Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’ to premiere in 500 theaters on Aug. 8

Karu F. Daniels
New York Daily News

Fandango is planning to show some major R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the Queen of Soul.

The digital ticket service announced Monday it is giving moviegoers early access screenings of the Jennifer Hudson-headlined Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” ahead of its long-awaited Aug. 13 theatrical release.

The Liesl Tommy-directed film will get a nationwide sneak preview in 500 theaters on Aug. 8.

In the Detroit area, the preview will be shown at AMC Livonia, Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX, AMC Star John R in Madison Heights, AMC Star Gratiot in Clinton Township.

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in "Respect."

For the single-night event, “Respect” will be preceded by a Rotten Tomatoes original preshow program titled “Becoming: Aretha,” featuring an interview with Hudson, who Franklin picked to portray her before she died in August 2016. The Oscar and Grammy-winning star winner goes in-depth with Rotten Tomatoes on how she worked to inhabit the celebrated singer/songwriter’s spirit on stage and off, where she was a fierce advocate for civil tights.

“We are thrilled to team up with United Artists Releasing to give fans early access to see ‘Respect,’ what is sure to be one of the most talked-about movies of the year,” Fandango marketing chief Lori Pantel said with Monday’s announcement. “With our Fandango Premiere Screenings, we will be generating buzz and excitement across our expansive digital network, raising the film’s visibility leading into opening weekend.”

Pantel added: “According to our latest Fandango survey, fans think Respect demands to be seen with an audience of fellow movie and music lovers, and we’re excited to help usher them to that big screen experience.”

Tickets are on sale now.

In a survey of 2,000 moviegoers, the company found that 90% feel the movie needs to be experienced in a movie theater with a receptive audience. Data also showed that 96% are fans of Franklin, and 94% are Hudson fans.

Eight out of 10 surveyed said they were planning to see “Respect” at the very earliest screening opportunity.

Written by Callie Khouri and Tracey Scott Wilson, “Respect” also stars Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington and Tituss Burgess as the Rev. Dr. James Cleveland.