Vice: Political Movie Divides Critics and Viewers, Scores C+

Annapurna’s Golden Globe-nominated Vice was one of the top films in many of the New York and Los Angeles cinemas where it opened.

Vice opened nationwide in 2,442 theaters, versus rolling out slowly. For the weekend, it grossed $7.2 million for a six-day start of $17.7 million.

That’s on par with what McKay’s The Big Short initially earned over Christmas in 2015, although The Big Short debuted first in select theaters.

As Vice carries a high production budget, about $60 million, much more than most specialty films, the movie might break even, but not generate profit.

Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Tyler Perry co-star in the film, which is banking on attention from the Golden Globes ceremony Jan. 7 and potential Oscar nominations to boost its box office standing in the weeks to come. A large part of the film’s marketing campaign focuses on Bale’s performance and physical transformation.

Vice is dividing moviegoers. It earned a C+ CinemaScore overall after being given A’s from various segments of the audience, or D’s and F’s. “This is an adult, smart movie,” says Annapurna distribution president Erik Lomis. “It is certainly the film that people are talking about. Everyone wants to be part of the conversation.”

Sam Rockwell as former President Bush

Political pics can be a tough proposition at the box office. Vice is faring well so far and is only days away from passing up the entire domestic gross of Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush pic W. ($25.5 million), for example, Vice is playing best on both coasts, versus America’s heartland.

Annapurna, Megan Ellison’s indie studio opened Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk in select theaters December 14, followed by a limited run for Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman, on December 25. Both are vying for top Oscar nominations.

Destroyer posted an average of $19,941 from three theaters over the December 28-30 weekend. Directed by Karyn Kusama, the specialty title stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman as a damaged Los Angeles cop tracking down an old nemesis.

The Globe-nominated  If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins. starring KiKi Layne, Stephen James and Regina King, expanded into a total of 65 cinema over the weekend for a domestic total through Sunday of $1.8