From the weekend box office totals at Deadline Hollywood Daily:
The only other newcomer in the Top 10 was conservative commentator Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed which makes the intelligent design argument. Playing in 1,052 theaters, the pic distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures fell over the weekend from 8th to 10th place after earning $1.2M Friday and $989K Saturday for a $2.9M weekend. But the per screen average for Friday was a low $1,145 and for Saturday $940 (and $2,830 for the entire weekend), showing there wasn’t much pent-up demand for the film despite an aggressive publicity campaign on right-wing media. So much for the conservative argument that people would flock to films not representing the “agenda of liberal Hollywood”. (Just for comparison purposes: left-wing Michael Moore’s most recent Sicko did $4.4 mil its opening weekend from only 441 theaters, and his Fahrenheit 9/11 did $23.9M its opening weekend from 868 venues.)
That aggressive publicity campaign may actually be to blame for the disappointing turnout, setting expectations for an action-packed, high octane rollercoaster ride of a film that no adenoidal ex-Nixon staffer could possibly satisfy. For instance, World Net Daily’s story on the film was titled: Ben Stein to battle Darwin in major film.
Now that’s a movie I’d pay to see, even if the headline turned out to be literal, and the film involved nothing more than Ben Stein rolling around on the floor with Darwin’s worm-eaten remains for 90 minutes, because I’m pretty sure he’d still get his ass kicked. Instead, we get this:
In the movie, Stein, who is also a lawyer, economist, former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he discovers – an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. Even worse, say publicists for the feature film
Well, I guess we’ll never know what was worse, because the preceding six words are the universal signal to STOP. READING.