Specialty Box Office: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pic 'On the Basis of Sex' Rules Christmas
'Destroyer,' starring Nicole Kidman, also does solid opening-day business at the specialty box office.
The ruling is in: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues to be a big draw at the box office.
On Christmas Day, director Mimi Leder's On the Basis of Sex — a specialty biographical drama starring Felicity Jones as a young Ginsburg — posted the top location average of the day, or an estimated $14,146, when launching in 33 theaters.
The specialty pic follows the breakout success of RBG, the 2018 documentary chronicling Ginsburg's career and influence that earned $14 million domestically. On the Basis of Sex also opens just days after Ginsburg, 85, underwent surgery to remove two malignant growths in her left lung. Doctors say there is no evidence of any remaining disease.
Focus Features debuted On the Basis of Sex in select cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland (Ore.), Atlanta, Phoenix and, of course, Washington, D.C., where the film rolled out in no fewer than five theaters, the most locations of any city (earlier this month, Ginsburg attended the film's Washington, D.C., premiere).
On the Basis of Sex follows a young Ginsburg — who currently leads the liberal wing of the Supreme Court — and her husband working together to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination against women. Armie Hammer plays Ginsburg's late husband, Martin Ginsburg.
Ginsburg's nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, wrote the script. Participant Media, which also has a stake in RBG, produced the feature.
Fellow awards contender Destroyer, directed by Karyn Kusama, also launched at the specialty box office on Christmas Day. The crime drama, from Annapurna Pictures, stars Nicole Kidman as a damaged Los Angeles cop tracking down an old nemesis.
Destroyer, reporting a location average of $10,246, opened in three theaters in New York City and Los Angeles for a location average of $10,246.
Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. Updated with final location average for On the Basis of Sex.