THIS IS really breathtaking news. If you are that rare individual who is smart enough not to pay for a DVD of Ben Stein’s Expelled, yet strange enough to actually want a copy, then here is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
The neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) are making an offer you can’t refuse. At their blog they’ve posted this intriguing notice: Enter to Win the #1 Documentary of 2008: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which informs us, in bold font:
We’re giving away 10 copies of Expelled on DVD!
They have a link you have to click on to enter your name and address. We won’t enter because … well, somehow we doubt that they’ll give one to the Sensuous Curmudgeon. Below that link they say:
Winners will be announced here at Evolution News & Views on October 31st. If you don’t win, you can always order up your copy
The announcement of winners will be on Halloween! How appropriate.
However, aside from this spectacularly generous giveaway, what caught our attention was the claim that Expelled is “the #1 Documentary of 2008.” So we had to check it out. This website lists 573 documentaries released since 1982, with the highest-grossing at the top, and the lowest at the end. Expelled is number 12, but looking at those listed above it, we see that Expelled is the only one in the top 12 that was released in 2008, so the claim is true.
There were some other documentaries released in 2008. The one ranked number 94, Up the Yangtze, grossed $781,731. It opened at only 1 theater, compared to 1,052 for Expelled. Documentaries usually aren’t high-grossing films.
For comparison, only one documentary in the top 25 was released in 2007 (Sicko), and one in 2006 (An Inconvenient Truth). Each of those two grossed $24 million, a bit more than Expelled‘s $7.69 million. Nevertheless, the Discoveroid claim is true — Expelled is the #1 grossing documentary released in 2008.
But not for long. We notice that the documentary right below Expelled, currently holding 13th place, is Religulous, which was just released, but which is only about $250K behind Expelled. We suspect that it won’t be long before Expelled is no longer the “#1 Documentary of 2008.”
If you want a full set of data regarding Expelled, visit this site. You will learn such astounding facts as this: The film was “in release” for 56 days, that’s 8 entire weeks of box office glory. You can also see how it stacks up against other films in several different ways: Among Christian films it ranks 12, among all domestic films it’s 3,614, for all films in 2008 it’s 109, and for opening weeks (a good measure of staying power) it ranks 2,745.
Make of that what you will.