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Milk Pulls in $1.9 Million

Milk Pulls in $1.9 Million

From all indications, it looks like Gus Van Sant's Milk will be a hit.

From all indications, it looks like Gus Van Sant's Milk will be a hit.

The biopic -- which documents the political life and murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to major office in a large U.S. city -- has raked in $1.9 million since Wednesday, a good showing considering it played in only 36 theaters.

"It's a sensational opening," Focus distribution head Jack Foley told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's a record opening for a film opening in this many theaters, and there were lots of sellouts wherever it was playing."

Starring Sean Penn as the San Francisco politician and James Franco as his partner, Milk has received mostly favorable reviews from America's critics. Specifically, the acting in Milk has been lauded, with talk of Penn taking home a second Best Actor Oscar (he won his first for 2003's Mystic River).

Timing is also ideal for the film's success, as Milk chronicles the fight against Proposition 6 -- a failed 1978 ballot initiative that would have banned gay teachers in California's schools -- with lesbians and gays reeling from the November 4 passage of Proposition 8, which constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State. California's supreme court will decide on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 next year.

Milk will be in 60 theaters in 32 markets by Friday, December 5. (Neal Broverman, The Advocate)

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