‘Color Purple’ Struggles at Box Office After Big Christmas Opening

“The Color Purple,” a new musical take on Alice Walker’s landmark novel, seemed to arrive as an instant hit.

Awash in critical exultation, the movie rolled into theaters on Christmas Day and sold more than $18 million in tickets, a near record for the holiday. Audiences gave it an A grade in CinemaScore exit polls. Oprah Winfrey, who produced the film with Steven Spielberg, celebrated on Instagram. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” she wrote, adding, “For y’all to buy tickets, dress up in purple, and show up in droves is filling me up.”

But the sizzle has turned to a sputter.

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