Brett Morgen's film on Jane Goodall surpasses $1.37 million in total earnings
Brett Morgen's acclaimed documentary on Jane Goodall continues to be a big hit with critics and moviegoers.
Jane finished this past weekend as the top nonfiction film in theatrical release, a distinction it has achieved for more than two months' running. The film about the British primatologist and conservationist added $27,423 to its total, pushing its overall earnings to $1,376,718, according to audience measurement company comScore.
The success of Jane in the theatrical world has been an unexpected delight.
"The success of Jane in the theatrical world has been an unexpected delight," Morgan told Nonfictionfilm.com, noting, "Probably by next week it will surpass The Kid Stays in the Picture as my best-performing film in America."
Morgen added he was particularly pleased because the film has built its box office tally over an extended period of time.
"The way it went about it, by sort of stretching it out over three months is really the exciting thing because we had a much more aggressive release with The Kid Stays in the Picture," he said.
Jane has been named best documentary of the year by the National Board of Review, the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, the Chicago Film Critics Association, the San Diego Film Critics Society, the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and a number of other groups. Earlier this month, it earned a spot on the Oscar shortlist of 15 documentaries that remain in contention for the Academy Awards.
Coming in second among documentaries at the box office over the weekend was Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. The film by Alexandra Dean earned $13,751 to increase its total to $108,807, comScore reported.
Coming in third was Faces Places, the documentary by Agnès Varda and the artist JR that, like Jane, also made the Oscar documentary shortlist. Its box office total after 11 weeks of release now stands at $563,672.
Big Sonia, co-directed by Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday, came in fourth over the weekend. Its box office returns hit $73,976 overall. The film tells the story of 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski -- the co-director's grandmother -- who runs a tailoring shop in Kansas City that is at risk of being shut down.
LA Times film critic Michael Rechtshaffen called it "a tenderly rendered inspirational piece about the healing power of forging human connections that wisely maintains its focus on its spirited, stylish main subject."
Fifth place went to the documentary A Beautiful Planet, which has been playing in IMAX theaters for going on two years now. Its box office total after 86 weeks of release amounts to $12,791,198. Actress Jennifer Lawrence narrates the film that's described as "a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before."
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.