We all knew that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master was going to win some awards, but no one really thought much about its box office reception. Limited released art-house films rarely rake in the big bucks. PT Anderson‘s last film There Will Be Blood was his most financially successful, with a lifetime gross of just over $40 million.
The Master opened in just a few cities in LA and NYC this past weekend and went on to earn an impressive per-screen average of $147,262. That’s nearly triple what The Avengers opened with (per-screen) and now the biggest ever, if inflation isn’t taken into consideration. With inflation The Master‘s impressive record would drop down to the ninth best of all-time.
This is great news, especially considering the statistics surrounding the film. It’s R-rated and geared mostly towards adults, with no 3D surcharge to squeeze every last cent out of the viewer. It’s as traditional as can be and yet it still drew massive crowds.
I can’t wait to see the film on Friday, with my review to shortly follow. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams star in the film, which is set to go wide on September 21st, 2012.
Here’s a quote that Deadline grabbed from one of The Weinstein Company’s higher ups:
We’re thrilled with the numbers. It set the screen record and all the credit in the world goes to Paul Thomas Anderson with his guerrilla marketing strategy combined with moving the [release date] to this weekend.