Stand-up movie takes $2million

Big hit for America's Kevin Hart

American comic Kevin Hart has scored a surprise hit at the US box office – with his stand-up film Laugh At My Pain taking $2million in its opening weekend.

The movie – the first concert film from a black comedian since Martin Martin Lawrence's Runteldat in 2002 – opened in just 99 cinemas, producing a strong average of $20,000 per screen.

And it means a good return for producer Jeff Clanagan, who made it for just $750,000, and spent little on traditional advertising – instead targetting Hart’s fans via Facebook and Twitter.

In the film, 33-year-old Hart openly talks about at his father's drug addiction, the death of his mother and his separation from his wife Torre, also a comedian. The movie also includes a touching documentary segment in which Hart visits his hometown of Philadelphia.

Its success should not be a huge surprise, as it was filmed during a 90-city tour earlier this year which grossed more than $15 million.

But stand-up films have had a mixed reception in cinemas. The Original Kings of Comedy with Cedric the Entertainer made $38.2 million in 2000, and Martin Lawrence’s film grossed $19.2 million two years later. But Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show flopped with just $600,000 in 2008.

Laugh at My Pain is opening in an extra 58 cinemas next weekend, as being released in Africa through Silverbird Cinemas, which has screens in Nigeria and Ghana.

Here is its trailer:

Published: 12 Sep 2011

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