Asif Kapadia’s ecstatically-reviewed Amy, a powerful tribute to tragic singer Amy Winehouse, has scored the largest ever opening for a British docu at the UK box office with $808,000, making it the second biggest opening weekend ever for a docu in the country after Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
Kapadia’s film, which is being released by Will Clarke’s Altitude, is already the highest-grossing documentary of 2015 after only a few days on release. It also surpassed Kapadia’s previous feature length docu Senna, about the late Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, which grossed $584,000 when it opened in 2010. Following a nationwide preview on Tuesday June 30, Amy opened in 133 cinemas this past weekend across the UK and Ireland and will expand to over 200 locations from this coming Friday.
The numbers are even more impressive given the warm weather that much of the UK has been enjoying these past few days. Featuring extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks, Amy world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. The film does not appear to have suffered from a backlash led by Winehouse’s father Mitch who has labeled the film a “disgrace” and has accused the filmmakers of distorting his efforts in helping his daughter overcome her drug and drink problems.
Kapadia is currently in post on Ali & Nino, the big-screen adaptation of Kurban Said’s best-selling Azerbaijan-set novel about two star-crossed lovers. Adam Bakri (Omar) and Maria Valverde (Exodus: Of Gods And Kings) star, with Archery Pictures’ co-founder Kris Thykier producing.