Thursday, July 21, 2011

Breitbart on Palin's Undecided

I just ran across an analysis on Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood site of the relative success of Sarah Palin's "Undefeated."

Not surprisingly, the "analysis" raves about the box office success of Palin's "Undefeated."

For starters, the "analysis" doesn't discuss the significance of only 10 theaters even willing to show it on the opening weekend. One of the most recognized, high profile politicians could only get 10 theaters? With Murdoch's Fox behind her? Interesting fact and interesting commission from the "analysis."

Using a table listing "Documentaries - Political" the article announces: "'The Undefeated' ranks as #15 in the all-time highest grossing debut category."

Wow!!! In terms of gross, it just edged out the famous documentaries I.O.U.S.A. and America: Freedom to Fascism. I bet you heard as much about them pre-opening as you heard about "the Undefeated," right?

= = = = Update = = = =
The Undefeated, during its second week in theaters, brought in $24,000 in sales in 14 theaters. The movie’s per theater average, touted as a bright spot by the Breitbart piece, dropped 73%, from $6,513 to S1,714, according to estimates by the industry website Box Office Mojo. (For some reason, that site calculates it as a 63% drop, but I think their calc is based on gross, not gross per screen)

So, you ask, how did other 2nd week movies fare?

"Harry Potter" dropped even more, 71.6%, to "only" $10,986 per screen.
"Winnie the Pooh" dropped 34.6% to only $2,138 on 2145 screens
"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" increased 47.0% on 61screens to $3,230 per screen
"Tabloid" went up 52.4% on 31 screens to $4,484 per screen
"Life, Above All" went up 29.1% on 10 screens to $1,780 per screen.

Apparently, "The Undefeated" lost the buzz wars to "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." Go figure
= = = = = = = = = = = =

The writer scrutinized the data table and came up with: "On a comparative number of screens (less than 10), 'The Undefeated' enjoyed the fifth highest-grossing debut in the history of political documentaries." (Per the table, the vast majority of documentaries open on 1 screen. And consider the advance publicity they get....)

Actually, the "Undefeated" came in sixth in that interesting category (but is anyone really concerned with accuracy when it comes to a Breitbart based source?)

I'm not sure how the number of screens is important, but let's look at those "10 or less" and see who "the Undefeated" trailed behind:

RankFilmGrossPer Screen
1An Inconvenient Truth$281,330$70,332
2Bowling for Columbine$209,148$26,143
3Roger and Me$80,253$20,063
4Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War
on Journalism
5The U.S. Vs. John Lennon$69,143$11,523
6The Undefeated (2011)$65,132$6,513

Boffo Box Office, right? For one the biggest political celebrities today!

(If I had Lexis Nexis, I'd do a search for media mentions priors to the release date - Bet that would be interesting.)

BTW, for 10 or less theaters, it came in 31st for the box office take per screen. It was just edged out by
"Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?" ($6,742 in the one theater it opened in);
"The Panama Deception" ($6,563 in the one theater it opened in); and
"Outrage" ($6,518 - dang, just $5 more - in the one theater it opened in.)
(The full list is below.)

My experience is that most people fall into one of two categories:
  1. those who let their ideologies dictate the facts they see (and filter out those they don't want to see), and
  2. Those who look at all the facts and form their opinions from them.
Guess which class our "analyst" falls into....

= = =
The list of documentaries which had higher per screen box office than the heavily promoted "The Undefeated:" How many have you heard of? Ever?

1 An Inconvenient Truth
2 Your Mommy Kills Animals
3 Control Room
4 Bowling for Columbine
5 Roger and Me
6 No End in Sight
7 The War Room
8 The Trials of Henry Kissinger
9 The Weather Underground
10 The Fog of War
11 The War Tapes
12 The Hunting of the President
13 The U.S. Vs. John Lennon
14 Feed
15 Grass
16 Suicide Killers
17 An Unreasonable Man
18 Fidel
19 Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times
20 Why We Fight
21 The Last Mountain
22 Giuliani Time
23 Ballot Measure 9
24 The Yes Men
25 Our Brand Is Crisis
26 In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and Deed
27 For the Bible Tells Me So
28 Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?
29 The Panama Deception
30 Outrage
31 The Undefeated (2011)

Boffo box office, indeed. A raging success for the conservative cause, right?

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