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Home > ‘The Color Purple’ Has Biggest Christmas Day Opening Since 2009

‘The Color Purple’ Has Biggest Christmas Day Opening Since 2009

The Color Purple Main Image

The musical adaptation of Alice Walker's beloved classic beat out 'Wanka' and 'Aquaman 2' on Christmas Day.

This holiday season saw the release of many big films. Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom (2023), Wonka (2023), and, of course, The Color Purple (2023). Based on the novel of the same name by Alice Walker, the film follows a young woman named Celia (Fantasia Barrino) as she navigates her life in the South during the early 20th century. According to CNBC, the film earned $18.15 million domestically on Christmas Day, making it the biggest opening since 2009 and the second-biggest domestic opening of all time.

History of The Color Purple

Alice Walker’s iconic novel was already adapted in 1985 by Steven Speilberg, with Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey starring. That film was a huge success, with it receiving 11 Oscar nominations, according to IMDb. Both Speilberg and Winfrey are credited as producers of the latest movie. Another thing about this version of The Color Purple is that it is also based on a stage musical adaptation by Brenda Russel, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, and Marsha Norman. Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks reprise their roles from the stage musical as Celia and Sofia, respectively. 

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Danielle Brooks as Sofia and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery in The Color Purple (2023) | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Where The Color Purple Ranks With The Other Christmas Day Openers

The Color Purple‘s $18.15 million debut is now the second-biggest Christmas Day opening of all time domestically. The biggest opening is 2009’s Sherlock Holmes at $24.6 million, according to Comscore. This film barely beat out Les Misérables (2012), which opened with $18.1 million. Other big Christmas Day openers include Daddy’s Home (2015) with $15.7 million, Unbroken (2014) with $15.4 million, and Into The Woods with $15.08 million. The budget for The Color Purple is estimated to be between $90-100 million, so it still has a long way to go before it breaks even. 

The Color Purple can be seen in theaters right now. 

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Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery in The Color Purple (2023) | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Color Purple (2023) Warner Bros. Pictures Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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I am from Michigan. I am a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University majoring in Film Production with a minor in Media Production.
Matt Keyser is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton University with a bachelor's in Communications-Journalism. He is a freelance entertainment reporter with a focus on film and television. As a former senior programming coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival, Matt's experience with critiquing narratives and documentaries has helped showcase his passion for television and cinema through his writing.