Color Purple Breaks Christmas Box Office Record In Opening Week

The film earned $18.1 million making it the second-best showing ever for a film premiering on Christmas Day since 2009.

"The Color Purple" was a holiday box office hit in the first week of its release.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the musical adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway show grossed  $18.1 million from 3,142 theaters on Monday (Dec. 25)  making it the second-best showing ever for a film premiering on Christmas Day since "Sherlock Holmes" debuted with $24.6 million in 2009. 

Also, the highly anticipated film has drawn more in one day than other stage-to-screen films, such as "West Side Story" (2021), which struggled at the box office.

Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg produced the film stars Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R., and Colman Domingo in a reimagined version of Alice Walker's classic novel directed by Blitz Bazawule.

"The Color Purple" edged out "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," which pulled in $10.6 million and is one of the slowest stars of the DC Cinematic Universe. 

Garnering rave reviews, including an “A” grade from CinemaScore, "The Color Purple" is a robust musical retelling of the tragedies and triumphs that Celie (Barrino) encounters in rural Georgia in the early 1900s. 

'The Color Purple' Gives You A Front Row Seat To The Vibrant Imagination Of Celie

Audiences expecting the film to be in lockstep with the 1985 release are in for a rude awakening. Addressing the purists who may not be able to resonate with the new direction and theme of the latest version,  Winfrey explained “This ain’t your momma’s Color Purple!”

In an interview with, Bazawule noted how important it was to honor the original film but to develop a new interpretation of the story that will speak to new generations.

“We were making a new version. We had to earn our way. Mimicking wasn't something we were going to do. So only what was essential, absolutely essential, was what was gonna travel with us,” Bazawule said. “Yes, we give a homage here and there… But ultimately, my job was always to tell the cast, make it yours because you can't compete with nostalgia. You don't want to create cheap imitations of what was."

“Remember, some people haven't seen that other version. It's a whole new generation, and this will be their Color Purple. They may never go back to watch the old one and it's very important that they walk away with something that is absolutely theirs,” he added. “Even though we do encourage you to go back and read Alice Walker's book, if the play comes to town as any form of revival, go see it. But it was very, very important to me that the audience experience something absolutely new."

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