City of Gold takes silver; controversial Vaxxed continues strong run
For the first time in weeks there is a new number one film at the doc box office.
The First Monday in May, the documentary about the annual Met Gala fashion spectacular chaired by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, took the top spot away from City of Gold, which had ruled for over a month.
First Monday, directed by Andrew Rossi, earned just under $100,000 over the weekend, according to audience measurement firm Rentrak. It played on 20 screens.
City of Gold, the film about LA Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, came in second with $36,870, Rentrak reported. Its six-week box office total now stands at $539,724.
Coming in third was Francofonia, directed by Alexander Sokurov, described on the film's website as a "fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich and their compulsory collaboration at the Louvre Museum" in the midst of the German occupation of Paris during World War II. Together the pair conspired to protect the museum's treasures from being looted by the Nazis.
The controversial documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe, directed by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, continued its solid performance at the box office, coming in fourth despite playing on a mere three screens.
The film, which was first invited to play at the Tribeca Film Festival and then disinvited after a public outcry, accuses the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta of deliberately suppressing data linking the Measles-Mumps-Rubella [MMR] vaccine to an increase in autism.
However, the film's director enjoys little credibility. Dr. Wakefield's medical license was effectively revoked in Britain in 2010 after investigators there concluded he had falsified research linking MMR to autism.
Rounding out the top five at the box office was another conspiracy-themed film, the Libertarian-leaning documentary Revelation: Dawn of Global Government, directed by Chuck Untersee.
The film's website asserts "The American Republic, Christian faith and liberty are rapidly being destroyed by a Trojan Horse of globalism. As we have slept... 'CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA'! Awakened late, we will find ourselves enveloped, suffocated in a global prison planet."
Revelation, which features music by Charlie Daniels as well as commentary from him [example: "It's time to ride boys. We need a thousand Paul Reveres"], played on two screens, earning a total of $14,975 in its opening weekend.
On the other end of the political spectrum, Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next dropped out of the top five for the first time since its release 10 weeks ago. It came in sixth among documentaries, with $11,813, Rentrak reported.
Where to Invade Next's grand total now exceeds $3.8 million.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.