May 10, 2010

'Babies' on Fire: Doc on Newborns Pulls in $2M in Opening Weekend

Babies, which documents the first year in the life of four babies around the world, pulled in
an impressive $2,161,460 at the box office over Mother's Day weekend. As previously reported, Focus Features, which is distributing the Thomas Balmès film, spearheaded a hefty marketing campaign involving ten partners on board to get the word out

Of course, success breeds jealousy, and the California State Labor Commission is investigating whether inclusion of one of the babies, Hattie, a San Franciscan, may have violated child labor laws; for more, check this report on

Babies is actually the second doc to break the $1M mark in 2010; Oceans, the DisneyNature doc from Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzard, has now grossed $16,131,584, earning a number seven spot on the highest grossing docs of all time, according to

Exit Through the Gift Shop, the doc-or-faux-doc from Banksy, is knocking at the $1M door at
$932,497, and rounding out the top five grossers of 2010 are the Oscar-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, at $423,411, and Frederick Wiseman's La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, which was actually released in late 2009, but is still playing in theaters around the country. The film has grossed $339,790.

And what do these five docs have in common? A French connection: Balmès, Perrin and Cluzard all hail from France, as does Theirry Guetta, the unwitting subject/Baedeker of Exit Through the Gift Shop. La Danse is self-explanatory, and the Pentagon Papers addressed America's involvement in Vietnam,
a former French colony. And what does this all mean? Je ne sais pas. Probablement rien.