“Philomena,” – based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” – is looking like a winner at the box office.
The independent feature, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, has raked in nearly $20 million domestically, while taking in another $17 million overseas, according to Box Office Mojo.
The film is also garnering Oscar buzz, picking up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, as well as Dench grabbing a nomination for Best Actress.
“Our exit polls were as high as anything we’ve had, including "The Artist" and "The King’s Speech,"" Erik Lomis, president of distribution and home entertainment for The Weinstein Company, told Deadline.com.
“Philomena” focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into the son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith (Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.