Oscar Impact: Spotlight, Best Picture Winner, Enjoys Momentum in Italy

independent_spirit_awards_2_spotlightThe momentum of the Best-Picture Oscar win in Italy is huge: Spotlight grossed $1 million on 297 screens this past weekend, 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, a 124 percent increase across international territories.

To date, the movie has grossed $2.6 million in Italy.

The $1 million weekend revenue is 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.

Michael Keaton, who plays in the film Boston Globe editor Walter Robinson, toured Rome in January where they praised the investigative journalism that brought to light the abuses of the Catholic church from Boston all the way up to the Vatican.

Vatican Screening and Response:

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.

The Vatican has not commented directly on the film, but the 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.”