Looks like waiting all those years to finally make the Les Misérables movie is paying off for producer Cameron Mackintosh. The highly anticipated movie had stellar opening day sales, taking in $18 million on Christmas day, according to Deadline.com. Playing on 2,808 screens nationwide, the Tom Hooper-helmed film broke the record for highest advance ticket sales for a Christmas day release, surpassing 2009's Sherlock Holmes.
Not only are audiences turning out in droves for the film, they're leaving satisfied with the musical as well. The movie received an A rating from CinemaScore by moviegoers exiting theaters.
Les Miz managed to edge out other Christmas Day releases including Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained ($15.5 million) and Parental Guidance ($7 million). As the film opened on a Tuesday, tracking opening weekend ticket sales won't be quite standard, but the film's opening day receipts far surpass entire opening weekend sales of many recent musical film adaptations including Rock of Ages ($14.4 million in June), Sweeney Todd ($9.3 million in 2007), Rent ($10 million in 2005), The Producers ($3.3 million in 2005) and The Phantom of the Opera ($4 million in 2004).
Now a box office hit, Les Miz is ready to march toward awards season as the film recently earned four Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), as well as nods for stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
[Update: The film pulled in another $12 million during its second day of release, bringing the film's gross past $30 million in just two days.]