Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale from A24 swam to the biggest limited opening of the year in NY and LA this weekend, beating the per screen record set by in late spring by the indie distributor’s Everything, Everywhere All At Once.
The film starring Brendan Fraser sold out shows at all six theaters this weekend grossing $360,000 for a per screen average of $60,000 – the highest PSA of 2022, the second largest limited opening since 2020 and Aronofsky’s best opening since Black Swan.
Fraser’s performance has been embraced by critics and audiences starting at the world premiere in Venice earlier this year and has built throughout the fall season. Fraser, the former action star of The Mummy franchise, plays an obese English teacher struggling to reconnect with his estranged daughter. The film received a long standing ovation in Venice, echoed at Q&As throughout the weekend. Exits show extremely strong word of mouth across all audiences for Fraser and co-stars Sadie Sink and Hong Chau.
It will stay on six screens this coming weekend in advance of a moderate nationwide break on Dec. 21.
The grosses came at $159k Friday; $11.8k Saturday; $89k Sunday.