Darkest Hour: Tale of Churchill, Played by Oscar Frontrunner Gary Oldman, Opens Strong

Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour,” starring Oscar frontrunner Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, opened strongly with a $248,000 at four theaters for the five days.

The tale centers on Churchill’s early days as prime minister in 1940 with a possible Nazi invasion of Britain looming.

It is playing at the Arclight and Landmark in Los Angeles and the Union Square and Lincoln Plaza in New York City.

“Audiences are loving the film,” said Focus distribution president Lisa Bunnell. “GaryOldman’s unrecognizable portrayal and seeing how one of history’s tried and true leaders used the power of words to unite his people. Exits polls have been through the roof in the mid 90s in the top two boxes, showing great signs that this film will have a very long run.”

“Darkest Hour,” directed by Joe Wright, will expand into other top 10 markets on December 8 and go nationwide two weeks later.