The nation was consumed by the verdict in the trial of Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman this weekend, but many people were drawn to Fruitvale Station to help make sense of it all. In a sad twist of irony, the film about a Martin-like Bay Area young man who was killed at point blank range and without cause by a transit police officer in the Bay Area opened the same weekend the verdict in the highly watched trial was handed down.
Fruitvale Station, produced by the Weinstien Company in association with BET Films, earned $377,285 from just seven theaters this weekend, with a per-screen average of $53,898. That's the third-best average of the year, beating out nearly all the summer blockbusters in terms of how many tickets sold per screening.
The film was an audience hit at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and has received glowing marks from critics. It's the debut feature of director Ryan Coogler and features a groundbreaking performance by lead actor Michael B. Jordan.
In blockbuster-land it was the battle of the sequels for first place. Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2 were neck-in-neck for the top spot, with the animated film edging out a win. Pacific Rim, starring Idris Elba, was a disappointment with a third place finish. The film's $38.9 opening barely made a dent in its $190 million budget. The film opens wide overseas this week and could make up some ground, but it's far from becoming a hit.
Next week, Fruitvale Station expands to more screens while new entries R.I.P.D. and The Conjuring try to scare up a first place finish.
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(Photo: The Weinstein Company)