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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 $10,660,223 1,339,223
4 Born to be Wild 3D 4/8/2011 Warner Bros. G $6,544,388 822,159
5 Hubble 3D 3/19/2010 Warner Bros. G $5,161,084 648,377
6 Flying Monsters 3D 10/6/2011 National Geographic Entertainment Not Rated $4,176,870 524,732
7 Bully 3/30/2012 Weinstein Co. PG-13 $3,483,795 437,662
8 Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D 8/8/2012 ARC Entertainment PG-13 $3,377,000 424,246
9 Pina 1/20/2012 IFC Films PG $3,291,466 413,500
10 Searching for Sugar Man 7/27/2012 Mongrel Media PG-13 $3,058,667 384,254
11 Samsara 8/24/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures PG-13 $2,639,616 331,610
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 $2,197,236 276,034
16 Space Station 4/19/2002 IMAX Films Not Rated $2,084,978 261,931
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 $963,138 120,997
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 3D 3/3/2006 Warner Bros. G $794,071 99,757
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 $467,022 58,671
29 Bill W. 8/2/2012 Page 124 Productions Not Rated $456,276 57,321
30 Burn 7/20/2012 Callbox, LLC Not Rated $416,151 52,280
31 Detropia 9/7/2012 Loki Films Not Rated $377,219 47,389
32 Whores' Glory 4/27/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $306,151 38,461
33 Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap 6/15/2012 Indomina Releasing R $288,738 36,273
34 The Central Park Five 11/23/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $273,747 34,390
35 Stories We Tell 10/12/2012 Mongrel Media PG-13 $241,629 30,355
36 Brooklyn Castle 10/19/2012 Producers Distribution Agency PG $198,664 24,957
37 Somewhere Between 8/24/2012 Long Shot Factory Not Rated $182,784 22,962
38 The House I Live In 10/5/2012 Abramorama Films Not Rated $181,782 22,836
39 The Waiting Room 9/21/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $176,277 22,145
40 Crazy Horse 1/18/2012 Zipporah Not Rated $154,691 19,433
41 Hecho en México 11/30/2012 Pantelion Films R $151,133 18,986
42 The Other Dream Team 9/28/2012 Film Arcade Not Rated $134,109 16,847
43 Kumaré 6/20/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $131,909 16,571
44 How to Survive a Plague 9/21/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $123,814 15,554
45 Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story 5/4/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $112,679 14,155
46 Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview 11/16/2011 Landmark Theaters Not Rated $105,710 13,280
47 Wild Horse, Wild Ride 8/24/2012 Screen Media Films PG $94,621 11,887
48 Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare 10/5/2012 Roadside Attractions PG-13 $86,810 10,905
49 Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present 6/13/2012 Music Box Films Not Rated $86,637 10,884
50 Hating Breitbart 10/19/2012 Freestyle Releasing R $81,432 10,230
51 5 Broken Cameras 5/30/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $75,607 9,498
52 The Island President 3/28/2012 Samuel Goldwyn Films PG $75,233 9,451
53 Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 10/21/2011 Submarine Deluxe PG $66,852 8,398
54 Never Stand Still 5/18/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $63,811 8,016
55 Payback 4/25/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $59,736 7,504
56 Side by Side 8/17/2012 TriBeca Films Not Rated $58,825 7,390
57 The Invisible War 6/22/2012 Cinedigm Not Rated $58,492 7,348
58 Surviving Progress 4/6/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $53,953 6,778
59 Beware of Mr. Baker 11/30/2012 SnagFilms Not Rated $53,371 6,704
60 Occupy Unmasked 9/21/2012 Magnet Pictures Not Rated $52,768 6,629
61 An Inconsistent Truth 1/27/2012 Rocky Mountain Pictures PG $52,756 6,627
62 Sing Your Song 1/13/2012 S2BN Not Rated $47,718 5,994
63 The Pruitt-Igoe Myth 1/20/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $44,883 5,638
64 Ballplayer: Pelotero 7/13/2012 Strand Not Rated $44,689 5,614
65 OC87 5/25/2012 Fisher-Klingenstein Films Not Rated $43,583 5,475
66 Crazy Wisdom 11/25/2011 Alive Mind Not Rated $42,841 5,382
67 My Reincarnation 10/28/2011 Long Shot Factory R $41,080 5,160
68 El Bulli: Cooking in Progress 7/27/2011 Alive Mind Not Rated $41,054 5,157
69 Last Call at the Oasis 5/4/2012 Participant Media PG-13 $40,846 5,131
70 West of Memphis 12/25/2012 Sony Pictures Classics R $39,159 4,919
71 Paul Williams Still Alive 6/1/2012 Abramorama Films PG-13 $38,691 4,860
72 Death by China 8/17/2012 Area 23a Not Rated $38,492 4,835
73 In Film Nist 3/2/2012 Palisades Not Rated $37,706 4,736
74 Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope 4/6/2012 Wrekin Hill Entertainment PG-13 $34,665 4,354
75 Hit So Hard 4/13/2012 Variance Films Not Rated $34,025 4,274
76 Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters 11/2/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $33,902 4,259
77 Addiction Incorporated 12/14/2011 Variance Films PG $33,664 4,229
78 Flamenco, Flamenco 11/18/2011 Mongrel Media Not Rated $29,435 3,697
79 Ouwehoeren 8/8/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $29,357 3,688
80 Wagner & Me 12/7/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $29,187 3,666
81 You've Been Trumped 8/3/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $28,450 3,574
82 Pink Ribbons, Inc. 6/1/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $26,608 3,342
83 Orchestra of Exiles 10/26/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $24,710 3,104
84 Otter 501 5/11/2012 Paladin Not Rated $24,449 3,071
85 Lost Bohemia 5/20/2011 Long Shot Factory Not Rated $23,584 2,962
86 Hellbound? 9/21/2012 Area 23a Not Rated $22,887 2,875
87 56 Up 1/4/2013 First Run Features Not Rated $22,088 2,774
88 Girl Model 9/5/2012 Not Rated $21,154 2,657
89 Carol Channing: Larger Than Life 1/20/2012 Entertainment One PG $20,370 2,559
90 The Whale 9/9/2011 Paladin G $20,092 2,524
91 Radio Unnameable 9/19/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $19,676 2,471
92 Waiting for Lightning 12/7/2012 Samuel Goldwyn Films PG-13 $19,537 2,454
93 How to Grow a Band 4/13/2012 International Film Circuit Not Rated $19,237 2,416
94 Chely Wright: Wish Me Away 6/1/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $18,618 2,338
95 The Revisionaries 10/5/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $18,509 2,325
96 Mansome 5/18/2012 Paladin PG-13 $18,395 2,310
97 Better Than Something: Jay Reatard 3/2/2012 Not Rated $17,401 2,186
98 Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment 4/25/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $16,734 2,102
99 This Binary Universe 5/4/2012 Indican Pictures Not Rated $15,875 1,994
100 Avant que mon coeur bascule 11/16/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $15,753 1,979
101 Head Games 9/21/2012 Variance Films PG-13 $14,056 1,765
102 Eames: The Architect and the Painter 11/18/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $13,275 1,667
103 The End of Time 12/14/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $12,835 1,612
104 The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby 9/23/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $12,454 1,564
105 Khodorkovsky 11/30/2011 Kino Lorber Not Rated $11,804 1,482
106 Paul Goodman Changed My Life 10/19/2011 Zeitgeist Not Rated $11,036 1,386
107 China Heavyweight 7/6/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $10,550 1,325
108 Tchoupitoulas 12/7/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures Not Rated $10,431 1,310
109 Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston 1/20/2012 TriBeca Films Not Rated $10,357 1,301
110 Happy People: A Year in the Taiga 12/9/2011 Mongrel Media Not Rated $9,523 1,196
111 When the Iron Bird Flies 10/19/2012 Alive Mind Not Rated $9,175 1,152
112 Putin's Kiss 2/17/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $9,144 1,148
113 Decoding Deepak 10/5/2012 SnagFilms Not Rated $9,050 1,136
114 Drei Sterne - Die Koche und die Sterne 9/21/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $8,942 1,123
115 Man on a Mission 1/13/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $8,688 1,091
116 Photographic Memory 10/12/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $7,711 968
117 Last Days Here 3/2/2012 IFC Films Not Rated $7,643 960
118 Bel Borba Aqui 10/3/2012 Abramorama Films Not Rated $7,426 932
119 Only the Young 12/7/2012 Oscilloscope Pictures Not Rated $7,138 896
120 Meine Familie, die Nazis und Ich 11/16/2012 Film Movement Not Rated $6,923 869
121 Charlotte Rampling: The Look 11/4/2011 Kino Lorber Not Rated $6,817 856
122 Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow 8/10/2011 Alive Mind Not Rated $6,762 849
123 Dreams of a Life 8/10/2012 Strand Not Rated $6,559 823
124 Windfall 2/3/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $6,504 817
125 The Beat Hotel 3/30/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $6,480 814
126 Garbo: El espía 11/18/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $6,330 795
127 Hell and Back Again 10/5/2011 Docurama Not Rated $5,997 753
128 Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story 4/25/2012 TriBeca Films Not Rated $5,549 697
129 Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu 9/9/2011 The Film Desk Not Rated $5,333 669
130 Sushi: The Global Catch 8/3/2012 Alive Mind Not Rated $4,583 575
131 Art is...The Permanent Revolution 3/2/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $4,291 539
132 Granito: How to Nail a Dictator 9/14/2011 Skylight Pictures Not Rated $3,988 501
133 Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film 8/3/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $3,689 463
134 Yangsi 12/7/2012 Alive Mind Not Rated $3,685 462
135 Jane's Journey 9/16/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $3,507 440
136 Let Fury Have the Hour 12/14/2012 CAVU Releasing Not Rated $3,386 425
137 The Swell Season 10/7/2011 Seventh Art Releasing Not Rated $3,178 399
138 Pianomania 5/27/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $2,524 317
139 Patagonia Rising 6/8/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $2,064 259
140 Planet of Snail 7/25/2012 Cinema Guild Not Rated $2,011 252
141 American Teacher 9/30/2011 First Run Features Not Rated $2,004 251
142 Bestiaire 10/19/2012 Zeitgeist Not Rated $1,428 179
143 Fightville 4/6/2012 Mongrel Media Not Rated $1,333 167
144 Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet 12/14/2012 Kino Lorber Not Rated $1,294 162
145 Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child 11/23/2012 First Run Features Not Rated $601 75
Total Gross of All Movies$132,620,546
Total Tickets Sold16,660,803

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.