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The Watermelon Woman (1997)

The Watermelon Woman
Theatrical Performance
Domestic Box Office $42,735Details
Further financial details...

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


Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly as “the Watermelon Woman”) had a white lesbian lover. At the same time, Cheryl falls in love with a very cute white customer at the video store.


Latest Ranking on Cumulative Box Office Lists

All Time Domestic Box Office (Rank 12,301-12,400) 12,363 $42,735
All Time Worldwide Box Office (Rank 17,001-17,100) 17,020 $42,735
All Time Domestic Highest Grossing Limited Release Movies (Rank 5,001-5,100) 5,009 $42,735

See the Box Office tab (Domestic) and International tab (International and Worldwide) for more Cumulative Box Office Records.

Movie Details

Production Budget:$300,000
Domestic Releases: March 5th, 1997 (Limited) by First Run Features
November 10th, 2016 (Limited) by First Run Features
Video Release: May 9th, 2000 by First Run Home
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 85 minutes
Comparisons: Create your own comparison chart…
Keywords: African-American, LGBT, Romance, Interracial Romance, Documentarian, Directing Yourself, Screenplay Written By the Star
Source:Original Screenplay
Production Method:Live Action
Creative Type:Contemporary Fiction
Production Companies: Dancing Girl, The Effects House
Production Countries: United States

Leading Cast


Supporting Cast

Valarie Walker    Tamara
Cheryl Clarke    Shirley
Sarah Schulman    CLIT Archivist
Brian Freeman    Lee
Irene Dunye    Mrs. Dunye
Lisa Marie Bronson    Fae Richards/The Watermelon Woman
V.S. Brodie    Karaoke Singer


Camille Paglia    Herself

For a description of the different acting role types we use to categorize acting perfomances, see our Glossary.

Production and Technical Credits

Cheryl Dunye    Screenwriter
Doug McKeown    Screenwriter
Alexandra Juhasz    Producer
Barry Swimar    Producer
Zoe Leonard    Producer
Michael Light    Executive Producer
Robert Holtzman    Production Designer
Cheryl Dunye    Editor
Paul Shapiro    Composer
Michelle Crenshaw    Cinematographer

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Domestic Cumulative Box Office Records

Weekend Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossWeek
1997/03/07 61 $8,936   1 $8,936   $11,131 1
1997/03/14 61 $8,804 -1% 12 $734   $23,498 2
1997/03/28 61 $7,133   26 $274   $33,772 4
1997/04/04 61 $450 -94% 33 $14   $38,685 5
1997/04/25 61 $1,819   54 $34   $40,746 8
2016/11/11 96 $774   1 $774   $42,210 1,028

Daily Box Office Performance

Weekly Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossWeek
1997/03/07 0 $12,499   1 $12,499   $14,694 2
1997/03/28 0 $11,596   26 $446   $38,235 5
2016/11/04 111 $690   1 $690   $41,436 1,028
2016/11/11 108 $1,299 +88% 1 $1,299   $42,735 1,029