The newest installation of The Color Purple came out on Christmas day and is already performing in a promising way for Warner Bros. Pictures. Blitz Bazawule directed the movie musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s award-winning novel which serves as a retelling of the iconic 1985- The Color Purple film, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg. The 2023 adaptation still tells the story of Celie, a southern Black woman in the early 20th century who goes on a journey to find independence from the intense physical and mental abuse she faces throughout her life, and that is recounted through her various letters to God. However, this film is inspired by the Broadway version of the story as it is not only a musical, but also involves a twist that sees Celie triumph from her situation into stardom. The Color Purple (2023) stars Fantasia Barrino as Celie as well as a predominantly Black cast of big names such as Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey and more. 

One can assume that a budget for a film with that many stars would be quite expensive. This rings even more true when taking into account that many producers of the film are industry giants, some whom were involved in the original 1985 film. This includes Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, Alice Walker and others. 

How Much Did It Cost To Make ‘The Color Purple’?

The official budget for The Color Purple (2023) has not been disclosed but sources such as Screen Rant and Fortune estimate the budget was around $100 million. Erin Johnson for Screen Rant wrote that Winfrey and the rest of the film’s production team felt the pressure of this high budget and initially considered superstars like Beyoncé for the film, but ultimately decided to seek out other talent. The film’s stars are directly correlated to its success. Barrino reprised her role from Broadway musical as Celie for her Hollywood debut. 

Lindsey Bahr for The Associated Press wrote that Henson said she was initially turned off by the idea of having to audition for the film.  “I just felt some way about having to audition. I’m Academy Award-nominated,” Henson reflected. “But I checked my ego, and I did it. I found a dress, had a flower in my hair, and faux fur stole, and I kicked the door down because I didn’t want them to ever second guess me again.”

Bahr also wrote that Brooks, who was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal in the musical as Sofia, had a long and frustrating auditioning process. However, both actors endured it as they said they believed the film was worth it. 

‘The Color Purple’ Box Office Performance

So what about the film’s box office performance? Dyah Ayu Larasati for Collider explained that The Color Purple would need to earn double its budget in order to break even at the box office. This means the film would need to earn at least $200 million dollars. However, if the movie’s rumored award nomination talks, first-week performance at the box office of $18.5 million and high critical reception including 87% on Rotten Tomatoes is a testament, the movie should have no issue reaching profit.