On its second weekend of theatrical release, "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer" continued to enjoy solid per-theater performance despite reports of it being suspiciously dropped from high-performing theaters after opening weekend.
According to Box Office Mojo, "Gosnell" took in $841,746 during its second week, capping out at $2,004,734 from just 480 theaters. With a production budget of $2.4 million thanks to a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, "Gosnell" has managed to earn back about half of its budget, not factoring in marketing costs.
Though "Gosnell" propelled itself into the Top 10 grossing films in its first weekend with a revenue of $1,235,000 on just 668 screens, the filmmakers alleged that movie theaters began to inexplicably drop the film, 15 of which were high-performing multiplexes.
According to John Sullivan, the film's marketing director who also served as a producer, the sudden drop had an air of bias that could not be ignored; the numbers did not match up.
"I can tell you from my experience in 15 years of releasing movies independently, we’re in uncharted territories," Sullivan told DW in an interview last week. "It is an impacted fall, no doubt about it, but the fact that we’ve been dropped from theaters where the movie is the number 6 or number 9 movie is just something you don’t see."
"We have theaters that are dropping that are top theaters, that are performing very well," Sullivan continued. "We’ve been the number 6 in a 15-plex and it gets dropped this week. We’ve been number 9 in a 30-plex and we’re getting dropped this week. There are about 15 theaters like that where typically you would not get dropped."
Going into its second weekend, 15 of the theaters that dropped "Gosnell" were high-performing, and all of which were major chains. A few examples:
- AMC Kips Bay #6 out of 15 screens
- AMC Burbank #9 out of 30 screens
- Temecula Stadium #9 out of 15 screens
- AMC Alderwood #9 out of 16 screens
- AMC Methuen 20 #9 out of 20 screens
Speaking with LifeZette over the weekend, actor Dean Cain, who also stars in the film, said the apparent blackballing of the film was the "sign of the times."
"I have never experienced anything like this before, but perhaps it’s a sign of the times," Cain said. "So many folks have become so polarized these days here in the United States that they instantly demonize anyone with whom they have any disagreement. It happens on both sides, and I find it ridiculous."
"I contend that there are 10 percent on the far Right, and 10 percent on the far Left, and they are responsible for 90 percent of the noise," he continued. "The remaining 80 percent of us live somewhere in the middle, and we should be promoting dialogue and understanding, not division and identity politics."
Should the trend continue into week three and four, " Gosnell" could cross the $3 million mark before its theatrical run concludes.