Indie gay drama 'Love is Strange' to expand into more theaters

By Kyle Johnson,

Love is Strange opened in limited release over the weekend, but performed strongly enough that Sony Pictures Classics has decided to expand the film into more markets.

The film, about a longtime gay couple who must temporarily live separately after one loses their job due to their marriage, grossed $126,552 in its debut weekend, Variety reports. That's a strong start considering Love is Strange opened in only five theaters.

"People have been seeing blockbusters all summer, so there's always room for an alternative film to cross over," studio co-president Michael Barker said. "There is no more timely film or more human film."

At the moment, Sony is looking to expand into 30 screens this weekend before ramping up to 60 screens. Love is Strange could open in 50 markets within a month.

"There are enough metropolitan areas for them to get the screens they need," Phil Contrino, BoxOffice.com vice president and chief analyst, said.

Plus support for gay marriage continues to grow. "It's something that's constantly in the news and people are constantly thinking about it, so it seems very relevant and very timely."

The film, which stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, sparked controversy ahead of the film's opening as the MPAA slapped the film with an R-rating.

Many felt that the U.S. film board was giving the film the restrictive rating simply because of the subject matter, despite there not being any violence or sex. There is some strong language in the film, but few felt it was enough to warrant higher than a PG-13 rating.

The MPAA was accused of homophobia since Love is Strange received a PG rating in Canada and a 15 rating in the U.K.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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