[Editor's note - We're pleased to welcome Charlotte Cook to the blog as she writes from London about the astounding success of Asif Kapadia's SENNA documentary in the UK.]
Director Asif Kapadia's SENNA has broken the record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a documentary in British history. Taking £375,000 (approx $614,000) after opening on Friday 3rd June, it knocks the previous record holder TOUCHING THE VOID off the top spot which opened in 2004 to a weekend gross of $96,973.
Produced by Working Title Films/Universal the film has won Audience awards at this this year's Sundance and LA Film Festivals. Told entirely through archive and voice over, the film chronicles three-time Brazilian world champion Ayrton Senna‘s extraordinary rise through Formula One racing to his tragic death at thirty-four in the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.
On the 21st June there was a special Senna-day in which the film played an additional 200 cinemas nationwide. A month after opening it remains in limited release across the UK and current figures show a gross of £2,952,910 ($4,767,281) and climbing.
It's worth also noting the huge success it had in previous releases in Japan and Brazil. The success in Senna's native Brazil comes as little surprise but its box office of $1,330,503 to date is impressive. This gives it a a combined foreign gross of approx $7m to date.
SENNA is due to be released in the US from August 12th, 2011