Wes Anderson's latest indie movie "Moonrise Kingdom" has unexpectedly broken a record on the North American box office. The vintage drama, which was released in limited U.S. theaters last Friday, May 25, has also received rave reviews from critics and got a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
While big-budgeted films were battling it out at cinemas nationwide, "Moonrise Kingdom" surprisingly made history on box office as it collected $660,486 over the four-day Memorial Day weekend despite the fact that it opened at only four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. By Sunday, the movie already bagged a per-location average of $130,752.
Distributor Focus Features claimed that the result was the highest average ever for a non-animated and indie feature film. The record was previously held by 2006's "Dreamgirls", which debuted with an average of $126,317 at three cinemas. Following the success, Focus has planned to expand the film to several hundred theaters through June.
Aside from breaking a box office record, the drama quickly became critics' darling after it was first introduced at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. As highlighted by CBS News, the pic has been dubbed "the best film since 1998's 'Rushmore' " by USA Today. E! News agreed as stating, "The delightful 'Moonrise Kingdom' marks a career high for offbeat auteur Wes Anderson."
New York Times, meanwhile, wrote, " 'Moonrise Kingdom' breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humore, deadpan and slapstick." The Wall Street Journal called the movie "beguiling and endearing."
Slate magazine added, "A gorgeously shot, ingeniously crafted, uber-Andersonian bonbon that, even in its most irritatingly whimsical moments, remains an effective deliverer of cinematic pleasure."
"Moonrise Kingdom" is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. It follows Sam and Suzy as they fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore, and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle.
Lining up in the cast ensemble are Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, Lucas Hedges, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Kara Hayward and Bob Balaban.