Dracil’s BlogJournal

May 22, 2008

Injunction against Expelled continues

Wikinews and AP

Key points:

EMI filed its own separate lawsuit against Premise in a New York state court alleging that Premise’s usage of the song is harming EMI’s ability to license “Imagine,” which has only been licensed in one film (The Killing Fields).

In court, Judge Richard Lowe, according to the Wall Street Journal, “seemed skeptical” about Falzone’s arguments. Lowe asked Falzone why the film’s producers did not read the lyrics to the song or flash the lyrics on the screen. Lawyers also pointed out that Premise Media licensed all other music in the film except for Lennon’s song.

So, they’ll probably just make them remove that segment of the movie and/or make them pay a bunch of money.  I don’t think they’ll really prevent the film from being shown in Canada or distributed on DVD.

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May 19, 2008

Expelled Weekend Performance: Week 5

This will be my last weekly update on Expelled’s theater performance. At this point, it’s like watching a gazelle with its throat ripped out bleeding to death. They should just shoot it. So the next update will probably be a post-mortem. Last week’s numbers are here.

Number of theaters: 210 (-192)
Weekend gross revenue: $102,690 (-$226,146)
Weekend rank: #30 (-9)
Weekend revenue/screen: $489 (-$329)

Week 1: $3,902,920 ($932,072 weekdays total)
Week 2: $2,032,032 ($637,092 weekdays total)
Week 3: $971,048 ($292,744 weekdays total)
Week 4: $490,439 ($161,603 weekdays total)
Week 5: $102,690 + weekdays revenue

May 11, 2008

Expelled Weekend Performance: Week 4

Edit: Updated with actual numbers.  Gross revenue went up by $26,836, but its rank dropped an additional 3 places.

It’s time for yet another update on Expelled’s number. Again, I will compare with last week using preliminary numbers first and update when the actual numbers are released on Monday.

Number of theaters: 402 (-254)
Weekend gross revenue: $328,836 (-$349,468)
Weekend rank: #21 (-6)
Weekend revenue/screen: $818 (-$283)

No changes with ratings again.  Instead, here are what it has earned by week.

Week 1: $3,902,920 ($932,072 weekdays total)
Week 2: $2,032,032 ($637,092 weekdays total)
Week 3: $971,048 ($292,744 weekdays total)
Week 4: $328,836 + weekdays revenue

At this rate, it may only reach about $8m total box office (I had estimated it reaching $9m last week)

Not a good sign considering that the judge ordered the defendants to stop distributing the film while the trial is still proceeding.

May 9, 2008

Ken Miller criticizes Expelled

Ken Miller, a Catholic biology professor at Brown University, has actually written an op-ed piece for the Boston Globe.

Much of this has already been said before, but it certainly helps to have one of the most prominent people in this debate (he was a witness for the evolution side at the Dover Trial) come out and speak out against Expelled.  Naturally, the producers of Expelled don’t like him, even before this piece:

The movie also uses interviews with avowed atheists like Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” to argue that scientific establishment is vehemently anti-God. Never mind that 40 percent of the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science profess belief in a personal God. Stein, avoiding these 50,000 people, tells viewers that “Darwinists” don’t allow scientists to even think of God.

Puzzled, the editors of Scientific American asked Mark Mathis, the film’s co-producer, why he and Stein didn’t interview such people, like Francis Collins (head of the Human Genome Project), Francisco Ayala, or myself. Mathis cited me by name, saying “Ken Miller would have confused the film unnecessarily.” In other words, showing a scientist who accepts both God and evolution would have confused their story line.

Fascinating how Creationist’s idea of “teaching the controversy” means not showing things that would break their entire argument, isn’t it?

Since every paragraph of the piece brings up a good point against Expelled, it would be rather pointless to try quoting them or I’d end up just pasting the entire article here, so I’ll just leave it with the last paragraph.

“Expelled” is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself. Stein is doing nothing less than helping turn a generation of American youth away from science. If we actually come to believe that science leads to murder, then we deserve to lose world leadership in science. In that sense, the word “expelled” may have a different and more tragic connotation for our country than Stein intended.

May 4, 2008

Expelled’s Performance: Weekend 3

Edit: Post has been updated with actual weekend numbers

Here are preliminary changes from last week based on estimates. This post will be updated on Monday afternoon when the actual numbers are out.

Number of theaters: 656 (-385)
Weekend gross revenue: $678,304 (-$716,636)
Weekend rank: #15 (-2)
Weekend revenue/screen: $1034 (-$306)
Rotten Tomatoes Critical Rating: 9% (3/33) (no change)
Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics Rating: 0% (0/13) (no change)
Rotten Tomatoes Community Rating: 50% (366 votes) (no change)
IMDB rating: 3.7/10 (3353 votes) (no change)
Boxofficemojo rating: B- (363 votes) (no change)
Yahoo movies community rating: B- (4000 votes) (no change)
Yahoo critics rating: N/A (None!)

One of the things that should catch your attention is that it’s lost over 1/3 of its theaters, and its average weekend revenue/theater also dropped (which actually isn’t that uncommon). At this rate, it’s unlikely to reach $10m. With production cost figures between $3.5-$5m and all the ads they bought for it on TV, it’s still unknown if they will actually break even from the just the box office, especially given that theaters take a share of the revenue as well. But it’s possible they will make it back from DVD sales, assuming they don’t end up simply giving a big chunk of them away again (as they are doing with schools by bribing them with $5-$10/movie ticket)

It did worse than the estimates again, dropping from $684,000 gross to $678,304, which put it in 15th place instead of 14th, and the average/theater went down by an extra $8.

The other striking thing is that its ratings have pretty much stabilized across the board and is unlikely to change significantly in the future.

April 30, 2008

Anti-Defamation League denounces Expelled

It’s about time! I think it’s saying a lot when Ben Stein (who’s Jewish) has basically been called out by the Anti-Defamation League for defaming Jews.

Anyway, they issued the following statement in their press release:

The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.

Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness.

Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

Note that this isn’t the first time they’ve spoken out against those who’ve tried to Godwin Darwin for their own agendas. They blasted Coral Ridge Ministries two years ago for doing pretty much the same thing that Expelled‘s doing now.

April 29, 2008

Even Creationists think Expelled is bad

First read about this over at The Dawn Treader.  Apparently, Hugh Ross‘s Reasons to Believe has the following to say about Expelled.

In Reasons To Believe’s interaction with professional scientists, scientific institutions, universities, and publishers of scientific journals we have encountered no significant evidence of censorship, blackballing, or disrespect. As we have persisted in publicly presenting our testable creation model in the context of the scientific method, we have witnessed an increasing openness on the part of unbelieving scientists to offer their honest and respectful critique.

Our main concern about EXPELLED is that it paints a distorted picture. It certainly doesn’t match our experience. Sadly, it may do more to alienate than to engage the scientific community, and that can only harm our mission.

Even though my own crevo position differs from RTB (they believe in progressive creationism), I must say my respect for Hugh Ross and RTB has greatly increased.

April 28, 2008

Expelled’s performance: Weekend 2

If you read my entry on Friday’s numbers, not too much has changed since then, but we now have the numbers to properly compare weekends.

Looks like Expelled‘s fallen into a more regular movie trend. Unlike its embarrassing revenue drop on Saturday last week, it managed to perform like other movies this Saturday and show an increase in revenue though it didn’t buck the trend to drop on Sunday.

In light of that, a possibly better explanation is that it didn’t underperform last Saturday. Rather, it performed better than it should have on its opening day, which is probably a result of all the hype that was built up over the film. Put another way, the positive hype was not warranted and people got suckered into watching a critically abysmal film. That would also explain the drop in ratings by users after one week.

But enough talk, on to the weekend-to-weekend numbers!

Number of theaters: 1041 (-11)
Weekend gross revenue: $1,394,940 (-$1,575,908)
Weekend rank: #13 (-3)
Weekend revenue/screen: $1340 (-$1484)
Rotten Tomatoes Critical Rating: 9% (3/33) (-3%)
Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics Rating: 0% (0/13) (3 more rotten tomatoes)
Rotten Tomatoes Community Rating: 50% (321 votes) (-3%)
IMDB rating: 3.7/10 (2933 votes) (-0.4)
Boxofficemojo rating: B- (316 votes) (down from B)
Yahoo movies community rating: B- (3488 votes) (down from B)
Yahoo critics rating: N/A (None!)

It’s extremely odd that Yahoo still has no ratings by critics. Last weekend, I remarked that perhaps this was because critics did not want to be associated with this film or didn’t feel like it was worth their time. But the 33 reviews by critics on Rotten Tomatoes shows that this is not the case. Instead, I now wonder if the film’s producers or someone at Yahoo asked that the critics reviews not be put up because of the incredible discrepancy between the critics’ ratings and the users’ ratings.

Speaking of ratings, looks like they removed the poll on their Myspace page asking if Intelligent Design should be taught. I guess the 98% No and <1% Yes was too much for them.

April 26, 2008

Expelled’s Performance: Week 2, Friday

I must confess, I woke up this morning with a nightmare. I dreamed that Expelled had somehow made $178m yesterday, taking the #2 spot (first spot was $180m).

Thankfully, it was just a dream, and Expelled has actually been dropping like a large one. But what exactly’s dropped? Pretty much everything. Since last weekend, we have the following changes:

Number of theaters: 1041 (-11)
Friday estimated revenue: $450,000 (-$758,748 )
Friday daily rank: #13 (-5)
Friday estimated revenue/screen: $432 (-$717)
Rotten Tomatoes Critical Rating: 9% (3/32) (-3%)
Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics Rating: 0% (0/13) (3 more rotten tomatoes)
Rotten Tomatoes Community Rating: 53% (286 votes) (0%)
IMDB rating: 3.8/10 (2630 votes) (-0.3)
Boxofficemojo rating: B- (284 votes) (down from B)
Yahoo movies community rating: B- (2971 votes) (down from B)
Yahoo critics rating: N/A (None!)

I think it’s safe to say that Expelled’s a flop.

Mark Mathis continues to make a fool of himself

Unevolved (scroll down for the article)

In short, Mark Mathis, when confronted with direct evidence for evolution, decides that he doesn’t care about that argument.  Later, he also admits he is unqualified to speak about evolution despite making a film about it.  Finally, he admits that he kicked PZ Meyers out of the Expelled screening so he could generate some “additional attention” for the film.

He makes such a wonderful role model for budding Creationists out there, doesn’t he? *rolls eyes*

BTW, this is the same Mark Mathis who made some eye-raising comments about Ken Miller.

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