The Undefeated which opened in
select cities ten theaters across the country, grossed $65,132, or $6,513 per screen on its first weekend on opening weekend, July 15th. By comparison, that same weekend Horrible Bosses averaged $5,672. But Horrible Bosses was on 3,134 screens.
Math is hard, and statistics are made for spinning, but I kinda think overall Horrible Bosses did better…
On July 17th, Trevor Drinkwater, CEO of ARC which distributed The Undefeated told The Hollywood Reporter:
We expect word-of-mouth to keep ticket sales strong and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience.
This past weekend saw an abrupt drop-off; The Undefeated, while opening on four more screens, only averaged $1,713 per venue. Whoops! Total box office as of Sunday, July 24 was $101,000.
Time for Plan B: Video-on-demand and DVD, a tried and traditional route for any indie film.
ARC Entertainment, the distributor of “The Undefeated”…announced today that beginning on September 1st the film will be available to 75 million homes via Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View access through national and regional cable and satellite operators.
On October 4, ARC will release the DVD in an initial pressing of 250,000 units.
Glenn Bracken Evans, the film’s producer said:
This title is absolutely perfect for Video-on-Demand and Pay-Per-View backed by a traditional and significant marketing campaign. We are incredibly excited about having this film made available to the entire country earlier than expected. A traditional windowed release would not have allowed us to maximize viewership of this highly sought after film.
Look, independent movies have a hard time turning a profit, let alone documentaries, and political documentaries even more so. The Undefeated is a niche product. I wonder how The Undefeated filmmakers feel about the IRS argument made in a US Tax Court trial this March that
filmmaker Lee Storey could not deduct business expenses pertaining to her film Smile ’Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story because the primary purpose of her film (and by inference all documentary films) is to educate and expose, not to make profit, and that therefore documentary filmmaking is a not-for-profit activity