Despite disappointment over its general box office haul, THINKFilm's IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON became just the third documentary released in 2007 to cross the $1 million mark at the box office, doing so this past week. And unless late year efforts like Jonathan Demme's JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS can follow suit, it may be the last. More signs of the Doc Depression we keep hearing about, evidence of oversaturation or other factors?
Meanwhile, the year's big Kahuna - SICKO from Michael Moore - looks to finally have bowed out after several months in theaters. It's final take of just over $24.5 million was enough to surpass last year's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, but was still viewed as a disappointment by some, who hoped it would rally theatergoers to docs en masse. We had our own little round of predictions as to the film's final tally back in June - and although it was a close contest (with GreenCine's Jonathan Marlow predicting $24M), Shooting from the Hip's Ingrid Kopp takes the prize with her self-described "wussy, can't-make-up-my-mind 25 million". Ingrid gets bragging rights and a drink of her choice when I next see her.
While little else has changed in the top 15, it's what's happening just below that sparks interest. Daniel Karslake's FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO continues to perform well in it's platformed release. Taking in an average of nearly $2,500 on 14 screens, the film climbed to #17 on the year's chart of releases. Meanwhile, Amir Bar-Lev's MY KID COULD PAINT THAT cross the $100,000 mark on Monday - perhaps less than people thought the film would be at by this point (considering the hefty Sundance deal) but a significant marker nonetheless.
On the non-doc front, indieWIRE's i:BOT shows more love for Anton Corbijn's CONTROL and a surprising strong debut from festival favorite WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY.
Here's the top 15 docs thus far in 2007 through this past weekend:
1. SICKO (LionsGate) $24,540,079
2. NO END IN SIGHT (Magnolia) $ 1,424,221
3. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (THINK) $ 1,021,343
4. ARCTIC TALE (Paramount Vantage) $ 833,390
5. SHARKWATER (Alliance) $ 816,798
6. INTO GREAT SILENCE (Zeitgeist) $ 788,728
7. THE 11TH HOUR (Warner Independent) $ 707,343
8. THE KING OF KONG (Picturehouse) $ 674,925
9. GYPSY CARAVAN (Shadow) $ 403,158
10. GOD GREW TIRED OF US (Newmarket) $ 301,447
11. CRAZY LOVE (Magnolia) $ 301,027
12. DEEP WATER (IFC) $ 231,954
13. MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (Zeitgeist) $ 227,615
14. AN UNREASONABLE MAN (IFC) $ 176,647
15. HELVETICA $ 159,232