Lionsgate's musical film "La La Land" grossed around $855,000 in just five theaters located in New York and Los Angeles. Despite its limited release, the musical acquired record- breaking figures on its debut in December 9. It averages $171,000 in each of the five cinemas. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's stellar performance and chemistry hooked the people to keep the cinemas packed and lines full.
"It's a movie that you walk in the theater and you just feel great," David Spitz, Lionsgate's head of distribution, said. "It makes you feel terrific and that's a good thing right now."
"La La Land" has been already gaining positive reaction since its screening to several film festivals last fall. It is considered to be one of the best in the critics' list for the year, according to Variety. Even Tom Hanks accounted that "if the audience doesn't go and embrace something as wonderful as 'La La Land' then we are all doomed."
The director of "La La Land," Damien Chazelle, who is also behind the musical works of the critically-acclaimed "Whiplash," worked and discussed the idea with motion picture group president Erik Feig for the creation of the musical. Chazelle stated that he wanted to put a modern take on classical musicals like "The Band Wagon" and "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."
The proven and engaging chemistry of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling also helped the film gain a wider audience, especially the younger men and women. According to Hollywood Reporter, 53% of the moviegoers who watched the film are over 30 years old.
"Right now we are focused on expanding the film and spreading the success," said Spitz.
In South Korea, "La La Land" gained a $4 million debut which is its first major market overseas. It is also screened in limited release on other foreign small markets which garnered a total of $4.6 million.
"La La Land" is also gaining recognition from its seven nominations from the Golden Globes. The nominations include best comedy or musical, best director, for Chazelle, best actress in a comedy or a musical, for Emma Stone, and best actor in a comedy or a musical, for Ryan Gosling.
Apart from the Golden Globe nominations, the musical was also awarded best picture and best director in the Critics Circle Awards. With the acknowledgment of the film in different award shows, "La La Land" could not be far from gaining a nomination or an award for Oscars.