Doug Pray's SURFWISE, the eye-opening portrait of the unorthadox Paskowitz surfing family, had a stellar opening at the IFC Center over the weekend, taking in more than $10K - enough to land at or very near the top of indieWIRE's iW:BOT when it is published tomorrow. SURFWISE is the last major spring release before the onslaught of summer blockbuster titles, capping a season filled with unexpected successes and a few very high-profile disappointments.
The next major doc release comes next month, when THINK rolls out Werner Herzog's ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (from the rumored-to-be-defunct Discovery Films). Lionsgate has announced that they are postponing the release of the Larry Charles/Bill Maher nonfiction RELIGULOUS from June to October 3, ostensibly because they want the springboard of a major fall festival (a possible Telluride/Toronto two-fer) although word is that the film wouldn't have been ready for its June release, effectively forcing the move (and putting at least one major summer festival in a bind).
Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight continues to find success with its gradual expansion of YOUNG@HEART. Now in 145 theaters, the film is averaging just over $2,500 per screen and now looks assured of reaching 2 million. And although EXPELLED is clearly slowing down and shedding screens, it still looks like it could pass U23D before the end of both films' run.
Here's the 2008 Nonfiction Box Office through Sunday:
1. U23D (National Geographic) $ 7,867,852
2. EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED (Rocky) $ 7,235,324
3. SHINE A LIGHT (Paramount Vantage) $ 5,031,562
4. YOUNG@HEART (Fox Searchlight) $ 1,444,646
5. VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST... (Picturehouse) $ 603,894
6. UP THE YANGTZE (Zeitgeist/Kino) ~ $ 535,800
7. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA... (Weinstein) $ 322,710
8. TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE (THINKFilm) $ 270,888
9. STEEP (SPC) $ 260,586
10. PLANET B-BOY (Elephant Eye) $ 260,391
12. THE SINGING REVOLUTION (Abramorama) $ 170,396
11. CHICAGO 10 (Roadside Attractions) $ 170,198
12. GIRLS ROCK! (Shadow) $ 125,377
13. THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY (Truly Indie) $ 114,909
13. BRA BOYS (Slowhand) $ 113,730
14. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SPC) $ 96,234
15. BLINDSIGHT (Abramorama) $ 81,576