THINGS CONTINUE TO GO DOWNHILL for Expelled, Ben Stein’s anti-evolution film. Our last report was about box-office receipts through the end of April. Results for the first five days of May are now available. Our information comes from Daily Box Office.
On Thursday, May 1st, the film grossed a total of $158,232 from 1,041 theaters — only $152 for each theater. As we reported earlier, there has been a large reduction in the number of theaters still showing the film for this weekend. Starting on Friday, May 2nd, the film is playing in only 656 theaters. Friday’s gross receipts were $216,480, or $330 per theater.
For comparison, the previous Friday (April 27), when the film was playing at 1,041 theaters and the buzz from the grand opening a week before was still a factor, box office receipts per theater averaged $434. The Friday before that was the film’s grand opening day at 1,052 theaters, which grossed an average of $1,149 per theater.
Here’s the same information in chronological order to show the trend. For the three Fridays that Expelled has been playing, the average receipts per-theater were as follows:
Week 1, Friday, 18 April: $1,149
Week 2, Friday, 27 April: $434
Week 3, Friday, 02 May: $330
We also have receipts for the rest of the weekend. Saturday the film grossed $270,272, $412 per theater. Sunday’s gross was $191,552, $292 per theater. For theater owners it wasn’t much of a weekend. Monday’s gross was $66,912, $102 per theater.
The total gross receipts for the film are now estimated at $6,680,168. It’s a documentary, so an estimated 50% of the gross is kept by the theaters, leaving the balance to reimburse the film’s producers for their reported $3.5 million production costs and an additional (but unknown) amount for promotion costs. Expelled isn’t breaking even yet. If promotion costs are added to the production costs, they’re very far from breaking even.
Expelled‘s cumulative gross receipts give it a rank of number 54 for the year, but we’re not sure if this page has been updated yet. Source: 2008 Domestic Grosses.