Davis Guggenheim film is number one for third straight week; Patels second
He Named Me Malala, Davis Guggenheim's intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, is once again the top documentary at the box office.
The film earned another $164,228 over the weekend, pushing its total to just under $2 mil., according to audience measurement firm Rentrak.
Guggenheim's film is a study in persistence, not just by his subject, but the director himself.
In an interview last week as part of the IDA Conversation Series, Guggenheim told host Ben Mankiewicz that he struggled mightily to shape the documentary.
"For maybe 10 versions of the movie it was not working. The movie did not work," Guggenheim said.
He said it finally came together when he realized what he had was a father-daughter story -- of Malala, the girls' education activist, and her dad Ziauddin -- the man who had named her after a self-sacrificing figure of legend in Pakistani culture.
He Named Me Malala played on 140 screens, by far the most of any documentary now in theaters.
Coming in second among docs at the box office was Meet the Patels from sister-brother directing team Geeta and Ravi Patel.
Patels banked another $116,696 over the weekend, pushing its seven-week cume to $1,313,263, Rentrak reported.
A Ballerina's Tale, the story of prima ballerina Misty Copeland's rise to fame, rose to third place at the box office with $22,561 in ticket sales.
It has made just over $50,000 in two weeks of release.
Rounding out the top five were Stanley Nelson's historical documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Heart of a Dog, described as "artist Laurie Anderson's playful, lucid and heartbreaking nonfiction feature on the life and death of her dog, Lolabelle, told in a style only this unique artist could create."
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.