[Update: A certain Iowa astronomer who shall remain nameless has alertly pointed out that the opening I refer to here was in Ames, not Des Moines.]
Across the country this weekend, people did a rare thing and turned out in droves for a documentary. In
Des Moines Ames, Iowa the line to get into Expelled stretched around the block Friday night. In Seattle theaters were crammed with students — on a Saturday afternoon, no less.
Expelled had a huge opening weekend for a documentary film. According to Box Office Mojo, the film was #8 for the weekend, raking in a whopping $3.15 million overall.
Based just on its opening weekend alone, Expelled is now #26 on the all-time box office list of documentaries. Among those documentaries, only Fahrenheit 9/11 and Tupac The Resurection had better opening weekends.
Never mind the critics — people are giving the movie thumbs up with their wallets. Here’s just a few of the comments from viewers that I received in e-mail this weekend.
One theatre in Clark County, WA presented “Expelled”. It seats 321 (I asked) and I estimate there were no more than 10 or 15 empty seats.
We attended a 7:00 Friday night showing in the San Diego area. The three-hundred-seat Edwards Cinema was almost completely full and the film received enthusiastic sustained applause at the end. Overall, I’m pleased with the finished product. This morning, some friends told us they saw “Expelled” yesterday (Sat.) afternoon at 1:30 at the same theater–300 or so seats. They said the house was 2/3 – 3/4 full and the film received warm applause at its conclusion.
I saw the movie at a 6:30 pm showing in a Kerasotes theatre in Skokie, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago — the showing wasn’t full, but was well-attended (most of the seats were filled, with significant applause at the end)
Northern California, 7:15 pm showing, looked sold out or practically sold out. One guy was handing out Darwin $10,000 bills. The audience was audibly impressed. I thought it was really good and could hardly restrain myself during the cell video portion and Dr. Axe’s excellent explanations. Big kudos to everybody.
We went to the opening last night in Independence, OR which is about 15 minutes southwest of Salem. Our little town theater was packed for the opening night of this movie. Young and old alike were present. Everybody clapped at the conclusion.
I took a couple of friends to the 9:15 showing of Expelled at Bellevue’s (WA) Lincoln Center last night. The theater was more than half full (pretty good, I thought) and the crowd was friendly — even applauding at the end of the film.
Haven’t gotten to the theater yet (will do so tonight), but by sending hoards of our students, greedy for bonus points, we made a big showing at 5:30, sold out at 7:45, and almost certainly sold out 10 (tickets for that show were going fast at 7:30!). I expect more of the same Saturday.
I took friends to the 7:40 showing but it was sold out. Only one theater in town had it on the schedule.
We had about 45 people in a theater that holds 4-5x as many, but we too had applause at the end. Note Eugene (OR) likens itself to a Berkley of the Northwest and that might be a massive turn out for us.
We were not sold out (north of Houston), but we went to a late night showing due to time schedule constraints.
San Bernardino, California: It’s nice to know that I am living in the deep south, according to the various critics of this movie. Not sold out, but very full on a Friday evening when our baseball team was playing rival High Desert Mavericks on 50cent Fridays.
I have offered my students extra credit if they go see it. When I went last night I found about 70 – 100 people in my showing (which is only 1 of three theaters in the Lexington, KY area that are showing it. And I was pleased to say that only 1 of the other attendees was one of my students (I had feared that my students would make up half or more of the audiences).
I saw the movie yesterday — it was awesome! (Knoxville, Tn)
The theater here in Ontario (Calif.) was near to full at the Friday night 7:40pm showing. The audience seemed to really enjoy the film and applauded at the end.