The India-set comedy The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened strong at number three at the U.S. box office with an estimated $8.6 million in its first weekend of release, according to data released by its distributor Fox Searchlight. India-themed films rarely climb this high on the U.S. box office charts. Even Hollywood studio films such as Life of Pi, The Hundred Foot Journey, and Million Dollar Arm never made it to the top three at any time during their runs despite playing in more theaters than Marigold!
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the follow-up to the 2012 hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which opened in the U.S. in limited release in 27 theaters before building word-of-mouth and eventually reaching nearly 1,300 theaters nationwide. It spent seven weeks in the top ten – peaking at number six – and finished its U.S. run with $46.4 million.
Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Lillete Dubey and others all returned for the sequel which added Richard Gere to the cast. The new film also scored the highest average gross of any film in wide release averaging $5,467 from 1,573 theaters. After the success of the opening weekend, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will add more than 200 additional theaters to its run on the second weekend! Definitely check out the film!