Beyoncé captivated Hollywood’s attention Saturday night as the superstar held a stealthily staged world premiere of her concert movie, “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé,” at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The movie, which documents her Renaissance World Tour, will be released in the U.S. on Dec. 1 via major exhibition chains, including AMC, Regal and Cinemark. Beyoncé fans have noted that Dec. 1 also marks World AIDS Day – the singer dedicated her “Renaissance” album to her late cousin Johnny (she refers to him as “Uncle Johnny”), who died of AIDS-related illness.
Details of the premiere were kept under wraps, with guests invited with a save-the-date that only included the screening’s 7 p.m. start time and a “cozy opulence” dress code. The location, which turned out to be the Goldwyn Theater, was provided less than 24 hours before the start of the festivities. Guests were advised to take a ride share to an address in Beverly Hills, where they were directed to the location of the screening. The “chrome carpet” kicked off at 5:30 p.m. Among the attendees were Lizzo, Janelle Monáe and Beyoncé’s former Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Also on hand were “The Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey, Ava DuVernay, Tyler Perry, Issa Rae, “Blackish” star Marsai Martin, Laverne Cox, Niecy Nash-Betts, Gabrielle Union, LeToya Luckett, former BET Networks chief Debra Lee and model-musician Shaun Ross.
Beyoncé walked into the theater as the lights were dimmed and an announcer reminded guests that no photos or video recordings were allowed. Phones were locked in security bags.
Silver envelopes containing a travel-size sample of Beyoncé’s perfume were placed at everyone’s seat. Popcorn was served in metal Renaissance buckets with water offered in matching cups.
A premiere is also scheduled for Nov. 30 in London.
While Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at Taylor Swift’s Los Angeles premiere of her concert film, the “Karma” singer is currently touring in South America and unlikely to make Queen B’s event. However, Swift appears to be free to attend the London festivities.
A “Renaissance” trailer released in September featured footage of Beyoncé rehearsing with eldest daughter and tour backup dancer Blue Ivy Carter as well as her and Jay-Z’s twins, Rumi and Sir. Jay-Z is also in voiceover asking his wife about her plans for the tour.
The latest trailer was released during a spot on NBC’s telecast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
Beyoncé chose an unconventional deal like the one struck between AMC and Swift in August. Swift’s film was self-financed and she will reportedly see well over 50% of box office grosses Beyoncé will get the same deal, sources told Variety.
The Renaissance tour kicked off on May 10 in Stockholm before concluding on Oct. 1 in Kansas City, Missouri. Live Nation announced in October that the global trek earned more than $579 million worldwide, with 2.7 million fans attending across 56 dates in 39 cities.
Beyoncé’s previous concert films include the direct-to-DVD “I Am…Yours,” filmed live at Las Vegas’ Wynn Casino in 2009; the 2013 HBO project “Life Is But a Dream,” a confessional account of new motherhood mixed with live performances from her grand opening performance at Atlantic City’s Revel Casino; and Netflix’s “Homecoming,” which captured Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella headlining set.
Beyoncé’s foray into feature film acting includes “Dreamgirls,” “The Lion King,” “Austin Powers: Goldmember” and “Obsessed.”
From Variety US