David Lee George's film Architects of Denial, on Armenian Genocide, claims top spot
Architects of Denial, one of five documentaries to make their debut over the weekend, took the top spot among all nonfiction films at the box office.
Playing at just 11 locations, the film directed by David Lee George earned $58,472 to finish number one, according to audience measurement company comScore. That works out to $5,316 per screen.
The movie... deftly places the systematic annihilation of Armenians within the context of latter-day genocides in such places as Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia and Guatemala.
Emmy-winning talk show host Montel Williams and actor Dean Cain produced the documentary, which includes commentary from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as well as excerpts of a speech on genocide by George Clooney.
The documentary Intent to Destroy directed by Joe Berlinger, also focusing on the Armenian Genocide, will be released in November.
Earth: One Amazing Day from BBC Earth Films made its theatrical debut over the weekend as well, coming in a close second to Architects of Denial. Robert Redford narrates the film, described as "an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world."
Images from the Earth: One Amazing Day website
The other box office newcomers were sprinkled throughout the top 10. Faces Places (Visages Villages) by filmmaking great Agnès Varda and artist JR came in fourth place, comScore reported. It played on only five screens, but expands to Los Angeles this Friday.
Chavela, about the extraordinary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, made its theatrical debut in sixth place, playing on only four screens. Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi directed the documentary that features interviews with Pedro Almodóvar and other friends of the late performer.
The fifth documentary newcomer, Dina, came in eighth place. It played on a single screen in New York, but expands to L.A. this Friday as well. Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini directed the documentary about a neuro-diverse woman and her fiancé Scott, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. The film won the top prize for a U.S. documentary at the Sundance Film Festival last January.
Read: director Catherine Gund on her encounter with singer and lesbian icon Chavela -- 'I definitely felt the butch magnetism she exuded'
The top 10 documentaries at the box office, as reported by comScore:
1. Architects of Denial
2. Earth: One Amazing Day
4. Faces Places
5. Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton
7. Pearl Jam: Let's Play Two
9. Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards
10. School Life
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.