If his roles in the Scary Movie films, hosting duties at the BET awards, and his two hugely popular, hour-long Comedy Central stand-up specials haven’t tipped you off to Kevin Hart’s comedy, now’s the time to listen up. Last weekend, Hart released Laugh At My Pain, in select theaters, and the turnout was more than anyone expected. Released in only 99 theaters (all AMC), the film grossed about $2 million, which averages to a solid, roughly $20,000 per theater. For comparison, Happy Madison Production’s Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star was released the same day in 1,500 theaters and made under $1.5 million. Ouch!
Laugh At My Pain is made up mostly of Hart’s on-stage performance, but also includes footage of the comic going back to his hometown, Philadelphia, and features interviews with friends and family, and a vignette where he and his posse attempt to pull off a bank heist. The stand-up footage was filmed over two nights in Los Angeles as part of his Laugh At My Pain live tour. The entire tour hit 90 cities and grossed over $15 million in ticket sales while the two L.A. shows alone grossed $1.1 million, a feat no other African-American comedian has accomplished over a two-night stand, surpassing Eddie Murphy’s record of $1 million.
This is all to say, obviously, that Kevin Hart is one of the biggest stand-ups in the game today and it is only a matter of time before studios and movie makers take note of his star power. Laugh At My Pain will expand to 58 additional theaters this weekend where the positive turnout will hopefully continue.
You can read an interview Hart did with Laughspin about this monumental film here. And while you’re at it, check out a 2008 interview we did with the man. See, we knew Hart would be huge.