(Alex Libbey, a key subject in "Bully", at the film's premiere last year. Courtesy photo.)
How cool is it that "Bully" was a hit at the box office last year and ranks high up, 30th, on the list of biggest money-making documentaries ever? Very.
Glad to read that this important film was a financial success, but let me temper that success with this factoid. The character assassination documentary by hardcore rightwing Obama haters, "2016: Obama's America", raked in the most doc dough in 2012. Its haul came to $33 million, making it the fourth most-profitable documentary of all time.
From Indie Wire:
It was a very good year for documentary beyond just "2016: Obama's America," with a eclectic quintet -- "Bully" ($4.1 million), "Searching For Sugar Man" ($3.1 million), "Samsara" ($2.6 million), "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" ($2.6 million) and "The Queen of Versailles" ($2.4 million) -- all crossing the $2 million mark (not to mention late 2011 release "Pina," which grossed most of its $3.7 million in 2012). That might not seem like a lot, but makes them all part of the 70 highest-grossing docs of all time.
"Bully" was the overall top grosser among them amidst a fight between distributor The Weinstein Company and the MPAA after the latter rated the film "R," effectively keeping it out of the schools where it could the most good. The Weinstein Company ended up winning the fight, and whether the controversy helped or not, ended up up with the 30th highest grossing doc of all time.