Beatles, X Japan and Oasis also factor into top 10
Music documentaries are proving hard to beat this fall. Box office returns over the last couple of months have been dominated by music-related films, including one on the Beatles and another on the Australian Christian group Hillsong UNITED.
Now the Stooges are taking their turn atop the box office. Jim Jarmusch's film Gimme Danger, which focuses on the groundbreaking band of the 60s and 70s -- and its leader, Iggy Pop -- finished number one, according to audience measurement firm comScore. It earned another $126,113 over the weekend, pushing its two-week total to $181,342, per comScore.
The top five nonfiction films featured another couple of music-related docs. Ron Howard's The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years ended the weekend in fourth place, upping its impressive earnings to more than $2.8 million. The film is simultaneously streaming on Hulu and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray November 18.
Coming in fifth was another music doc -- We Are X, directed by Stephen Kijak. The film, which premiered at Sundance, chronicles the drama and tragedy surrounding the hugely-popular Japanese rock band X Japan and its enigmatic leader, Yoshiki. We Are X has made $31,665 on a small number of screens.
Yet another music doc cracked the top 10. Oasis: Supersonic, about the stormy British rock band Oasis, came in ninth place, according to comScore. It has made $239,131 in two weeks of release. The film by Mat Whitecross is simultaneously available on iTunes and Amazon video.
The number two and three slots at the doc box office went to a couple of non-music films. The Eagle Huntress debuted in second place with a total of $62,574 at just four locations. Its per-screen average of $13,144 was far and away the highest for any documentary in theatrical release.
The film directed by Otto Bell features magnificent photography of the Kazakh landscape and narration by actress Daisy Ridley. It focuses on a teenage girl's determined effort to become the first female eagle hunter in her country. The centuries-long tradition involves capturing an eagle in the wild, training it to hunt (and eventually releasing the bird back into the wild). A competition determines who has trained their eagle to the highest standards.
Third place went to another film touching on the relationship between humans and animals.
Harry and Snowman -- the story of a steed destined for the glue factory before a Dutch immigrant came to his rescue -- increased its box office earnings to a total of $367,631, comScore reported.
Harry deLeyer (the Harry of the title) bought Snowman for $80 in 1956, saving him from the slaughterhouse. In time the pair would become champions of the show jumping circuit, winning the sport's triple crown.
The full box office top 10:
1. Gimme Danger
2. The Eagle Huntress
3. Harry & Snowman
4. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
- The Touring Years
5. We Are X
7. Peter and the Farm
8. Fire at Sea [Fuocoammare]
9. Oasis: Supersonic
10. The Uncondemned
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.