I wrote about the last AFFRM release, Andrew Dosunmu’s Restless City, opening weekends matter:
For those of you unfamiliar with the way theatrical releasing works, here are the basics you need to understand. The weekend box-office numbers–especially that opening weekend– are crucial. Why? Because theater owners are making determinations on Sunday night about what films will hold screens for the next week. Restless City has nowhere the marketing budget of The Avengers, so it’s relying on PR and word-of-mouth. And the impact of both of those take time. So it’s better for the film to stay in theaters longer. Unfortunately, the only way that happens is if the theater owners see the numbers to justify holding the screen. After all, they could just as easily bump that film and add another screening of The Avengers. Or some other film.
And let me be clear: I’m not asking you to support this film because it’s a “black” film. No, I’m asking you to support it sooner rather than later because this film is a visual feast. I said as much in my review. And this isn’t about “taking your vitamins,” i.e., doing it because it’s good for you. It’s not exactly about “supporting progressive culture,” either. I mean, it kinda is. But here’s my point: It’s capitalism, baby. It’s about making sure this film–and others like it–matter in the marketplace. That means they need to make money. In that way, big companies feel comfortable getting into business with similar films.
Again, this isn’t to guilt you into seeing the film. Just want you to be mindful.
If you do decide to go, you’ll need to be in one of these cities:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Washington, DC
- Los Angeles (additional theater)
- Oakland, CA
- New Jersey
Haven’t seen the film’s trailer yet? Check it out here.
Get full info on this weekend’s screening times here.