As we reported here, the November 1 arrival of ‘Harriet’ to movie theaters across America was greeted with controversy even before its official trailer dropped in July.
With the titular role awarded to British actress Cynthia Erivo, some voiced great disapproval at a non-ADOS (American descendant of slavery) actress winning the job. Elsewhere, others complained about yet another film “limiting representation of Black history in film” to slavery.
And, while those plagues of controversy (and others) may have preceded the premiere of the star-studded movie (which also features Janelle Monae and Leslie Odom), the flick not only managed to earn an A+ CinemaScore from audiences but also opened to very solid figures.
“Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet shone in its nationwide debut over the weekend, grossing a better-than-expected $12 million from 2,059 theaters.”
As Oscar buzz pours in for Erivo’s stunning performance, Lisa Bunnell – distribution president for the film’s production company, Focus Features – added:
“Audiences have been unanimous for their love of this film, which is clear from its A+ CinemaScore and 98 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes,” she said. “With the story of one woman’s strength that literally changed the world we all live in today, it is the feel-great movie people are looking for — becoming an event for friends and families going to see together.”