AS LONG AS YOU’RE INTERESTED, I’ll keep posting updates on the box-office receipts for Expelled, Ben Stein’s utterly wretched documentary. The data comes from Daily Box Office. Here’s the whole story, day by day:
$1,208,748 on Friday (opening day)
$996,244 on Saturday
$765,856 on Sunday
$238,804 on Monday
$227,232 on Tuesday
$234,596 on Wednesday
$231,440 on Thursday
$450,000 on Friday (big jump upward)
$529,000 on Saturday (estimated)
$414,000 on Sunday (estimated)
The cumulative total is shown as $5,297,860.
We can’t find any reliable information online about the economics of films like this, but we are told by an informed source that because documentaries don’t attract a big-spending audience (for popcorn sales, etc.), theater owners usually insist on a larger percentage of the gross than is customary for other films. That means the producers of Expelled may be getting no more than 50% of the box-office proceeds. From that they hope to recover their promotional costs and the cost of creating the film.