Box Office: ‘Metallica’ and ‘Muscle Shoals’ Open Strongly But Kirk Cameron Wins the Week
Before getting to the weekend box office, we have to acknowledge a special event held last Thursday that drew in the best gross for any nonfiction film over the past seven days: Unstoppable, the latest Christian documentary starring Kirk Cameron, which took in more than $2m for the nationally simulcast screenings. The amount gave NCM Fathom Events (best known for live concerts and opera) its biggest turnout of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And it will actually be back on the big screen for another showing this Thursday, if you’re curious. Or have doubts about your faith in times of great tragedy, because that’s what it’s about.
As for the actual weekend, the apocalyptic concert film hybrid Metallica Through the Never opened at #13 with $1.7m. That’s low for a major music doc from a Hollywood distributor (Warner Bros.’s Picturehouse) but still relatively on par with rock (as opposed to pop) based films like Shine A Light and U23D given its limited exclusive screen count — it was released in IMAX theaters only for its first week and will expand to other screens this Friday.
It also still did a lot better than the other major concert film out right now, One Direction: This Is Us [review], which has significantly dropped its screen count and was down to making only $141.2k over the weekend, its fifth.
Just below This Is Us was the economy doc Inequality for All [review], which earned $140.9k on 28 screens. Because of the relatively large debut its per screen average wasn’t anything to be excited about, but that’s still now the second best opening for a non-concert doc this year — after last weekend’s big bow of Generation Iron, which doubled it’s total this weekend with an additional $240k.
The film that did take the per-theater average crown for all movies out this weekend is the recording studio doc Muscle Shoals, which grossed $14k on a single screen in NYC while also probably making millions on VOD (it was released day-and-date and quickly became the top-selling doc on iTunes).
One more documentary opened this week: Shepard and Dark, starring Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, arrived on one screen last Wednesday, making $2.9k over the five days and $1.2k since Friday.
Here is the reported weekend box office (with averages in parenthesis) for 9/27–9/29 including new and continuing releases:
1. Metallica Through the Never — $1.7m ($5.5k)
2. Generation Iron — $240k ($3k)
3. One Direction: This Is Us — $141k ($0.6k)
4. Inequality for All — $140.9k ($5k)
5. Salinger — $65k ($0.5k)
6. 20 Feet From Stardom — $22k ($0.7k)
7. Good Ol’ Freda — $18.5k ($0.9k)
8. Muscle Shoals — $14k ($14k)
9. Blackfish — $13k ($0.6k)
10. GMO OMG — $10k ($1.3k)
11. The Trials of Muhammad Ali — $6.7k ($0.7k)
12 Jewtopia — $6.6k ($0.8k)
13. The Short Game — $5k ($0.7k)
14. Mademoiselle C — $4k ($1.5k)
15. Free the Mind — $3k ($0.8k)
16. When Comedy Went to School — $3k ($0.4k)
17. The Act of Killing — $2k ($0.2k)
18. Shepard and Dark — $1.23k ($1.23k)
19. The Informant — $1.22k ($0.4k)
20. Rising From Ashes — $0.66k ($0.66k)
21. Stories We Tell — $0.4k ($0.1k)
22. Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay — $0.2k ($0.2k)
23. Hava Nagila The Movie — $95 ($95)
And here is the current top 25 doc box office for 2013 (note the changeover from millions to thousands):
- Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain — $32.2m
- One Direction: This Is Us — $28.8m ($62.6m worldwide)
- Hubble 3D (IMAX) — $4.9m
- 20 Feet From Stardom — $4.7m
- To the Arctic (IMAX) — $2.9m
- The Gatekeepers — $2.4m
- Blackfish — $2m
- Unstoppable — $2m
- Space Station 3D (IMAX) — $1.9m
- Metallica Through the Never — $1.7m
- Stories We Tell — $1.6m
- Born to Be Wild (IMAX) — $1.56m
- Girl Rising — $1.53m
- Flying Monsters — $1.49m
- Under the Sea 3D — $1.1m
- 56 Up — $700k
- Searching For Sugar Man — $686k
- Deep Sea 3D (IMAX) — $668k
- Chasing Ice — $530k
- Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs — $510k
- Salinger — $505k
- Generation Iron — $480k
- Sound City — $421k
- The Act of Killing — $420k
- Dirty Wars — $371k
Data pulled from Box Office Mojo and IMDb and Deadline.