On a screen for screen, basis music documentary Amandla! A Revolution In Four-Part Harmony, which was released in South Africa on Friday, June 20, outgrossed the Oscar-winning documentary, Bowling For Columbine on its first weekend of release.
Amandla! earned $9,583 (R76 168) with eight prints, outgrossing Bowling For Columbine on a per screen average basis. Columbine grossed $13,681 (R108,623) on its opening weekend with 15 prints, a large South African release for a documentary.
"Having the film released in South Africa to such an enthusiastic response is a dream come true for me," said director Lee Hirsch. "The power of the music in the film is what the world is really listening to right now and people are truly inspired by the fact that with just our voices we can change the world and nowhere is that embodied more than in South Africa."
The film, which won an Audience Spirit Award at Sundance in 2002, and enjoyed a successful release in the US tells the story of South African freedom music and reveals the central role it played in the long battle against apartheid. It features a host of South Africa's foremost musical talent including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Vusi Mahlasela and Sibongile Khumalo.
"We are delighted with the performance of Amandla! at the South African box-office," said Videovision Entertainment's head of Acquisition and Distribution, Sanjeev Singh, which holds the rights to the film for South Africa. "Audiences across South Africa have praised the film and the strong word-of-mouth generated by our premieres resulted in a good opening weekend for the film.". Reviews were generally positive, describing the film as 'entertaining, joyous, fascinating and moving'.
The film's box-office is set to strengthen further this week as block-bookings for schools and universities begin.