(…) The other big limited release this weekend was Sicario. The Lions Gate Entertainment release debuted in six theaters this weekend in advance of its wide release on October 2nd. The acclaimed drug war thriller stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro as government operatives getting their hands bloody in order to combat the Mexican drug cartels, and it arrives on a wave of buzz thanks to Blunt’s terrific star turn. Director Denis Villeneuve claims he was offered a bigger budget by various investors if he changed the lead role in Taylor Sheridan’s screenplay from female to male. But the irony is that a lot more people are talking about this film precisely because it stars Blunt instead of a random male star in the lead role.
Whether or not that buzz translates into box office when the film goes wide is an open question, but it can’t hurt. Anyway, the picture earned $133,810 Friday which sets the stage for a $455k weekend and a superb $75k per-screen-average. The picture was a Cannes acquisition and comes with a $30 million production budget. It arrives almost two years to the day as Villenueve’s Prisoners, which starred Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and earned $12m worldwide on a $46m budget. Next up for the director is a sequel to Blade Runner.