The producer for the biopic about the ubiquitous Nashville eye surgeon had hoped for $10 million in ticket sales over Memorial Day weekend

By Brad Schmit, May 29, 2024, Tennessean

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A Hollywood adaptation of Nashville eye surgeon Ming Wang's story grossed $3.5 million in its opening weekend, according to several movie industry trade organizations.

The movie "Sight" — released by independent inspirational-movie house Angel Studios — fell short of producer David Fischer's hopes for $10 million in ticket sales for its first three days out.

But movie industry news sites noted that this past weekend — led at the box office by "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" and "The Garfield Movie" — was the worst overall Memorial Day weekend for movie ticket sales since 1995.

"Sight," shown on 2,100 screens nationwide, finished in seventh place. Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear stars as Wang's mentor.

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The good news for producers: People who saw the movie really love it, according to two major online movie sites.

The Rotten Tomatoes listed an audience score of 98%, and CinemaScore gives "Sight" an A.

The movie focuses on Wang's journey from a poor boy growing up in China during the Communist regime's Cultural Revolution to renowned eye surgeon in the U.S.

Wang shared parts of that story with The Tennessean in 2015 and in his autobiography, "From Darkness to Sight," in 2016.

Though somewhat subdued in the past eight years, Wang became a ubiquitous presence in Nashville after opening his vision center in 2002. Billboards and TV commercials flooded the city, promoting his expertise in laser eye surgery and showing off his ballroom dancing skills and celebrity clients, including Dolly Parton.

For years, his annual EyeBall — held to raise money for free surgeries to restore sight to indigent patients worldwide — drew prominent Tennessee political, media and entertainment figures.

Wang himself invested in making "Sight," an $8.5 million production.

Before the movie opened, Wang said it was successful.

"It's an Asian American first generation story about someone who found freedom and faith in America," he said. "It's the story of Chinese American who found way to contribute back to America."

Reach Brad Schmitt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 615-259-8384.