PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG, a new nonfiction film about the songwriter/activist, led four new nonfiction films at the box office this weekend, with a terrific single-screen take at NYC's IFC Center of just under $12K for the weekend. Directed by Jim Brown, who also directed the classic 1982 music documentary THE WEAVERS: WASN'T THAT A TIME, the film seemed to confirm the notion that boomers will still turn out for music documentaries about artists of the 1960s.
Note - When I first posted this, I neglected to catch the release of a fifth documentary, Rodolphe Marconi's LAGERFELD CONFIDENTIAL, released in the US by Koch Lorber. The film finished the weekend with an excellent $11.5K on a single screen at the Film Forum in NYC.
second third (in per screen averages) was Roadside Attraction's release of the film HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE, which posted an average of just over $2,100. Third Fourth was Magnolia's release of Mark Levin's MR. UNTOUCHABLE, the true story of notorious heroin dealer Nicky Barnes, with an average of just under $2K on 26 screens.
Last was the almost catastrophic debut of Jonathan Demme's much-hyped JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS, which Sony Pictures Classics opened on 7 screens for an average of under $1,500.
For more about the disappointing returns of several high profile fall nonfictions, see my previous post on the rumored "doc depression".
Meanwhile, Daniel Karslake's FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO breaks into the top 15 documentaries of the year, surpassing Gary Hustwit's HELVETICA. In its fourth week at 11 theatres, FOR THE BIBLE is still averaging more than $2K per screen, bettering 2 of this week's 4 new releases.
Coming next weekend, WIP's DARFUR NOW and IFC's JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN.
Here are the top 15 docs thus far in 2007 through this past weekend:
1. SICKO (LionsGate) $24,540,079
2. NO END IN SIGHT (Magnolia) $ 1,430,185
3. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (THINK) $ 1,062,362
4. ARCTIC TALE (Paramount Vantage) $ 833,532
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) $ 677,914
9. GYPSY CARAVAN (Shadow) $ 407,511
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) $ 229,749
14. AN UNREASONABLE MAN (IFC) $ 176,647
15. FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO (First Run) $ 174,508