Box Office: Self-Distributed ‘American Promise’ Makes Good With Top Doc Screen Average

Box Office: Self-Distributed ‘American Promise’ Makes Good With Top Doc Screen Average

American Promise 4

Continuing to rise up the charts — the documentary chart at least — Inequality for All earned another bundle over $100k over the weekend and easily took the #1 slot away from the Metallica hybrid doc. Let’s let it celebrate that victory for a moment before the upcoming Bad Grandpa steals the throne for a while (probably immediately becoming the top-grossing doc of the year in the process). I’ll give Jacob Kornbluth’s economy film starring Robert Reich two more weekends to break the $1m mark.

For new releases, the big story belongs to American Promise, a film that’s been in the works for 13 years. In two theaters only, it managed the best per-screen average for a documentary and total $18k. That’s really good for a self-distributed effort with no-name directors, no-name subjects and no real issue. Fellow opener Birth of the Living Dead fared much less with just over $1k total over six screens, though we’ll see how it does when it gets to NYC next month.

Here is the reported weekend box office (with averages in parenthesis) for 10/18/13–10/20/13, including new and continuing releases:

1. Inequality for All— $128k ($1.2k)

2. Metallica Through the Never— $71k ($1.6k)

3. Generation Iron— $55k ($1.7k)

4. American Promise— $18k ($9.2k)

5. Linsanity— $17k ($1.9k)

6. Broadway Idiot— $12k ($1.9k)

7. After Tiller— $10k ($1.6k)

8. 20 Feet From Stardom— $8k ($0.5k)

9. When Comedy Went to School— $4k ($0.7k)

10. God Loves Uganda— $3.2k ($3.2k)

11. Meerkats— $2.8k ($2.8k)

12. Let the Fire Burn— $2.0k ($1k)

13. Design Is One— $1.9k ($1.9k)

14. Free the Mind— $1.4k ($0.7k)

15. Birth of the Living Dead— $1.24k ($0.2k)

16. Flying Monsters 3D— $1.21

17. The Act of Killing— $0.5k ($0.3k)

And here is the current top 25 doc box office for 2013 (note the changeover from millions to thousands):

  1. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain — $32.2m
  2. One Direction: This Is Us — $28.9m ($66.6m worldwide)
  3. Hubble 3D (IMAX) — $4.9m
  4. 20 Feet From Stardom — $4.7m
  5. Unstoppable— $3.20m
  6. Metallica Through the Never— $3.3m
  7. To the Arctic (IMAX) — $2.9m
  8. The Gatekeepers — $2.4m
  9. Blackfish — $2.1m
  10. Space Station 3D (IMAX) — $1.9m
  11. Stories We Tell — $1.6m
  12. Born to Be Wild (IMAX) — $1.56m
  13. Girl Rising — $1.53m
  14. Flying Monsters— $1.49m
  15. Under the Sea 3D— $1.1m
     — -
  16. Inequality for All— $778k
  17. 56 Up — $700k
  18. Generation Iron— $697k
  19. Searching For Sugar Man — $686k
  20. Deep Sea 3D (IMAX) — $668k
  21. Salinger— $576k
  22. Chasing Ice — $530k
  23. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs — $510k
  24. The Act of Killing — $443k
  25. Sound City — $421k

Data pulled from Box Office Mojo and IMDb and Deadline and The Numbers.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.