NYC Theater Bags ‘Dirty Laundry’ After Smash Weekend

This is an instance where “green” does not override “black.” Even in limited release in LA and NYC, the new comedy “Dirty Laundry” was the highest grossing movie per screen this past weekend, making a whopping $12,000 per screen, with The Golden Compass coming in second at $7,308. And yet, the Chelsea Clearview, the theater that caters to the white gay community, decided to close the film this Thursday, after only one week. The film opens widely on the 28th.

According to Keith, the film producers don’t want people to protest, but would rather focus on the positive, and gear up for the nationwide opening. Apparently the theater said that the opening success (with two sold-out shows in a 24 hour period) was not enough to keep running the film. Mind you, I know I have seen films at the Clearview with a damn near empty house, and yet somehow or another, ‘Dirty Laundry’ didn’t make enough money? Chile please!

I haven’t seen the film yet. I was out of town this weekend, but had made plans with a friend to try to catch it this weekend. Now, I guess that will not happen. I hope Maurice Jamal and the rest of the production team pushes to get the film opened elsewhere.

I don’t really know if the Clearview is a white and gay owned establishment. But I do know that is who they cater to. And this goes to show, (contrary to the people who like to think we’re “beyond race” and it’s just about “class” now) Black queers are still black and white people still see us as such, gay or not. In addition, black people’s buying power is never respected to the degree that if this had been a white gay film opening.

1 thought on “NYC Theater Bags ‘Dirty Laundry’ After Smash Weekend

  1. Damn! and I was really looking forward to seeing Dirty Laundry this weekend…

    I guess it goes to show much Chelsea is a stand in for what is becoming the rest of NYC: rapidly privatized spaces filled with spas, Jamba Juices and Apple stores, where we are overshadowed by luxury glass and steel condos (housing straight/gay married couples) towering down at us like tyrannical eagles (aka PlaNYC/NYC 2010). A city where we, black and brown and women and poor and trans and child bodies constantly have to resist being viewed as dirty laundry and in the process resist being pushed out, whether on film, in public parks/piers or in the few housing spots left (and better not get caught resisting with a hairbrush, wallet, a-line t-shirt, high school/college education, purple shoes or ordinary object art!).

    At first I wondered if a theater in Chelsea would have played a queer movie about white poor people (less dirty laundry? clean, but still wet laundry?), until i remembered: 1) where are the queer folks in Chelsea (or trans or gender-nonconforming)?

    2)Brokeback Mountain! which was if nothing else a somewhat interesting movie about class (which i only realized after seeing it in a audience not filled with white liberals).

    I wonder if it ever makes sense to try to “crack” into the Chelsea film niche or similarly move into the garment factory turned sweatshop turned luxury condo (which always seems inches close to the 5 block away subway stop you take everyday) or to just put our efforts into fortifying ourselves and each other while cracking Chelsea and the NYC that is sure to devour us unless we amplify our already powerful resistance…

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