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Benda Bilili! (2011)

Benda Bilili! poster
Theatrical Performance
Domestic Box Office $13,420Details
Further financial details...

  1. Summary
  2. News
  3. Box Office
  4. Video Sales
  5. Full Financials
  6. Cast & Crew
  7. Trailer


"Benda Bilili!" follows an unlikely group of musicians in Kinshasa, capital of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The band, Staff Benda Bilili - in English, "look beyond" - is a group of street musicians composed of four paraplegics and three able-bodied men. The core of the group is four singer/guitarists stricken with polio, who use customized tricycles to get around: Ricky Likabu, the eldest and a co-founding member of the band; Coco Ngambali, the band's composer and co-founding member with Likabu; Djunana Tanga-Suele, the member most disabled by polio, yet the official choreographer; and Theo Nsituvuidi, a bass player and soprano singer. Joining them is a young and entirely acoustic rhythm section, led by Roger Landu, a teenage prodigy on the satonge, a one-string guitar he designed and built himself out of a tin can. French film directors Florent de la Tullaye and Renaud Barret encountered the extraordinary group in 2004 as they played their music on homemade instruments in the area around the Kinshasa Zoo and began documenting the band's struggles to survive, through music, in the volatile city. The result is an exuberant film that follows the band's journey from the streets to the world's stages, culminating in the 2009 release of their acclaimed album "Tres Tres Fort."


Rotten Tomatoes
Critics FreshAudience Upright
93% - Fresh
82% - Upright

Latest Ranking on Cumulative Box Office Lists

Movie Details

Domestic Releases: September 30th, 2011 (Limited) by National Geographic Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some drug material.
(Rating bulletin 2177, 6/22/2011)
Running Time: 84 minutes
Comparisons: Create your own comparison chart…
Keywords: Musicians, War, Confined to a Wheelchair, Homeless, Voiceover/Narration
Source:Based on Real Life Events
Production Method:Live Action
Creative Type:Factual
Production Companies: Screen Runner, La Belle Kinoise
Production Countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Ranking on other Records and Milestones

Days In
Biggest 3rd Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 7,920 $4,523 Oct 14, 2011 17
Biggest 2nd Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 9,334 $2,733 Oct 7, 2011 10
Biggest Opening Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 11,549 $1,678 Sep 30, 2011 3


Cubain Kabeya    Himself
Paulin Kiara-Miagi    Himself
Roger Landu    Himself
Montana    Himself
Coco Ngambali    Himself
Theo Nsituvuidi    Himself
Ajuan Tanga-Suele    Himself

Production and Technical Credits

Screenwriter    Renaud Barret
Screenwriter    Florent de La Tullaye
Producer    Yves Chanvillard
Producer    Nadim Cheikhrouha
Editor    Jean-Christophe Hym

Per Theater Chart: Taking the High Road

October 5th, 2011

There were only a couple films to topped the $10,000 mark on this week's per theater chart, while many more failed to reach the Mendoza Line. We find Munger Road on the high end with $36,605 in its lone theater. Meanwhile, Take Shelter was the only other film in the $10,000 club with an average of $17,347. Both film should expand, but the latter should have a better shot at earning some mainstream success over the former. More...

Limited Releases vs. Evil

September 30th, 2011

The list of limited releases this week includes a few films that are earning amazing reviews while going after very different target audiences. Take Shelter should please fans of art house dramas and has the best shot at earning some measure of mainstream success. Benda Bilili! is the best bet for fans of documentaries, but its potential to expand is more limited. Meanwhile, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is anything but the typical art house film, but its reviews are so good that it deserves to find an audience, even if it has to wait till the home market to do so. More...

Compare this performance with other movies…

Weekend Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossDays
2011/09/30 103 $1,678   1 $1,678   $1,678 3
2011/10/07 99 $2,733 +63% 2 $1,367   $5,612 10
2011/10/14 96 $4,523 +65% 3 $1,508   $11,268 17

Daily Box Office Performance

Weekly Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossDays
2011/09/30 101 $2,879   1 $2,879   $2,879 7
2011/10/07 97 $3,866 +34% 2 $1,933   $6,744 14
2011/10/14 91 $6,676 +73% 3 $2,225   $13,420 21

Full financial estimates for this film, including domestic and international box office, video sales, video rentals, TV and ancillary revenue are available through our research services. For more information, please contact us at