‘Get On Up’ movie big at Natchez weekend box-office

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

NATCHEZ — A superhero blockbuster was no match for the story of James Brown’s life and musical career in Natchez last weekend, but across the country the superhero proved to be James Brown’s box office kryptonite

The Tate Taylor directed movie “Get On Up” came in third in overall box office sales with an estimated $14 million during its premiere weekend. The movie cost approximately $30 million to make.

The Universal project, which was filmed mainly in Natchez and the surrounding areas, fell short of the top spot across the country to “Guardians of The Galaxy,” which grossed $94 million, and “Lucy,” which grossed $18.3 million.

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Those figures weren’t surprising to Universal executives, who said the Brown biographical film was never expected to compete with the Marvel comic-book hero movie.

“We weren’t trying to compete with a juggernaut, which we knew would happen,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “We have a very special movie, and we felt very good about it.

“I think we performed as we had expected.”

“Get On Up” did, however, outperform all other films in the UA Natchez Mall 4 Theater, Rocco said.

“It was the No. 1 film in Natchez,” Rocco said. “And we got a very, very strong response in the South, which was to be expected.”

Rocco declined to release specific dollar amounts for the film in the Natchez theater, but said the movie grossed three times more than “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Other figures, Rocco said, caught the eye of Universal executives included exit data from the opening weekend that showed 90 percent of the audiences who watched “Get On Up” were 25 and older. More women also went to watch the film than men, according to the data.

“We hope the picture continues to perform very well,” Rocco said. “We’re hoping our film will have the opportunity to be around for a while.”

The late-summer release date of “Get On Up” was similar to Taylor’s previous film, “The Help,” which was released on Aug. 10, 2011.

“The Help,” Academy Award nominated, brought in $26 million in its opening weekend.