Expelled – Tanking, redux.

Well, since the shock of finding out on Friday that Expelled was going to be fouling up my country with its ridiculous nonsense, the weekend numbers on its performance here have come in.  Box office figures for Canada are often lumped in with those of the US so finding good information is hard, but the best number I have states that Expelled pulled in $24,374 across Canada for the whole weekend.

Sorry, I just have to take a minute.  Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! I mean, what a shame.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any official numbers which break down the gross per theatre or even how many theatres are showing the damn thing.  So, I did some ball-parking on my own.  Here’s a haphazard list of major cities in Canada (the provincial capitals with Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa thrown in) and the number of theatres showing Expelled, culled from online movie listings:

  • Vancouver: 5
  • Victoria: 1
  • Edmonton: 1
  • Calgary: 2
  • Regina: 1
  • Winnipeg: 1
  • Toronto: 10
  • Ottawa: 2
  • Montréal:  1
  • Québec City: 0
  • Fredericton: 0
  • Charlottetown: 0
  • Halifax: 2
  • St. John’s: 1

That makes 27 theatres playing the movie (at least) in Canada.  There are at least three showings at every theatre (a couple have only two showings, but the average is well above three so I’m estimating conservatively here). So for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we have 27 * 3 * 3 or 243 showings of the movie.  That would make for just over $100 per showing.  Average ticket price is somewhere around $10 per ticket , so we have about 10 people per theater per showing.  That’s pretty pathetic for the “big opening weekend”.  And my estimate is undoubtably conservative, since all ten theatres showing the movie in Toronto are showing it at least 4 and sometimes 5 times per day, as are several of the other markets.

Let’s get this straight:  they didn’t just plunk this turd down in one or two theatres up here in the Great White North.  No, they opened in almost every major Canadian city and the resulting numbers show that they failed miserably.  I would pretend to be sympathetic, but I’m not.  Ben Stein is a lying jackass, and frankly I’m happy that his movie is tankingAgain.

Wait!  There’s more!

Following up, I took a look at the Expelled website.  There’s a theatre locator which I paged through to get a theatre total.  Something is clearly whacky, because their locator only lists 4 theatres playing the movie in Vancouver where I count 5 (for some reason they left out Burnaby entirely), but putting that aside their total is still higher than mine at 36.  36 movie theatres, at an average of three showings per day for three days would make for 324 total showings, or no more than $24,374 / 324 = $75 per theatre, or about 7-8 people per showing. Again, a conservatively high estimate.

This, despite the “group release” extravaganzas available from the Expelled distributors!  Wow, I can’t imagine why people haven’t been snapping up those opportunities.

You may think that I’m being snarky here, and you’d be right.  Ben Stein is an IDiot, and he doesn’t deserve any attention that rises above the level of pure mocking.  So I refuse to do more than laugh at this tool who thinks that science makes murders and that evolution caused the Holocaust, while engaging in some wholesome schadenfreude.  Join me, won’t you?

34 Responses to Expelled – Tanking, redux.

  1. Frank says:

    Win Ben Stein’s Royalties!

  2. Natasha says:

    Awesome! I actually am going to go see this in a day or two, but it’s already at the second-run theater in my town (Lethbridge, AB) so I don’t feel too bad. I’ll donate an extra three bucks to the local science literacy association to make up for it. :)

  3. Winawer says:

    I’ll donate an extra three bucks to the local science literacy association to make up for it. :)

    IDiocy offsets! I like it!

  4. Alan says:

    Don’t forget to also check out http://www.expelledexposed.com
    Each and every point of the Ben Stein piece-of-crap is both exposed and expelled…
    Alan

  5. darwinfish says:

    small world: I’m also in Lethbridge
    I was slightly tempted to see this travesty of a ‘documentary’, but then I realised I could probably just download it.

  6. Rarusvir says:

    Best news I’ve heard in a long time. Reminds me of what should have been the response to Reefer Madness.

  7. AaronSTL says:

    I hope those 7-8 people per showing were pro-evolution/anti-ID folks familiarizing themselves with the movie in order to be informed enough to speak against it.

  8. AaronSTL,

    No, we remembered to buy tickets to other movies… :)

  9. weemaryanne says:

    I gritted my teeth and sat through it at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto’s entertainment district.

    I was the only one in the theatre. No, I don’t mean the only one down in front; nor the only one who arrived early enough for the ads (including, incongruously and delightfully, the trailer for Bill Maher’s “Religulous”). I mean the ONLY one in the theatre for a Sunday 4pm show.

    And I didn’t buy a ticket to another show; I wanted this as a souvenir. “Grandma, what did YOU do in the Superstition Wars?” — “Honey, I paid attention!” Something like that.
    ;-)

  10. normdoering says:

    Ben Stein is an IDiot, and he doesn’t deserve any attention that rises above the level of pure mocking.

    That’s why I posted “Ben Stein admits he has only a ‘little pea brain’” on my blog:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/03/ben-stein-admits-he-has-only-little-pea.html

    And “Ben Stein: Crouching theocon, hidden nit-wit.”
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/02/ben-stein-crouching-theocon-hidden-nit.html

  11. Yes, pretty happy to be Canadian today :)

    I must say, I had a hard time believing that Expelled! was coming up here. The listings for Expelled! didn’t even show up on the movie sites I frequent until the week that it was actually here.

    Now that it’s here, happy to see that it is but a blip.

    Nice post in time for Canada Day. I think I’ll celebrate by observing how science leads to helping people :)

  12. Meagan Hopkins says:

    This Canada Day I’m doubly proud to be a Canadian.

  13. [...] and all that lovely crap. The film opened in 36 theaters in Canada, and grossed around $24,000, according to this source. By some calculations, that means the movie drew ten people or so per showing. Yeah, it bombed. [...]

  14. Bad says:

    Every time I resolve to stop posting about Expelled because it’s over and done with, it just gets unavoidably sillier and sillier.

  15. Al says:

    You Canadian are so lucky! The religious lunatic fringe has not had you country by the gonads for the last 8 years! Hopefully with the ouster of Bush that will change for the better.

    I have considered immigrating to Canada, but it seems awful that I have to leave the USA to get to live in a decent country. I hope the non lunatic fringe wakes up and throws all these religious bums out of office all over the USA

  16. The Durka says:

    As an American, i was wondering if a sensible country like Canada could please come down here and help us. People are really crazy in my country, and Canada always seemed so…intelligent.

    And, as Al said “I hope the non lunatic fringe wakes up and throws all these religious bums out of office all over the USA.” That would be really nice.

  17. Craig says:

    I’m a little sad that they did that well.

    On the other hand, bhwa ha ha ha …..

  18. saskboy says:

    I’d thought they’d only try releasing it straight to DVD.

  19. Winawer says:

    I’d thought they’d only try releasing it straight to DVD.

    You know, I would have thought that too – once it sank out of sight in the US, I didn’t expect to see it up here (which is why I was so shocked to see it released last Friday). But they’re really going all out on it, which gives some credence to the speculation I’ve seen that they don’t care if they lose a truck-load of money on it as long as it shows up as a “Hollywood movie” that they can use as a propaganda weapon. (In fact, I’ve seen something about Expelled being linked to the “academic freedom” bills that are popping up in the US right now)…

  20. Andrea says:

    Oh yes, it is being linked to these so-called “Academic Freedom” bills.

    Two particularly obnoxious and ignorant representatives here in Florida introduced one this Spring, and arranged to have a special showing of “Expelled” for legislatos in Tallahassee (this was before it was released on April 18th). Apparently very few took ‘em up on the offer.

    Normally I would expect that this would be just the sort of thing the majority of the reps. like, as once you go north of Palm Beach in Florida, you are politically in Southern Georgia. But my state made me proud for once – it got bogged down in arguement and never passed the second house before session closed.

    One of the things one of our So, Fla. reps. did was alter the wording of the bill to allow this “freedom” to spread to teachers teaching other subjects (as it should, if it really is all about “Academic Freedom”). However, it got stricken out later. I guess the legislature is not ready to let teachers provide kids with the scientific evidence that birth contol pills, condoms, and seeing your doctor regularly once you become sexually active actually works and is a good idea, and let them “decide for themselves” whether they would rather practice abstinence or not. I guess “Teaching the controversy” is only OK in Biology class, but not in Health class. Or History class. Or Physics class.

    I do reccommend that if one of these stupid bills shows up in your state, that you encourage your legislators to do same or similar. If nothing else, it points out the hypocrisy of calling it an “academic freedom” bill. In fact, first thing to do is get it called something else. I know they did that in LA and the silly thing still passed, but it really is easier to get the more reasonable of the Joe and Jane Q. Public out there to speak out against something called the “Teaching Biological and Chemical Evolution Bill” than an “Academic Freedom” bill.

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