Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom was an instant hit in South Africa.
According to sources, the biopic based on the autobiography of the anti-apartheid leader and former South African President opened at number one and set a new record.
Deadline reports moviegoers in Mandela’s homeland reportedly took the day off work to attend screenings in cities and in the countryside. The Videovision Entertainment release landed at the top of the box office with “751,000 rands ($73,747) for a per-screen average of 8,620 rands ($858). That’s about 23,000 admissions and is a record for a non-holiday Thursday, according to Videovision.”
During an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, star Idris Elba said playing Mandela was a “massive challenge.”
“I didn’t want to deface Mr. Mandela in any way, but I didn’t want to portray him in a way that wasn’t honest… the challenges were massive, but we embraced them,” he revealed.
“It was important we had both sides, the good and the bad,” he added. “He had a very difficult life, so we weren’t expected to make an easy film.”