Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ debuted in Iran with an astonishing sale of $353,000 (12.3 billion rials) in just the first three days of weekend opening, shattering the previous records in Iran’s cinema history.
Screened in 20 theaters in Tehran, the movie first set a new record for the opening day on August 31, as it sold $73,000, Cinetmag.com reported.
As film fans rushed to the cinema halls to see Farhadi’s latest film, the movie took in $100,000 on the following day and earned $113,000 on the third day, September 2. It grossed $286,000 (10 billion rials) in Tehran in only three days.
The previous record holder was Reza Dormishian’s ‘Lanturi’ which debuted in Tehran with $190,000 last month.
Also screening in 15 halls in other cities, ‘The Salesman’ collected $67,000 and reached the total sale of $353,000 on its opening weekend, a record which may not be broken soon.
The huge sales are partly due to the public enthusiasm created about the movie after it won two awards – for the best actor Shahab Hosseini and the script for Farhadi – in Cannes Film Festival earlier in May. Further, the rave reviews by the foreign critics made many Iranians eagerly await its local screening. Considering the average ticket price of $2, over 165,000 people have watched so far.
Another factor contributing to the warm welcome of the public is the cast and crew. Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti are among the most popular actors these days who have cooperated with Farhadi in his previous hit movies ‘About Elly’, ‘A Separation’ and ‘Fireworks Wednesday’. The two actors recently came into spotlight again by playing in the successful series ‘Shahrzad’ directed by Hassan Fathi.
With the huge reception, the expectations are high that the film may even be crowned the bestselling movie of all time in Iran. If the same trend of sales continues, ‘The Salesman’ can achieve the title in a couple of months.
Following its international acclaim and domestic financial success, many expect it to be submitted to the Academy Awards as Iran’s submission to vie for the foreign language film award.
By Financial Tribune