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‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’: Manhattan Theater Welcomes Idaho Residents, Teens to Lesbian Drama

French film brings in highest per-screen average of weekend

IFC Films’ “Blue is the Warmest Color” opened to about $101,000 domestically this weekend in the thick of multiple controversies surrounding the film’s release.

Unspooling on four screens in New York and Los Angeles, “Blue” nabbed a respectable $25,279 average, the weekend’s highest. Its gross also ranks among the best openings for an NC-17 film (especially one in French), though far short of the top spot held by outlier “Showgirls” ($8.1 million).

The IFC Center in New York let teens in to see the film in the face of its NC-17 MPAA rating recommending against admitting auds younger than 18. IFC Films distribution exec Mark Boxer said the crowd was comprised of “a variety of age groups,” but told Variety that teen attendees did not contribute a significant sum toward the film’s opening weekend gross.

Helmer Abdellatif Kechiche also reportedly asked the film not be released in light of a spat he’s having with the film’s two stars over alleged on-set abuse, though he has since backtracked on that request.

This week the IFC Center theater capitalized on all the buzz on Twitter, tweeting that in addition to letting in teens, the theater would give free tickets to residents of Idaho, where a Boise arthouse has said that state obscenity laws prevent it from showing the movie because it serves liquor:

“Blue” expands to 10 markets this Friday, and Boxer indicated IFC hopes to replicate this weekend’s performance as the film expands.

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