Blue is the Warmest Color Opens Big in New York and Los Angeles

blue-warmest-colourBlue is the Warmest Color

, this year's Palme D'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, took in over $100,000 from four theaters this weekend in its U.S. debut.

The $25,279 per-screen average meant that the film generated more at each screen than last year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film--Amour, which opened to $22,000 and change last year and went on to make nearly $7 million in the U.S.

Blue is the Warmest Color has been under intense scrutiny ever since Cannes; while virtually no one says the film isn't beautifully made and emotionally affecting, it features a lengthy and explicit lesbian sex scene that caused the movie to draw an NC-17 rating in the U.S. Some theaters--notably New York's IFC Center--have taken a chance on the movie where they wouldn't other NC-17 offerings, with IFC even saying that they would not enforce the age restrictions on entry into the film.

The film, based on a graphic novel by Julie Maroh, was France's top home-grown opener when it debuted in cinemas in that country earlier this month, raising more money in its first day than Disney's Planes and Hugh Jackman's Prisoners.

Director Abdellatif Kechiche has drawn criticism from both Maroh--who said the sex scenes were clumsy and called out Kechiche for failing to transcend the typical tropes of male directors filming lesbian sequences--and the film's stars, who said that his perfectionist bent, coupled with the fact that the sex scenes were some of the first things filmed, meant that they spent a significant amount of time before they ever really knew each other doing emotionally draining and awkward sex scenes. Kechiche said nothing for weeks but recently implied that he may sue her for slander.