BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, the much-buzzed-about documentary about the octogenarian New York street/fashion photographer that has been setting box office records at New York's Film Forum, is set to test the waters around the country this weeked. Openings in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Missouri and Rhode Island - along with adding additional theaters in the New York and Los Angeles markets - are the first step in a planned expansion that could ultimately bring the film to more than 100 theaters in the US.
In fact, the film is poised to become Zeitgeist's highest grossing documentary since 2004's THE CORPORATION. The company is well known for being perhaps the most important distributor of prestige docs (THE OATH, LAST TRAIN HOME, TROUBLE THE WATER, UP THE YANGTZE), but they rarely have had a pop breakout like BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK.
The opening at NY's Film Forum was a true sensation, grossing nearly $50K in its five-day opening, which proved a record for the landmark downtown art house. BCNY topped the previous record holder, VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR, by a sizable amount - VALENTINO took in $33K in it's first 5-day frame. VALENTINO, which was self-distributed through Truly Indie and Vitagraph, ultimately took in more than $1.75M.