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Andre Benjamin’s Jimi Hendrix Biopic ‘All Is By My Side’ Can’t Hit High Notes in Debut

But distributor XLrator Media is heartened by performance of writer-director John Ridley’s independent film in key markets

“Jimi: All Is By My Side,” the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring OutKast’s Andre Benjamin, didn’t hit a high note in its box office opening.

The independent film brought in $96,189 from 34 locations for a relatively soft $2,829 per screen average, but distributor Xlrator Media wasn’t disappointed in the film written and directed by John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”).

“We took a sort of old-school approach,” XLrator chief executive Barry Gordon told TheWrap. “We went wider and into several markets that we normally wouldn’t have so that we could get a handle on where we could get some traction. If you look at the top markets, we did very well, and that’s where we’ll focus as we expand in the next couple of weeks.”

Also read: 5 Reasons Why Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer’ Exploded at Box Office

“All Is By My Side” performed best in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. It also did well in Atlanta, where the hip-hop duo OutKast was performing over the weekend. But in smaller markets like Plano, Texas, it wasn’t so hot.

“All Is By My Side” doesn’t include any songs written by Hendrix, as the late guitar icon’s estate denied the filmmakers the rights. Set in London in 1966 and 1967, it co-stars Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell and Burn Gorman.

Meanwhile, “Pride,” the fact-based drama about a group of LGBT activists who come to the aid of Welsh miners during a 1984 strike, posted a solid debut for CBS Films.

Also read: ‘Pride’ Review: Gay Activists, Striking Miners Unite to Fight the Power

It brought in an estimated $84,791 from six locations in New York, LA and San Francisco this weekend for a per-screen average of $14,132.
“Pride” has drawn stellar reviews (93 percent positive on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences agreed, giving the film an A CinemaScore. The crowd was 54 percent male and 97 percent was 25 years of age or older.

Elsewhere, The Bill Hader-Kristen Wiig comedy-drama “The Skeleton Twins” expanded in its third weekend. It brought in an estimated $1.2 million on 385 screens — up from 49 last week– for a $3,278 per screen average that raised its domestic total to $2.3 million for Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate.

Starz Digital Media’s “Not Cool,” the directorial debut of YouTube star Shane Dawson, played on a single screen in New York where it grossed $26,000 for the weekend. This follows the film’s $10,000 showing on one screen in Los Angeles last weekend for a total to-date of $36,724.

Also read: YouTube Confirms Investment in Original Content From Top Video Creators

The raunchy comedy was also made available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and other digital retailers this past Tuesday. It reached the No. 5 spot on the iTunes Movies chart just hours after it’s release.

The film stars Dawson, Cherami Leigh and fellow YouTubers Drew Monson and Lisa Schwartz.