Wall Street protest helps pic debut to nearly $3 million

When Roadside Attractions dated Wall Street-set “Margin Call” back in July, the company had no idea that Gotham’s famous financial district would be besieged by protesters beginning just one month prior to the film’s release.

“Margin Call,” set during a 24-hour watershed moment for one investment bank in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis, opened in 56 locations in the top 20 U.S. markets, grossing $561,904 over the weekend for a hearty per-screen average of $10,034. With an international cume nearing $3 million, “Margin Call” began rolling out overseas via local distribs Sept. 29 in Germany and Russia, with Spain following Oct. 21.

“Clearly we had the zeitgeist in our favor with Wall Street in the news,” says Roadside co-prexy Howard Cohen.

Roadside, in partnership with Lionsgate, acquired distribution rights to the film after it preemed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The film broke the house record at Gotham’s Elinor Bunin Film Center, reporting an opening weekend gross of approximately $32,000, with additional sellouts in some of the film’s best-performing Stateside theaters.

Roadside and Lionsgate also launched “Margin Call” day-and-date on video-on-demand via Time Warner Cable’s Movies on Demand service. Though VOD numbers won’t be available until early this week, Cohen says the distribs feel like the plan is the best way to maximize the film’s potential.

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor, the pic’s cast includes Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons and Demi Moore.

Roadside plans to expand the film to roughly 135 U.S. locations Oct. 28.

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