Fox's Keenan issued misleading attack on An Inconvenient Truth's box office earnings

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

Fox News' Terry Keenan pushed a misleading comparison between the national box office earnings over Memorial Day weekend of two recent blockbusters -- X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code -- and those received during the limited release of An Inconvenient Truth, a new documentary on Al Gore's campaign to raise worldwide awareness of global warming. Keenan neglected to mention that An Inconvenient Truth's "limited release" consisted of only four theaters nationwide, while the most recent installment of the X-Men series and The Da Vinci Code were shown in 3,690 and 3,754 theater screens respectively.

On the May 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest host Terry Keenan pushed a misleading comparison between the national box office earnings over Memorial Day weekend of two recent blockbusters -- X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code -- and those received during the limited release of An Inconvenient Truth, a new documentary on former Vice President Al Gore's campaign to raise worldwide awareness of global warming. Keenan noted that X-Men is "expected to earn more than $120 million ... as The Da Vinci Code fell to fourth place." She then added: "Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth? Well, it earned less than half a million dollars during its quote, 'limited release.' " But Keenan neglected to mention that An Inconvenient Truth's "limited release" consisted of only four theaters nationwide, while the most recent installment of the X-Men series and The Da Vinci Code were shown on 3,690 and 3,754 theater screens respectively. In fact, Gore's documentary earned nearly three times more money per theatre than X-Men and over eight times more per theatre than The Da Vinci Code over the three day holiday weekend.

According to figures compiled by Box Office Mojo, an online movie publication and box office reporting service, X-Men topped box office earnings over the May 26-28 Memorial Day weekend, bringing in $103.1 million. The Da Vinci Code came in second place, earning $34 million, while An Inconvenient Truth earned $282,000. But according to the same estimates, An Inconvenient Truth averaged $70,500 per theatre screen, while X-Men averaged $27,927 and The Da Vinci Code just over $9,000.

The per-screen revenue discrepancy is even larger when including figures from Memorial Day, May 29, the day that Keenan downplayed An Inconvenient Truth's earnings on Fox News. According to Box Office Mojo, over the four-day weekend, X-Men earned $120.125 million, The Da Vinci Code earned $43 million, and An Inconvenient Truth earned $366,000. Similarly, Entertainment Weekly, which also included earnings from May 29, reported that X-Men earned $120.1 million, The Da Vinci Code earned $43 million, and An Inconvenient Truth "put $366,000 into the lock box on just four screens." Although Entertainment Weekly has not yet released its per-screen figures, based on these estimates, according to Box Office Mojo, An Inconvenient Truth averaged $91,500 per screen, while X-Men averaged $32,554 and The Da Vinci Code just over $11,454.

Keenan also incorrectly stated that The Da Vinci Code "fell to fourth place" at the weekend's box office. In fact, in terms of weekend total box-office receipts, the film finished in second place behind X-Men; it is also currently ranked second in total box-office receipts among films released in 2006.

From the May 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

KEENAN: And X Men: The Last Stand, the dominant force at the box office. The film expected to earn more than $120 million over the Memorial Day weekend as The Da Vinci Code fell to fourth place. Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth? Well, it earned less than half a million dollars during its quote, "limited release."

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