JOHANNESBURG -- A movie depicting the life of Nelson Mandela has become South Africa's highest grossing picture after its opening last week, its producers said Thursday.
The film, "Long Walk to Freedom," has already earned $427,000, according to Videovision Entertainment.
The movie stars British actor Idris Elba as Mandela, the liberation-struggle icon who died Thursday at age 95. It's based on his autobiography with the same title.
The British-South African co-production opened just over a week ago in South Africa, followed by a limited engagement in New York and Los Angeles. It had showings in Pittsburgh during last month's Three Rivers Film Festival and is scheduled to open here Dec. 25.
"I visited a few cinemas over the weekend and experienced the emotional response to the film with audiences leaving the cinemas completely satisfied," said producer Anant Singh. "For me as a filmmaker, this is really fulfilling."
The movie traces Mandela's life from his childhood in a remote rural part of South Africa, through his years struggling against apartheid, to his 27-year imprisonment and his election as the country's first black president in 1994.