Slavoj Žižek Draws Biggest Doc Debut Crowd of the Weekend For ‘The Pervert’s Guide to the Galaxy’


Is it too early to declare Slavoj Žižek a movie star? The latest collaboration between the Slovenian philosopher and the English filmmaker Sophie Fiennes was the big documentary at the box office over the weekend, among new releases, and so let’s hope so. With an opening and a per-screen average of $9k, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology actually fell short of Žižek’s best to date, which is 2009’s Examined Life with $12k. But in that film he shared the screen with other contemporary philosophical figures, including Cornel West and Michael Hardt. Before that the same director, Astra Taylor, focused solely on Žižek for Žižek!, which opened with $7k.

A few other films debuted over the weekend with decent takes from their single screens. These include the critically acclaimed These Birds Walk, with total and average of $5k, and Barbara Kopple’s Mariel Hemingway profile Running From Crazy, which made a total and average of $7k. Also pretty impressive on two screens was Casting By, which earned a total of almost $8k in spite of having already played on HBO this year.

Also notable for the doc box office this weekend was the expected crossing of Inequality for All into the million-dollar club. The economy-focused film took in another $52k to edge it’s way to $1.1m. Other positive bumps for older docs include Let the Fire Burn, which added seven screens for a nearly 700% increase, Broadway Idiot, which had almost a 300% increase, and American Promise doing significantly better than last weekend even though it had no screen count change — but I believe it still had a location change, adding D.C. to its run starting Friday.

The box office champ of the weekend, though, was Bad Grandpa (if it qualifies?), which is about to pass the first Jackass movie’s total gross. It also is now officially the highest-grossing doc (or hybrid at least) of the year.

Here is the reported weekend box office (with averages in parenthesis) for 11/1/13–11/3/13, including new and continuing releases:

1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa — $20,010,303 ($6k)

2. Muscle Shoals— $57,828 ($1.3k)

3. Inequality for All— $51,987 ($0.8k)

4. Hubble 3D— $31,766 ($2.4k)

5. Generation Iron— $23,700 ($3k)

6. Space Station 3D (IMAX) — $20,742 ($5.2k)

7. American Promise— $15,400 ($3.9k)

8. The Square— $12,000 ($4k)

9. Spinning Plates— $11,513 ($6.9k)

10. 20 Feet From Stardom— $10,582 ($1.2k)

11. The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology— $9,165 ($9.2k)

12. Let the Fire Burn— $9,128 ($1k)

13. Born to Be Wild (IMAX) — $8,065 ($0.8k)

14. Casting By— $7,900 ($4k)

15. Running From Crazy— $6,822 ($6.8k)

16. Deep Sea 3D (IMAX) — $5,980 ($2k)

17. To the Arctic (IMAX) — $5,517 ($0.7k)

18. These Birds Walk— $5,454 ($5.5k)

19. Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story— $5,273 ($5.3k)

20. I Am Divine— $5,196 ($1.3k)

21. When Comedy Went to School— $5,100 ($1k)

22. Good Ol’ Freda— $3,537 ($0.5k)

23. God Loves Uganda— $3,274 ($0.7k)

24. Galapagos (IMAX) — $3,128 ($0.5k)

25. After Tiller— $2,534 ($0.8k)

26. Linsanity— $1,804 ($0.5k)

27. Hava Nagila (The Movie)— $866 ($0.9k)

28. Broadway Idiot— $787 ($0.8k)

29. Guitar Innovators: John Fahey & Nels Cline— $417($0.4k)

30. Birth of the Living Dead— $346 ($0.2k)

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

  1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa— $62m ($79m worldwide)
  2. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain — $32.2m
  3. One Direction: This Is Us — $28.9m ($66.6m worldwide)
  4. Hubble 3D (IMAX) — $4.9m
  5. 20 Feet From Stardom — $4.7m
  6. Metallica Through the Never— $3.4m
  7. Unstoppable— $3.2m
  8. To the Arctic (IMAX) — $2.9m
  9. The Gatekeepers — $2.4m
  10. Blackfish — $2.1m
  11. Space Station 3D (IMAX) — $1.9m
  12. Stories We Tell — $1.6m
  13. Born to Be Wild (IMAX) — $1.56m
  14. Girl Rising — $1.53m
  15. Flying Monsters— $1.51m
  16. Under the Sea 3D— $1.1m
  17. Inequality for All— $1.05m
     — -
  18. Generation Iron— $760k
  19. 56 Up — $700k
  20. Searching For Sugar Man — $686k
  21. Deep Sea 3D (IMAX) — $668k
  22. Salinger— $576k
  23. Chasing Ice — $530k
  24. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs — $510k
  25. The Act of Killing — $443k

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

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.