‘Crude’ Documentary is a Box Office Hit!

September 13, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ — The new documentary from acclaimed director Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) which chronicles the epic “Amazon Chernobyl” legal battle in Ecuador pitting 30,000 rainforest residents against Chevron, had an impressive opening weekend at the box office. Bowing to sold-out crowds, the film is anticipated to have the highest per-screen weekend average in the country.

Playing on a single screen at New York City’s IFC Center, Crude is estimated to rack up $21,957 in ticket sales since it opened on Wednesday, with a weekend estimated per-screen average of $16,729. To put this figure into perspective, the weekend per-screen average for Crude was nearly three times that of “The Final Destination,” the number one movie in America last week.

Crude has been under fire from Chevron in the days leading up to its release, with the company calling it, “long on emotion and short on facts,” despite not having actually seen the film. [See related articles: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/09/09/business/business-uk-chevron-ecuador-crude.html?_r=2 and http://corporatemedianews.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=841470].

Critics on the other hand, have embraced Crude, praising its evenhanded approach to a controversial story in addition to its gripping narrative and provocative images. The film currently has a 91% “fresh” rating on review-tracking website rottentomatoes.com, with 100% of the site’s “top critics” giving the film high marks.

Berlinger views the film’s success in part as a rebuke to Chevron. “Despite Chevron’s efforts to discredit the film, audiences made their voices heard this weekend. Crude respects its viewers and allows people to make up their own minds about this story, and we are grateful that so many folks came out this weekend to do just that.”

“We are thrilled by these opening weekend numbers,” says First Run Features president Seymour Wishman. “Crude is already being called an Oscar contender in the press, and if these box office numbers continue, the film will be on track to being one of the highest-grossing documentaries of the year.”

Crude opened in New York on Wednesday, September 9th. The film opens in Los Angeles on September 18th and San Francisco on September 25th, followed by additional markets across the U.S. throughout the fall.

Crude is a Red Envelope Entertainment Presentation of an Entendre Films Production, in association with @radical.media and Third Eye Motion Picture Company. Crude is distributed by First Run Features. More information is available at www.crudethemovie.com.

SOURCE First Run Features

Source: newswire

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