Several conservative news outlets smelled cinematic blood over the weekend.
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” came in no. 15 at the box office. Fifteenth? That’s a debacle by virtually any measure.
Clearly, the public has had enough of Al Gore’s attempt to scare us into radically changing the way power is consumed across the globe.
Most mainstream movies open in between 2,500 and 4,000 theaters. “Sequel,” the second installment of Al Gore’s climate change shared universe (GSU), could be seen in just 180 screens nationwide. That’s a per-screen average of more than $5,000 per screen.
Hardly a box office debacle.
“Sequel” still had no chance of competing with the likes of “Kidnap” (2,378), “Dunkirk” (4,014) or “The Dark Tower” (3,451). Yet. How could it?
Early results suggest we’re not talking about a must-see experience … like the first time around. The original “Truth” hit theaters in 2006, and in its first week snared $281,330 for a $70,000 per screen average.
FAST FACT A British court ruled in 2007 that “An Inconvenient Truth” couldn’t be shown in classrooms without acknowledging the documentary’s partisan nature. The judge also cited nine serious errors in the presentation.
Even Gore’s detractors would admit the 2006 movie had a large impact on the cultural debate.
Can man-made lightning strike twice? So far, it’s unlikely. “Sequel” brought in $124,823 in its opening weekend in four theaters. That’s less than half of the GSU origin feature.
That math should hurt Team Gore, especially given the 24/7 media coverage given the new film. Journalists fawned over the former Vice President. Movie critics mostly did the same, failing to fact check much of the clearly partisan rhetoric on display.
For an example of a fair but skeptical review, see Kyle Smith’s National Review op-ed.
So what’s next for Gore’s “Sequel?” Deadline.com reports the film will expand to roughly 500 theaters this weekend. That should give us a better sense of the film’s true box office clout.
Indie film marketers routinely roll out “smaller” films in a similar strategy. It lets positive word of mouth, assuming there is some, build. Will that be the case with “An Inconvenient Sequel?”