Gonzo is the most-popular theatrical documentary in a weak summer for docs

Documentaries aren’t doing well in theaters this summer, even though more than 24 have been released.

Although the number of releases represent “a big summer,” and in “past summers [documentaries] have seen plenty of profits,” USA TODAY reports that “this summer, none has yet attracted major ticket sales.” The paper suggests that “[i]f a hit doesn’t emerge, it could spell tough times for documentary filmmakers, who typically shop their wares to distributors who buy them in hopes of making more at the box office.”

It could just take one, though. American Teen director Nanette Burstein, who followed high school students over a year for her film, said, “If one breaks out, that gives a lot of hope to the business. Studios releasing them need to know there’s a possibility for great financial gain. If there’s no economic model, studios will think the tide has changed and audiences aren’t interested anymore. Hollywood has a short memory.”

The most-watched documentary of the summer is Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Alex Gibney’s film about, uh, the life and work of the pioneering journalist. It has received “generally favorable” reviews, and has made $1.1 million so far. Here’s its trailer:

Documentaries walk fine line [USA TODAY]
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.