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42 hit a home run at the box office this weekend, earning more than $27 million.

According to reports, the flick about Jackie Robinson’s legendary career grossed the largest debut ever for a baseball film. It also played well across the demographics, attracting both genders, suburban and city audiences and viewers of all races.

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“Most adults remember what he accomplished and the purpose of what he did for not only baseball but the betterment of mankind,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. studio’s president of domestic distribution. “I think the story is proving to be a lot greater than many people had anticipated.”

42 stars newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Nicole Beharie as the late Baseball Hall of Famer’s wife Rachel Robinson.

Boseman said portraying the American legend was a heavy responsibility and each day he simply focused on telling the truth.

I definitely felt the responsibility going into it. I felt more responsibility to [Jackie’s widow] Rachel Robinson than I did to anyone else. Everyone had their own opinions and reasons why he is a hero to them. People would meet me, call me, text me, e-mail me, Facebook-message me, and tell me, “I hear you’re playing my hero.” When that happens, you know that all of those people are going to have an opinion and feelings that you have to live up to. But I just thought, Let me just focus on the truth.

If you think about him being an icon and a hero anyway, that actually is the pitfall in playing the role. It’s the biggest pitfall you can fall into because he didn’t know that he was going to be an icon. He didn’t know that he was going to be a hero. In fact, [Jackie] has to deal with that heroism throughout the movie when he finds out that [being in Major League baseball] is a bigger deal to everyone than he thought it would be. You can’t completely block out that feeling of responsibility, but you can focus the same way he did—one thing at a time, moment to moment. Eventually all the pieces will be there.

Looks like Boseman did an excellent job, considering 42 earned a rare “A+” grade from CinemaScore.

Landing at the number two box office spot was Scary Movie 5, which grossed $15.2 million this weekend.


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