‘The Color Purple’ Shines Bright: Record-Breaking $18.1 Million Christmas Day Opening Marks a Decade Milestone in Box Office Success

‘The Color Purple’ Shines Bright: Record-Breaking $18.1 Million Christmas Day Opening Marks a Decade Milestone in Box Office Success

In a festive holiday showdown, The Color Purple, a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s iconic novel, emerged as the Christmas Day box office champion, surpassing competition from Aquaman and Wonka. Variety reports that the film, released on December 25th, raked in an impressive $18.1 million across 3,152 locations in the U.S. and Canada, boasting a per-theater average of $5,758.

This modern take on Walker’s 1982 novel, set in 1930s rural Georgia, weaves a poignant narrative of resilience among a group of Black women facing adversity. Fantasia Barrino leads the cast as Celie, supported by Danielle Brooks as Sofia and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery. The ensemble, including Halle Bailey, Corey Hawkins, and more, delivered a powerful performance under the direction of Blitz Bazawule.

Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones joined forces to produce the film, which departs from the 1985 adaptation by infusing dynamic song and dance numbers inspired by the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Winfrey spearheaded a promotional blitz, hosting a one-hour special on OWN that showcased interviews with the cast and creative team, celebrating the film’s creation.

The Color Purple’s success extends beyond the box office, with its songs, “Superpower (I)” featuring Fantasia and “Keep It Movin'” by Halle Bailey, making the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song. Kris Bowers’ compelling score also earned a spot on the shortlist for Best Original Score. The anticipation builds as the finalists in these categories will be unveiled during the 96th Oscar nominations on January 23, 2024.

While The Color Purple stole the Christmas Day spotlight, Warner Bros.’ Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and family adventure Wonka held their ground. Aquaman clinched the Friday-Sunday weekend, but slipped to second place on Monday with $10.6 million, followed closely by Wonka in third place with $10.3 million. The trio of films showcases Warner Bros.’ diverse cinematic offerings, leaving audiences with a thrilling array of choices during the holiday season.

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