The latest 3D pop music doc-buster is not only the best nonfiction opener of the weekend, but it’s also the #1 movie overall*. On 2,735 screens One Direction: This Is Us earned $17m, also making it the second highest-grossing doc of 2013. It’s the seventh doc to open at #1 (for their weekend), and may be the lowest-grossing among them.
Past titles include Jackass 3D ($50m), Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31m), Jackass Number Two ($29m), Fahrenheit 9/11 ($24m), Michael Jackson’s This Is It ($23m) and Jackass: The Movie ($23m). I might be inclined to also include the Sacha Baron Cohen hybrids Borat ($26m), which stayed #1 for two weeks, and Bruno ($31m).
Other titles that opened at number one for their opening day include Earth (opened on a Wednesday and was #1 for two days), Oceans (opened on a Thursday), Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which had a much better opening weekend than This Is Us but fell a few hundred thousand dollars below the comedy Just Go With It at the end of its first weekend.
As for other docs that opened this weekend, Our Nixon picked up roughly $6k on three screens, which isn’t too shabby given that the film has already been airing on CNN for a month. Another CNN Films doc, Girl Rising, reportedly also picked up an additional $10k last week. And just ahead of its home video release, Stories We Tell took in a last-minute additional $5k.
Also last week Blackfish (also CNN Films) made another $215k, 20 Feet From Stardom another $134k, Cutie and the Boxer $45k, The Act of Killing $25k, When Comedy Went to School $21k, Spark: A Burning Man Story $9k, Free the Mind $7k, Rising From Ashes $7k, Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers $3k, Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie $2k, A Band Called Death $2k, How to Make Money Selling Drugs $1k, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me $1k, Hava Nagila: The Movie $154.
Here is the current top 25 doc box office for 2013:
- Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain — $32.2m
- One Direction: This Is Us — $17m
- 20 Feet From Stardom — $4.3m
- The Gatekeepers — $2.4m
- Blackfish — $1.7m
- Stories We Tell — $1.6m
- Girl Rising — $1.5m
- 56 Up — $700k
- Searching For Sugar Man — $690k
- Chasing Ice — $530k
- Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs — $510k
- Sound City — $420k
- Dirty Wars — $371k
- Hava Nagila: The Movie — $369k
- The Act of Killing — $366k
- Koch — $343k
- Happy People: A Year in the Taiga — $339k
- West of Memphis — $288k
- Room 237 — $263k
- A Place at the Table — $231k
- No Place On Earth — $200k
- Somm — $174k
- We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks — $166k
- Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay — $148k
- Free Angela and All Political Prisoners — $129k
Data pulled from Box Office Mojo
Some data pointed out by the always dependable A.J. Schnack
* For the four-day Labor Day weekend, This Is Us came in at #2 behind Lee Daniels’ The Butler.