Raoul Peck's film zooms past $4.5 mil mark in North America
There was no Academy Award for best documentary feature Sunday night for I Am Not Your Negro -- that honor went instead to Ezra Edelman's O.J.: Made in America. But the film's performance at the documentary box office is second to none.
IANYN remained the top nonfiction film in theaters over Oscar weekend, earning another $826,126, according to audience measurement firm comScore. In four weeks of release Raoul Peck's documentary has made an impressive $4,681,486.
The reaction has been really been incredible, in the U.S. as well as overseas now.
IANYK played on an additional 50 screens over the weekend, for a total of 313, a wide release for a nonfiction title. By contrast, the number two film at the box office, Kedi, played on just 13 screens (the film about street cats of Istanbul expands to many more cities in the coming weeks).
On Saturday we moderated a Q&A with Hébert Peck -- Raoul's brother -- and Rémi Grellety, the Oscar-nominated co-producers of I Am Not Your Negro. Hébert spoke of the film's international success with critics and audiences; it won audience awards at both the Toronto International Film Festival and, earlier this month, at the Berlin Film Festival.
"It's been quite rewarding for a film that's been 10 years in the making," Peck said. "At some point we knew we had something. But we weren't sure until the audience got to see it and what their reaction was going to be. And the reaction has been really been incredible, in the U.S. as well as overseas now."
I Am Not Your Negro has surpassed The Eagle Huntress to become the highest-grossing documentary of 2017. The Eagle Huntress came in fourth over Oscar weekend, pushing its stellar box office total to $3,056,904 overall, according to comScore.
The top five documentaries at the North American box office as reported by comScore:
1. I Am Not Your Negro
3. A Beautiful Planet
4. The Eagle Huntress
5. Mr. Gaga
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.