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Box Office Numbers For “I Will Follow” Are In! Plus Film Expands To 22 Cities!

News on the march!

I, like a lot of other folks, were certainly very interested in how well it did in its opening weekend, after the media blitz that lead up to it. And, well, big congrats to Ava DuVernay and the I Will Follow AFFRM team. The weekend’s numbers are in, and the film managed an impressive $11,428 per screen average! Doing the math… it opened on just 5 screens, making its weekend box office take close to $60,000!

But the even bigger news is that, thanks to an impressive showing for a film of its caliber, I Will Follow will expand to 22 screens in its second week of release, this weekend!  So, be happy Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte and Jersey City, because the film will be opening in your city on Friday! So, I don’t have to hear any more of your whining :D

As for the rest of the country… well, depending on well the film does this weekend, it just might expand even further. So, encourage your friends in the above cities (and the 5 it already opened in, where it’ll continue to play) to support the film, ensuring that it does impress at the box office, so that it can expand to another 17 markets.

And that’s the bottomline… for the rest of the story, read the full press release below, which was sent out last night:



Marks First-Ever Simultaneous National Theatrical Release
Powered Solely By Grassroots Organizations

Los Angeles, CA (March 15, 2011) –The critically-acclaimed drama I WILL FOLLOW hailed by Roger Ebert as “one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one,” tallied the third highest reported grosses among the weekend’s ten new independent specialty releases with a $11,428 per screen average. The film was distributed on five screens in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle by the new African-American film distribution collective, AFFRM, in concert with AMC Independent. Chronicling a day in the life of a black woman at a personal crossroads, I WILL FOLLOW doubled the reported per-screen average of the sole studio offering with an African-American cast this year to date, “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.”

AFFRM will capitalize on the success of the film’s opening weekend with an aggressive expansion from five screens in five cities to 22 screens in 15 cities beginning Friday, March 18. The additional cities include Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte and Jersey City. The initial five markets will continue into second week.

“The success of AFFRM’s first theatrical release is a victory for those who believe in the necessity of diverse cinematic images,” explained I WILL FOLLOW director and AFFRM founder Ava DuVernay. “I WILL FOLLOW marks the first-ever simultaneous national theatrical release by grassroots organizations, and I’m proud to stand with our partners at BronzeLens in Atlanta, Imagenation and Urbanworld in New York, ReelBlack in Philadelphia and Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival in Seattle as we celebrate this milestone in black film.”

An official selection of AFI Fest and Chicago International Film Festival and winner of Urbanworld, Pan-African and BronzeLens Film Festivals, I WILL FOLLOW stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Omari Hardwick, Michole White and Dijon Talton, with Blair Underwood and Beverly Todd. In addition to a “thumbs up” from Roger Ebert, the film has garnered praise from critics at Village Voice, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, BET, New York Daily News and more.

8 comments to Box Office Numbers For “I Will Follow” Are In! Plus Film Expands To 22 Cities!

  • Wow, that’s great news. That Roger Ebert/white man’s approval really helped enhance things for them (very smart to mention that in the press release). I wonder now what the next film will be and if it will be marketed in the same vein.

  • Congrats to Ava and her team. They really know how to open film.

  • Tim N.

    Fantastic news for the I WILL FOLLOW crew, this movie is fantastic film making folks, go see it.

  • That’s wonderful, so happy the film has done so well and that I’ll actually get to see it on the big screen here! Congrats to Ava and all the cast and crew!

  • NothingButAMan

    indieWIRE does a specialty box office chart every week based on per screen theater averages. I Will Follow‘s average apparently would put them no. 3 on the list for this past weekend. I’d HIGHLY encourage AFFRM and/or Ava’s publicity team to report those numbers to Rentrak HERE, so they can get their success “on the record”, so to speak.

    Congrats!!!! I’ll be supporting from Chicago this friday ;-)

  • RB

    That is great news!!! I can’t wait to see it! Cheers!

  • Mr. Dawber

    As battle rappers say, BODY BAG! I Will Follow came, saw & conquered in a major way. Congrats to all involved. So happy it’s expanding to more cities! I just told a relative in one of them and said, “You MUST see it.” I’ve seen it twice.