To be fair, An Inconvenient Truth is grossing a pretty high amount per screen, which may lead to it getting wider play. However, to date it has made only about $4 million, which is less that Garrison Keiler’s similarly low-budget movie aimed at the left, “A Prairie Home Companion,” made in its opening weekend (see here).
The strategy here appears to be similar to that of last year’s big talking-point movie. As my colleague Peter Suderman notes,
This is a similar strategy to Brokeback Mountain, a film with middling overall box office for an Oscar favorite (~$50m) but massive per screen grosses bolstered by political controversy. Supporters touted the big box office and sold out showings while detractors pointed to its fairly mediocre overall standing.
Given that it’ll probably be very popular overseas, though, I did wonder if it might prove to be record breaking in terms of profitability. That’s unlikely to be the case: the record is held by a much tawdrier movie.