Why ‘Blinded by the Light’ and ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ Opened Wide

  • Indiewire
Two wide releases from top directors with appeal to adult audiences are specialty films, even if their distributors opted to open them in over 2,000 theaters. Warner Bros. had strong reasons for wide-releasing New Line Cinema’s Bruce Springsteen-infused Sundance pickup “Blinded by the Light” this weekend, as did United Artists with Annapurna’s long-delayed Cate Blanchett vehicle “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”

The question is how to find audiences for these films, as studios and indies alike wrestle with deeply rooted issues in today’s theatrical market. Even Sony Pictures Classics, which has pivoted to documentaries, found a weak initial arthouse audience for fast-frame-rate “Aquarela,” despite top-end reviews and theaters.

In wider release, “The Farewell” (A24) continues to add to its impressive totals. So does Roadside Attractions’ crowdpleasing “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” which showed a strong second weekend with non-specialized audiences as a key element.

Opening

Blinded by the Light (Warner Bros.
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