Andrei Tarkovsky’s visually extraordinary and philosophically provocative 1979 masterpiece Stalker made box-office history at the Film Society this weekend, boasting the highest-grossing opening weekend for a re-release in our organization’s history. Restored by Mosfilm from a 2K scan of the original negative, the Janus Films release grossed a record-breaking $20,540 this weekend in its exclusive run at the Walter Reade Theater. Not only does this mark the Film Society’s biggest re-release of all time, Stalker also had the second highest per theater average at the overall domestic box office, following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
“This stellar opening for Stalker confirms that Andrei Tarkovsky’s sci-fi epic is a holy grail for art-house audiences,” said Peter Becker, President of the Criterion Collection & Partner in Janus Films. “Years in the making, this meticulous new restoration finally does justice to the haunting power and mysterious beauty of one of the masterpieces of world cinema that has been hardest to see in a decent print. We are thrilled with this start to our national release, and we have every reason to expect similarly enthusiastic crowds at independent theaters all across the country.”
Audiences will have more chances to enter the Zone as Stalker‘s run has been extended through next week, joining a restoration of another Tarkovsky sci-fi masterpiece, Solaris, which opens on Friday, May 12. Reserve tickets here.