Home » Intelligent Design » Expelled Opening Weekend $3.7 million

Expelled Opening Weekend $3.7 million

According to Box Office Prophets the projected total weekend box office sales for Expelled is $3.7 million.

According to Box Office Mojo on Friday alone ticket sales were $1.2 million.

Just for fun compare to what Flock of Dodos did on opening weekend.

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17 Responses to Expelled Opening Weekend $3.7 million

  1. That’s not all that bad for a documentary from an independent no-name producer.

    I suspect those involved are going to be very happy with their profits.

  2. Dave,

    This movie was backed by a major marketing effort. My wife said she saw ads for a new movie on evolution like it was news to me. We never discussed the movie before her she saw the ads. There were paid ads on Rush Limbaugh as well as discussion of it on his show a couple times. Stein made many stops on the religious talk show circuit similar to what Mel Gibson did for the Passion.

    Glen Reynolds did his best to ignore the movie but succumbed a couple times. I am sure this movie had much blogosphere notice both good and bad than the other documentaries mentioned except for one person. The only accurate comparison is with Michael Moore’s movies which also had a sophisticated marketing efforts and much more blogosphere discussion.

    Most of the comments about this movie not from this site are not necessarily pro intelligent design as much as criticism of the intolerance of the academic establishment. Richard Dawkins comes off looking bad and lacking substance.

    This is a good start and I will see the movie today to get a first hand impression.

  3. I’m interested in knowing how much money was spent producing and marketing the film.

    Anbody ? Anybody ?

  4. The writer are BOX OFFICE PROPHETS cited above by DaveScot shows his bias by making this opening statement :

    “It pains me to admit that Ben Stein’s Expelled did indeed make the top ten on Friday with $1.2 million on its 1,000 screens. This is pretty good, actually, content notwithstanding, as it’s certainly very easy for documentaries to crash and burn, especially if they don’t have Michael Moore or penguins…”

    Did it pain the writer to admit that Michael Moore’s movie made money ?

  5. SeekAndFind,

    The LA Times reports the movie production and marketing was in the single digit millions. Expelled Could Exceed Forecasts

    Up until I was actually at the theaters and seeing the audience numbers and reaction, I thought the movie would be a flop.

    Why did I speculate that Expelled would be a flop? I’ve gone around GMU and I know, despite the well publicized episode of Caroline Crocker, she is still a virtually unknown name at GMU. I visit campus groups trying to generate enthusiasm for ID, and I get brushed off — the response being (from supposedly friendly markets), “we don’t want to get involved in politics or take sides on controversial issues.” — or “we don’t want people to think they need to accept ID in order accept Christ”. The reception to Expelled was luke warm at the screening I attended in March at the influential McLean Bible Church in Virginia.

    But Expelled is poised to change all that. Expelled will change the way people look at ID’s relevance to their lives and values. I think people have not been connecting the importance of ID with its relevance to deeply held values. Expelled is making those connections. It is connecting ID to issues of human value, it let’s people know of the privileged planet humans have in the cosmos, and issues about morality and freedom.

    I’m glad to see my initial pessimism was totally wrong.

    Finally, it seems it was a strategic move that Expelled was limited in release to only 1000 theaters. I recall reading the only reason Rocky Mountain opened Expelled in 1000 theaters was not because of demand, but because they had only a limited number of prints!!!

    I think the movie had to get out and allow people to see it and become enthusiastic. This will give a chance for the viral channels in places where the movie did not open a chance to get organized to sucessfully promote the movie.

    I can tell you it was hard to get people enthused about promoting a movie which they had not even seen, much less understood. Motive approached me several times and I said, I won’t be able to get much more than 15 people to see a screening. The topic is too esoteric and inaccessible for most….people are also afraid to touch such a controversial issue.

    All this will change now that the movie is out. I forecast the movie will be hugely profitable. The business model was excellent.

  6. I will post separately on this, but Expelled, even before opening day re-energized the University initiatives.

    With Casey Luskin joining the Discovery Institute in 2005, he listed himself in 2006/2007 as “President Emeritus IDEA” in a correspondence to UVa. Our IDEA chapters suffered without the benefit of his stellar leadership. The number of IDEA chapters peaked to 30 at most during that time-frame.

    Now that Expelled is coming out and Caroline Crocker is the new Executive Director of IDEA, she has publicly acknowledged that IDEA could be poised to recognized around 1000 IDEA chapters — the only limitation is resources to process their recognition applicaitions!!! And this was before the release of Expelled!!!

    Eugenie Scott’s NCSE will have yet another rival it never imagined. :-)

    So the movie is having success outside the box office already.

  7. @DaveScot:

    I would like to have your optimism, but: “Ruloff said the film could top the $23.9-million opening for Michael Moore’s polemic against President Bush, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the best launch ever for a documentary.”

    And:

    “That’s not all that bad for a documentary from an independent no-name producer.”

    That’s misleading: This film isn’t “a documentary from an independent no-name producer” but the documentary with “the widest documentary release ever, at more than 1,000 theaters”.

  8. Mathis said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets, earning $12-15 million.

    Does this mean the movie wasn’t a success? Also, how much of the $3.7 million is actually profit after they pay back the Christian schools and churches for bringing in their students?

    But overall, the movie has already pulling in a profit since it cost $3.5 million to make. Over it’s full run and including DVD sales, how much do you think it will make?

  9. Didn’t show up for moderation. Apparently I’ve been EXPELLED from this site.

  10. “Mathis said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets, earning $12-15 million.”

    Exactly – $3.7 million is BAD.

    “But overall, the movie has already pulling in a profit since it cost $3.5 million to make. Over it’s full run and including DVD sales, how much do you think it will make?”

    No, not all the money goes to the study…

    The TOTAL cost is much higher than $3.5 milion.

  11. Chill out MS, I’ve about half-a-dozen comments in the spam filter too. It’s not a conspiracy.

  12. [...] Expelled Opening Weekend $3.7 million [...]

  13. mathstudent
    Suggest you take some economics.
    Expelled at Box Office Mojo
    Apr. 18, 2008: $1,200,000
    Total as of Apr. 20, 2008: $3,153,000 (without Apr 20?)
    Suggests Apr 19 take was $1,953,000.

    Wikipedia suggests the budget for Expelled was $3.5 million.

    They will probably break even by the end of this opening weekend. That is a “success” in Hollywood where a substantial portion of films to not recover their production costs.

    By the way, Expelled’s opening in 1052 theaters is the highest of any documentary.
    Expelled is currently 4th highest grossing among opening movies, 5th highest in revenues/theater in opening movies, and 9th among all movies showing on the weekend box office for April 18-20.

    {PS If you seriously want to be “Expelled” try supporting Dembski’s mathematical papers undergirding ID to Darwinian evolutionary professors.}

  14. Typically, lifetime box office receipts are 10 times the opening weekend receipts.

    I have no idea what it will earn from cable and broadcast (HBO/FOX perhaps), DVD sales, and branded memorabilia.

    It certainly looks like the cost will be recouped many times over before all is said and done.

  15. 15

    DaveScot,
    DaveScot,

    Flock of Dodos did not have a general release; it only played film festivals, so there’s no comparison. A better comparison would be to some documentary with a comparable number of theatres.

    Back of the envelope calculation: If Expelled made $3.7 million and opened in 1052 theatres on the first weekend, I get about 56 people per showing. (3.7 million/1052 theatres/3 nights/$7 ticket/3 showings a day).

    EM

  16. evo_materialist
    That was the point – that “Flock of Dodos” never made it into commercial theaters.

    The weekend is not yet over. Try $3,153,000 over 2 days instead of 3 days, to give $1499/theater/day.
    If the average 2008 movie ticket price is $6.82, attendance would be running 220 per day.

  17. DLH,

    Try looking at the daily breakdown which paints a different picture. The $3,153,000 figure appears to be an estimate for the entire weekend (Fri-Sun) inclusive.
    Naturally this is ONLY an estimate. We just won’t know until sometime on Monday.

    I think it will be more interesting to see how it plays out over the month. Even more so over the next year or so when it goes to DVD sales.

    I am also somewhat skeptical of the $3.5M “cost of production”. As far as I know there is no “official” figure (from the producers) of the cost yet. Then there is the marketing cost (advertising, promos, pre-screenings, etc…). The marketing costs may have exceeded the production costs several fold.

    Just have to wait and see… something about counting chickens I think.

    -DU-

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