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"Beau is Afraid" has the Biggest Indie Film Box Office Opening of 2023

Ari Aster's latest film, "Beau is Afraid," has made quite an impression on audiences and critics alike, receiving both critical praise and financial success. Produced by indie film production house A24, the film features a star-studded cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Parker Posey, and Patti LuPone.

Despite having only four theatres to start with - two in New York and two in Los Angeles - "Beau is Afraid" managed to gross an impressive $320,396. With an average sales figure of $80,099 per theatre, it achieved the biggest screen average of the year, and became the second most successful release for A24.

At the heart of the film is Beau Wasserman, portrayed by the iconic Joaquin Phoenix. Beau is a man plagued by paranoia and sets out on a surreal odyssey to his hometown for his mother's funeral, where he confronts his deepest fears and anxieties along the way. The experience has been described as a "three-hour panic attack" by some viewers, and critics have struggled to understand the story fully. Rolling Stone critic David Fear has gone so far as to call it "either the most terrifying comedy or the funniest horror film of 2023."

Aster, known for his critically acclaimed horror films "Midsommar" and "Hereditary," delivers another mind-bending experience with a comedic twist in "Beau is Afraid." The film has been Aster's most expensive endeavor to date, costing approximately $35 million compared to his previous projects, which cost between $9 million and $10 million.

The film's success has set high expectations for its international release, and A24 is already anticipating a great turnout. With its star-studded cast, incredible production value, and thought-provoking storytelling, "Beau is Afraid" has established itself as a must-see film of 2023.

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