Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Expelled Flops at Box Office

Raw Story has the details.

The film made $1.2 million on Friday in 1,052 theaters. By comparison, Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ raken in $23.9 million its opening weekend from just 441 theaters, and Fahrenheit 9/11 did $23.9 million from only 868 slots.

“Playing in 1,052 theaters, the pic distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures earned $1.2M Friday for what should be a $3.4M weekend,” penned Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily. “But the per screen average for Friday was a feeble $1,130 (that $3,000 ballyhooed on the Internet would be for the entire weekend), showing there wasn’t any pent-up demand for the film despite an aggressive publicity campaign. So much for the conservative argument that people would flock to films not representing the “agenda of liberal Hollywood.'”

And remember, they’ve spent millions to make this movie and millions more to market it. According to a commenter on John Lynch’s blog who attended a screening and got to hear the Expelled producers answer questions, they considered a successful opening weekend to be 2 million tickets sold; they didn’t even come close.

The producers said the film itself cost about $3.5 million. They’ve spent several million dollars on promotion, hiring 4 different PR companies and hosting screenings all over the country where the tickets were free. They’ve offered free tickets to church groups, they’ve flown the stars and producers all over the country. They’ve gotta have $10 million into this, bare minimum. And that $3.1 million they took in this weekend doesn’t go to the producers, they only get a fraction of it. So they’ve got a long way to go just to break even.