The movie musical La La Land continues to waltz over the competition, being named Best Picture of 2016 by two more critics groups, and scoring the highest per theatre average of the year in its limited release in New York and Los Angeles.
The film which has a score co-written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of the newly-minted Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen, was named Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards, and by the Boston Society of Film Critics December 11.
La La Land opened in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on December 9, and immediately broke records on its first weekend, grossing $855,000 in just five cinemas in those two cities, the highest per-theatre weekly average for any film of 2016. Its $171,000 per-theatre average easily topped that of the previous record holder, Moonlight, which had earned $100,519 per-theatre at its peak. La La Land is scheduled for wide release across the U.S. December 16.
La La Land had previously been named Best Picture by the New York Film Critics Circle December 1 and took the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, where it made its North American premiere this past summer.
The new movie musical, which is written and directed by Whiplash’s Damien Chazelle, stars Emma Stone (Cabaret), Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J. K. Simmons (winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash). The film has a score of songs co-written by Justin Hurwitz and the Tony-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (A Christmas Story, Dogfight), whose Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen opened to mostly rave reviews December 4.
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