Matthew Heineman's latest film scores top spot for third straight week
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Matthew Heineman is celebrating three weeks at number one. His latest documentary, City of Ghosts, claimed the top spot over the weekend among nonfiction films in theatrical release, according to audience tracker comScore.
The film, about citizen journalists in Raqqa, Syria who risk their lives to report on the reality of life in their ISIS-dominated city, has collected $75,866 in its first three weeks, per comScore. City of Ghosts played on 18 screens across the country. It expands to Dallas and Austin, Texas, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and other cities this Friday (July 28).
The Syrian people are getting killed daily by rockets, air strikes, barrel bombs, all kinds of ways.
In a videotaped interview with Nonfictionfilm.com, Heineman said City of Ghosts is meant in part as a tribute to a profession that is under assault from the Trump administration.
"In this world of fake news, where truth seems to be malleable, this film is an homage to journalism, it's an homage to citizen journalism, it's an homage to a group of people who have risked everything to fight for the truth, to seek the truth," he told us. "I think that's an important idea in the world right now."
Coming in second over the weekend was the Errol Morris documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography. It has made $94,955 in four weeks of release. As Morris told Nonfictionfilm.com recently, he made the film to bring the work of Dorfman -- a large-format Polaroid photographer -- to the attention of a wider audience. He said the quality of her portraiture has not been sufficiently acknowledged.
"It's one of the joys of making the movie, because it's saying to the world -- saying to myself included -- that this is a really gifted artist and an incredible human being, and I'd like to see her celebrated. I would," he said. "There can be nothing as good as watching Elsa watching my movie. It's just such an immense pleasure to see the enjoyment that she gets out of watching The B-Side."
The top five documentaries from the past weekend (July :
1. City of Ghosts by Matthew Heineman
2. The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography by Errol Morris
3. Dawson City: Frozen Time by Bill Morrison
4. Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan by Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger
5. Obit. Life on Deadline by Vanessa Gould
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.