The Sundance independent film Southside With You was released in theaters this weekend, and grossed over $3 million in 813 theaters averaging $3,762, which makes it the biggest grosser among the new Specialty releases Friday to Sunday.
“We’re very happy with the opening. We had sell-outs in many markets and the movie is playing to both an African-American audience and to arthouse audiences. The reviews have been better than anything we saw at Sundance and it will continue to play throughout the fall.”- Howard Cohen, Roadside Co-President
The limited-release film finished 13th overall at the box office, and the highest grossing film of the week was Don’t Breathe, a horror film that pulled in $26.1 million at 3,051 locations. It also premiered this weekend. It was followed by Suicide Squad, with $12.1 million, and Kubo and the Two Strings, with $7.9 million.
Written and directed by Richard Tanne, Southside With You takes place over the course of one day in which the Obamas go out on their first date in Chicago in 1989. Parker Sawyers stars as the future president, who takes a summer job at a Chicago law firm in 1989. There, he meets his boss, a young attorney named Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter), and after some persistent pleading from Barack, she agrees to spend the day with him.
Roadside Attractions plans to expand Southside With You to additional theaters over Labor Day weekend.
Sumpter has been featured in numerous supporting roles such as What’s Your Number? and Think Like a Man. She then went on to star in Sparkle in 2012 which was followed by A Madea Christmas in 2013. Later that year, Sumpter began her role on The Haves and the Have Nots which aired on the OWN Network. Sumpter later starred alongside Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in Ride Along and Ride Along 2, and most recently starred in Bessie alongside Queen Latifah. Sumpter is currently creating a series about Black Wall Street alongside John Legend that will examine Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood neighborhood, one of the wealthiest black enclaves in the early 20th century.