2:00 AM PST 3/7/2016 by Ariston Anderson
The film has been a hit in the Catholic country, with its weekend revenue jumping 43 percent and topping the post-victory performance of ‘Birdman.’
Building on the momentum of its best-picture Oscar win, Spotlight grossed $1 million on 297 screens this past weekend in Italy, an increase of 43 percent from last weekend.
This is more than one-fifth of the $4.8 million international gross that Spotlight brought in overall this past weekend in its post-Oscar victory lap, a 124 percent increase across international territories. To date, it has grossed $2.6 million in Italy.
To compare, the $1 million weekend revenue is approximately 13 percent higher than Birdman’s post-Oscar weekend in Italy, when it grossed $885,000 on its way to a total of $5.4 million throughout its run in the country.
Spotlight has been a huge media draw in the Catholic country. Michael Keaton, and the man he plays in the film, Boston Globe editor Walter Robinson, toured Rome in January where they praised the investigative journalism behind the film that brought to light the abuses of the Catholic church from Boston all the way up to the Vatican.
In February, the pope’s anti-abuse commission kicked off its meetings with a private screening of the film. One member of the commission, Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, later commented that the screening had encouraged church leaders to recommend it to their peers.
“It’s a strong invitation to reflect and to take seriously the central message, namely, that the Catholic Church can and must be transparent, fair and committed to the fight against abuse and so that this never happens again,” he said in an interview with Vatican Radio.
While the Vatican has not commented directly on the film, Vatican-owned newspaper L’Osservatore Romano praised the film for giving a voice to victims and insisted that the film was not anti-Catholic. Vatican Radio had previously reviewed the film as “honest” and “compelling.”