Film about Australian Christian group is one of year's hottest; anti-Hillary Clinton doc returns to top five
Images from the Hillsong - Let Hope Rise website. Courtesy Pure Flix
Hillsong - Let Hope Rise is on the rise again.
The documentary which follows the Australian Christian group Hillsong UNITED in concert retook the top position at the box office over the weekend, earning another $30,288, according to audience measurement firm Rentrak. Last week it was displaced from no. 1 by Ron Howard's Beatles documentary.
In four weeks of release Hillsong, directed by Michael John Warren, has tallied an impressive $2,359,992, making it one of the top-performing nonfiction films of the year.
The film's website describes Hillsong - Let Hope Rise as "a new motion-picture genre--the theatrical worship experience."
"I've never had an experience with God in the movie theater," says one fan on hillsongmovie.com. "This movie changed that."
Coming in second over the weekend was the heartwarming documentary Harry & Snowman, directed by Ron Davis. It tells the story of a Dutch immigrant and horseman who bought a plow horse bound for the glue factory. Within two years, against all odds, they had won show jumping's triple crown.
Harry & Snowman pushed its two week total above $100,000, Rentrak reported. Watch the trailer here.
Third place went to Generation Startup, a documentary about a young and diverse group of entrepreneurs. The film directed by Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser has won praise from entrepreneurs including Arianna Huffington, Steve Case and Shark Tank's Daymond John.
Watch the trailer here.
Hieronymous Bosch: Touched by the Devil came in fourth place, according to Rentrak. Its four week box office total stands at $135,920. The film by Pieter van Huystee explores one of history's most intriguing painters, whose surreal, allegorical and disturbing works continue to fascinate viewers.
Watch the trailer here.
In fifth place came the controversial documentary Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, directed by conservative pundit and author Dinesh D'Souza.
"Who are these Democrats and what are they hiding?" D'Souza asks in the film. His answer to the first part of the question is hypocrites; as to what Democrats are hiding, he asserts it's a history of collusion with the Ku Klux Klan and other dark deeds.
As detailed in previous posts on Nonfictionfilm.com, the film can make some claim to historical accuracy, but its arguments do not pass the test of intellectual honesty. The true hypocrisy is to slam the Democratic Party while failing to note that its worst elements [Jim Crow-supporting Southerners] later decamped to the Republican Party.
Honest or not, the film is a bona fide hit, having now made $13,096,556. Ironically, it returned to the top five the same weekend that many Americans spent watching something else -- the second presidential debate, and, oh yes, Donald Trump's Access Hollywood lewd-talking video.
Watch the trailer for Hillary's America here.
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.