“Truth” hurts [corrected]

The Rathergate film Truth opened in wide release this past Friday. I took a look at the weekend box-office estimates posted by Box Office Mojo in Truth doesn’t pay.” The film did not appear to be doing well even by comparison with Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Hollywood Reporter observes that the film flopped on its opening this past weekend. Nevertheless, we may have underestimated the magnitude of the failure.

Scouts Guide blew by Truth even though it lacked a rave New York Times review by Stephen Holden or a prestigious TimesTalks event celebrating it. The Times review of Scouts Guide by Neal Genzlinger only concedes: “[I]f you liked all the zombie comedies that came before, well, here’s another one.”

Genzlinger’s concession could easily be adapted to say all that needs to be said about Truth, but Stephen Holden was rapturous. He found it “a gripping, beautifully executed journalistic thriller[.]” What’s the deal with the New York Times and Rathergate? Holden raves that the film “conveys a convincing illusion of veracity.” It’s “fake but accurate” all over again. Let it be noted that the Times‘s appetite for pawning off the 60 Minutes Rathergate story as the real deal surpasses the appetite of teenage boys for raunchy zombie comedies.

Turning to Box Office Mojo’s full daily chart through Monday, one finds blanks for the results of Truth on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Box Office Mojo only provides an estimate of $255,000 for Friday. A reader writes to note: “NO estimates for Saturday thru Monday. Actuals should be available for all these dates, as they are for other movies. This suggests that Sony is holding the numbers back, which by implication suggests no one is attending the movie.” [This is not accurate. Please see below.]

NOTE: I wrote up my notes on the film over the weekend in “Lies of Truth.”

AND I MISSED THIS: Scrolling to the bottom of the Box Office Mojo daily totals, the site notes that Sony Pictures Classics does not provide daily box office totals. Box Office Mojo adds: “[E]stimates are made for their movies based on partial data in order to fill out the top 12. Because of this, movies from these studios are more apt to disappear from the daily chart.” We’ll have to look elsewhere for evidence of the film’s performance at the box office. I regret the oversight!