Box Office Performance for Documentary Movies in 2012

Summary for all Years
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RankMovieRelease
Date
Theatrical
Distributor
MPAA
Rating
2012 GrossTickets Sold
1 2016: Obama’s America 7/13/2012 Rocky Mountain Pictures PG $33,349,941 4,189,691
2 Chimpanzee 4/20/2012 Walt Disney G $28,965,459 3,638,876
3 To the Arctic 3D 4/20/2012 Warner Bros. G $10,585,125 1,329,789
4 Born to be Wild 3D 4/8/2011 Warner Bros. G $6,420,519 806,597
5 Hubble 3D 3/19/2010 Warner Bros. G $5,020,006 630,654
6 Bully 3/30/2012 Weinstein Co. PG-13 $3,483,795 437,662
7 Nitro Circus The Movie 3D 8/8/2012 ARC Entertainment PG-13 $3,377,000 424,246
8 Pina 1/20/2012 IFC Films PG $3,219,417 404,449
9 Searching for Sugar Man 7/27/2012 Mongrel Media PG-13 $3,031,944 380,897
10 Flying Monsters 3D 10/6/2011 National Geographic Entertainment Not Rated $2,927,140 367,731
11 Samsara 8/24/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures PG-13 $2,627,326 330,066
12 Jiro Dreams of Sushi 3/9/2012 Magnolia Pictures PG $2,552,478 320,663
13 The Queen of Versailles 7/20/2012 Magnolia Pictures PG $2,401,999 301,758
14 Gerhard Richter Painting 3/14/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $2,374,911 298,355
15 Under the Sea 3D 2/13/2009 Warner Bros. G $2,141,337 269,012
16 Space Station 4/19/2002 IMAX Films Not Rated $2,045,739 257,002
17 Marley 4/20/2012 Magnolia Pictures PG-13 $1,413,480 177,572
18 Air Racers 3D 4/5/2012 3D Entertainment Not Rated $1,309,987 164,571
19 Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel 9/21/2012 Samuel Goldwyn Films PG-13 $945,959 118,839
20 First Position 5/4/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $908,235 114,099
21 The Imposter 7/13/2012 Indomina Releasing R $901,954 113,310
22 Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World 5/28/2010 3D Entertainment Not Rated $898,468 112,872
23 Deep Sea 3-D 3/3/2006 Warner Bros. G $726,222 91,233
24 Chasing Ice 11/16/2012 National Geographic Entertainment PG-13 $612,089 76,895
25 Undefeated 2/17/2012 Weinstein Co. PG-13 $561,054 70,484
26 Shut Up and Play the Hits 7/18/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures Not Rated $510,334 64,112
27 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 7/27/2012 IFC Films R $489,074 61,441
28 The Flat 10/19/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $460,507 57,852
29 Bill W. 8/2/2012 Page 124 Productions Not Rated $456,276 57,321
30 Detropia 9/7/2012 Loki Films Not Rated $377,219 47,389
31 Whores' Glory 4/27/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $306,151 38,461
32 Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap 6/15/2012 Indomina Releasing R $288,738 36,273
33 The Central Park Five 11/23/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $257,312 32,325
34 Stories We Tell 10/12/2012 Mongrel Media PG-13 $241,031 30,280
35 Brooklyn Castle 10/19/2012 Producers Distribution Agency PG $197,423 24,801
36 The House I Live In 10/5/2012 Abramorama Films Not Rated $181,782 22,836
37 Somewhere Between 8/24/2012 Long Shot Factory Not Rated $181,004 22,739
38 The Waiting Room 9/21/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $175,987 22,108
39 Crazy Horse 1/18/2012 Zipporah Not Rated $154,691 19,433
40 Hecho en México 11/30/2012 Pantelion Films R $151,133 18,986
41 The Other Dream Team 9/28/2012 Film Arcade Not Rated $134,109 16,847
42 Kumaré 6/20/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $131,909 16,571
43 How to Survive a Plague 9/21/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $123,814 15,554
44 Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story 5/4/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $112,679 14,155
45 Burn 11/9/2012 Area 23a Not Rated $109,656 13,775
46 Wild Horse, Wild Ride 8/24/2012 Screen Media Films PG $94,621 11,887
47 Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present 6/13/2012 Music Box Films Not Rated $86,637 10,884
48 Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare 10/5/2012 Roadside Attractions PG-13 $84,898 10,665
49 Hating Breitbart 10/19/2012 Freestyle Releasing R $81,432 10,230
50 5 Broken Cameras 5/30/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $75,607 9,498
51 The Island President 3/28/2012 Samuel Goldwyn Films PG $75,233 9,451
52 Never Stand Still 5/18/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $63,811 8,016
53 Payback 4/25/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $59,736 7,504
54 Side by Side 8/17/2012 TriBeca Films Not Rated $58,825 7,390
55 The Invisible War 6/22/2012 Cinedigm Not Rated $58,492 7,348
56 Surviving Progress 4/6/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $53,953 6,778
57 Beware of Mr. Baker 11/30/2012 SnagFilms Not Rated $53,087 6,669
58 Occupy Unmasked 9/21/2012 Magnet Pictures Not Rated $52,768 6,629
59 An Inconsistent Truth 1/27/2012 Rocky Mountain Pictures PG $52,756 6,627
60 Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 10/21/2011 Submarine Deluxe PG $50,608 6,357
61 Ballplayer: Pelotero 7/13/2012 Strand Not Rated $44,689 5,614
62 OC87 5/25/2012 Fisher-Klingenstein Films Not Rated $43,583 5,475
63 Last Call at the Oasis 5/4/2012 Participant Media PG-13 $40,846 5,131
64 Paul Williams Still Alive 6/1/2012 Abramorama Films PG-13 $38,691 4,860
65 Death by China 8/17/2012 Area 23a Not Rated $38,492 4,835
66 In Film Nist 3/2/2012 Palisades Not Rated $37,706 4,736
67 Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope 4/6/2012 Wrekin Hill Entertainment PG-13 $34,665 4,354
68 My Reincarnation 10/28/2011 Long Shot Factory R $34,574 4,343
69 Hit So Hard 4/13/2012 Variance Films Not Rated $34,025 4,274
70 Addiction Incorporated 12/14/2011 Variance Films PG $33,664 4,229
71 West of Memphis 12/25/2012 Sony Pictures Classics R $31,476 3,954
72 Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters 11/2/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $30,717 3,858
73 Flamenco, Flamenco 11/18/2011 Mongrel Media Not Rated $29,435 3,697
74 Ouwehoeren 8/8/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $29,357 3,688
75 Wagner & Me 12/7/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $29,187 3,666
76 You've Been Trumped 8/3/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $28,450 3,574
77 Pink Ribbons, Inc. 6/1/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $26,608 3,342
78 Orchestra of Exiles 10/26/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $24,710 3,104
79 Otter 501 5/11/2012 Paladin Not Rated $24,449 3,071
80 Hellbound? 9/21/2012 Area 23a Not Rated $22,887 2,875
81 Girl Model 9/5/2012 Not Rated $21,154 2,657
82 Carol Channing: Larger Than Life 1/20/2012 Entertainment One PG $20,370 2,559
83 The Whale 9/9/2011 Paladin G $19,722 2,477
84 Radio Unnameable 9/19/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $19,676 2,471
85 Waiting for Lightning 12/7/2012 Samuel Goldwyn Films PG-13 $19,537 2,454
86 How to Grow a Band 4/13/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $19,237 2,416
87 Chely Wright: Wish Me Away 6/1/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $18,618 2,338
88 The Revisionaries 10/5/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $18,509 2,325
89 Mansome 5/18/2012 Paladin PG-13 $18,395 2,310
90 Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment 4/25/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $16,734 2,102
91 This Binary Universe 5/4/2012 Indican Pictures Not Rated $15,875 1,994
92 Avant que mon coeur bascule 11/16/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $15,753 1,979
93 Head Games 9/21/2012 Variance Films PG-13 $14,056 1,765
94 The End of Time 12/14/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $12,835 1,612
95 China Heavyweight 7/6/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $10,550 1,325
96 Happy People: A Year in the Taiga 12/9/2011 Mongrel Media Not Rated $9,523 1,196
97 Decoding Deepak 10/5/2012 SnagFilms Not Rated $9,050 1,136
98 Drei Sterne - Die Koche und die Sterne 9/21/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $8,942 1,123
99 Photographic Memory 10/12/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $7,711 968
100 Bel Borba Aqui 10/3/2012 Abramorama Films Not Rated $7,426 932
101 Meine Familie, die Nazis und Ich 11/16/2012 Film Movement Not Rated $6,923 869
102 Dreams of a Life 8/10/2012 Strand Not Rated $6,559 823
103 The Beat Hotel 3/30/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $6,480 814
104 Tchoupitoulas 12/7/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures Not Rated $6,011 755
105 Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story 4/25/2012 TriBeca Films Not Rated $5,549 697
106 Sushi: The Global Catch 8/3/2012 Alive Mind Not Rated $4,583 575
107 Only the Young 12/7/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures Not Rated $4,038 507
108 Let Fury Have the Hour 12/14/2012 CAVU Releasing Not Rated $3,386 425
109 Patagonia Rising 6/8/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $2,064 259
110 Planet of Snail 7/25/2012 Cinema Guild Not Rated $2,011 252
111 Bestiaire 10/19/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $1,428 179
112 Fightville 4/6/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $1,333 167
113 Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet 12/14/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $1,094 137
114 Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child 11/23/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $601 75
115 Into the Abyss 11/11/2011 IFC Films PG-13 $540 68
Total Gross of All Movies$129,859,361
Total Tickets Sold16,313,936

Note: This chart ranks movies by the amount they earned during 2012. It includes movies released in previous years that earned money during 2012. For example, a movie released over Thanksgiving in 2010 will most likely earn money in 2010 and 2011. Click on the individual movie to see its total gross over all the years in which it played.

Each box office year ends on the first Sunday of the following year. The next year starts the following day (Monday). For example, the "2004 box office year" ended on Sunday, January 2, 2005.

Inflation-adjusted figures are based ticket sale estimates, and may not be precise due to rounding errors.