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Blackfish (2013)

Blackfish poster
Theatrical Performance
Domestic Box Office $2,073,582Details
International Box Office $281,293Details
Worldwide Box Office $2,354,875
Home Market Performance
Domestic DVD Sales $1,223,386 Details
Domestic Blu-ray Sales $157,053 Details
Total Domestic Video Sales $1,380,439
Further financial details...

  1. Summary
  2. News
  3. Box Office
  4. International
  5. Video Sales
  6. Full Financials
  7. Cast & Crew
  8. Trailer


Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black and white mammal is like a two-faced Janus - beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who - unlike any orca in the wild - has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong? Shocking, never before seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.


Rotten Tomatoes
Critics Certified FreshAudience Upright
98% - Certified Fresh
90% - Upright

Latest Ranking on Cumulative Box Office Lists

Movie Details

Domestic Releases: July 19th, 2013 (Limited) by Magnolia Pictures
International Releases: October 31st, 2013 (Wide) (Spain)
November 7th, 2013 (Wide) (Netherlands)
November 21st, 2013 (Wide) (Australia)
Video Release: November 12th, 2013 by Magnolia Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing and violent images.
(Rating bulletin 2270, 5/1/2013)
Running Time: 83 minutes
Comparisons: vs. Chimpanzee
Create your own comparison chart…
Keywords: Animal Lead, Circus, Agitprop, Animals Gone Bad, Animal Rights
Source:Based on Real Life Events
Production Method:Live Action
Creative Type:Factual
Production Companies: Our Turn Productions, Magnolia Pictures, CNN Films
Production Countries: United States

Ranking on other Records and Milestones

Days In
Biggest 14th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 2,556 $4,438 Oct 18, 2013 94
Biggest 13th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,010 $3,568 Oct 11, 2013 87
Biggest 12th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,488 $2,959 Oct 4, 2013 80
Biggest 11th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,131 $13,400 Sep 27, 2013 73
Biggest 10th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,525 $12,965 Sep 20, 2013 66
Biggest 9th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,338 $32,802 Sep 13, 2013 59
Biggest 8th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,564 $42,808 Sep 6, 2013 52
Biggest 7th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,320 $91,556 Aug 30, 2013 45
Biggest 6th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,529 $134,209 Aug 23, 2013 38
Biggest 5th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 3,768 $190,970 Aug 16, 2013 31
Biggest 4th Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 4,228 $233,103 Aug 9, 2013 24
Biggest 3rd Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 4,615 $268,095 Aug 2, 2013 17
Biggest 2nd Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 5,265 $172,954 Jul 26, 2013 10
Biggest Opening Weekend at the Domestic Box Office 6,434 $75,962 Jul 19, 2013 3


John Hargrove    Himself
John Jett    Himself
Carol Ray    Herself
Jeffrey Ventre    Himself
Samantha Berg    Herself

Production and Technical Credits

Screenwriter    Eli Despres
Screenwriter    Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Producer    Manuel V. Oteyza
Executive Producer    Judy Bart
Executive Producer    Erica Kahn
Editor    Eli Despres
Composer    Jeff Beal
Director of Photography    Jonathan Ingalls
Director of Photography    Christopher Towey

2014 Awards Season: PGA Buries the Lead

January 19th, 2014

12 Years a Slave poster

Producers Guild of America announce the winners tonight, but it seems I forgot to upload the story when they announced their nominations. In my defense, they announced them on January 2nd. You don't make an announcement on January 2nd, not unless you are trying to bury a story. As for the actual nominations, there are very few differences between this group and others, except when it comes to documentaries. Then again, that's been the norm this year. No one seems to agree on what the best documentaries were. More...

2014 Awards Season: DGA: Telling Stories about Documentaries

January 14th, 2014

Stories We Tell poster

The Directors Guild of America finished its theatrical nominations yesterday with the Documentary category. I'm of two minds with the list of nominees. On the one hand, I feel like I should be surprised, because a number of documentaries thought to be Oscar favorites were left off the list. On the other hand, they've been left off the list a number of times. I think it is time to rethink who is and is not an Oscar favorite. More...

2014 Awards Season: WGA: Nominees Have Stories to Tell

January 5th, 2014

Stories We Tell poster

WGAs announced their nominations this weekend and there were a couple of surprises to talk about. The top of that list is 12 Years a Slave, which was deemed ineligible because it wasn't written under WGA jurisdiction. This makes using the WGAs as an Oscar guide less reliable. On the other hand, several Oscar favorites showed up as well, including American Hustle, Nebraska, and others that have picked up major nominations this year. More...

2013 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part III

December 19th, 2013

Part III of the Holiday Gift Guide is a little late due to reasons you probably don't want to hear the details about. (I believe I've developed a food allergy to something in Eggnog.) The third installment of our holiday gift guide includes independent films, classics, foreign films, etc. The fastest way to find gifts is to go to the Independent Spirit Awards nominations and find any film that is on that list that is already out on DVD / Blu-ray (Frances Ha, Mud, etc.). Unfortunately, most of the films competing for Awards Season glory are still in theaters and not available as gifts. But there are still many films worth picking up, starting with... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 12th, 2013

November 11th, 2013

There are a number of good releases this week. The two biggest releases are Man of Steel and Turbo. While the former has a larger target audience, the latter is the better film. It is still not Pick of the Week material. The best films are some of the smaller releases, like The Attack, Barbara, Blackfish, City Lights, and Prince Avalanche. All of those are worth picking up, but I think Nosferatu on Blu-ray is the Pick of the Week. More...

Per Theater Chart: Enough is Never Enough

September 24th, 2013

There were two major releases on the per theater chart with Enough Said pulling in an average of $58,200 in four theaters, while it has made $287,000 from Wednesday through Sunday. The only other film in the $10,000 club was Rush with an average of $37,458 in five theaters. This bodes well for it wide expansion on Friday. More...

Per Theater Chart: IMAX out of this World

August 15th, 2013

IMAX movies have incredible legs and can bounce back in the $10,000 club years and years after their first release. Space Station jumped into first place with an average of $30,602 in one theater. In a World was the best new release with an average of $23,514 in three theaters. It is going to expand and we will have a contest starting on Friday to celebrate. Snake and Mongoose was close behind with $20,254 in its lone theater. Blue Jasmine continues to expand and it is now playing in 119 theaters. However, its average remains very strong at $19,709 and it will undoubtedly continue to expand. The Spectacular Now expanded from 4 to 19 theaters, while its average fell to $14,045. This is still strong enough to suggest further expansion and it should reach its first major milestone shortly. Chennai Express broke records for a Bollywood film playing in 196 theaters, while its per theater average was $11,329. That's an incredible start. More...

Weekend Estimates: Wolverine Growls, Doesn't Howl at Top of Chart

July 28th, 2013

The Wolverine will have a very solid, but far from spectacular debut this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. Its $55 million total will give it the tenth-biggest weekend of the year, and the best for Fox, but it is falling well behind comparable films like World War Z (which opened with $66 million) and Star Trek Into Darkness ($70 million). Good reviews and lessened competition as the Summer season comes to a close will help it a bit, but it looks like $100 million and out for the franchise, unless its $86.1 million international debut turns into a $400 million global run. More...

Per Theater Chart: Getting in the Act

July 23rd, 2013

The Act of Killing had the best result on the per theater chart earning $27,450 in its lone theater. Fruitvale Station saw its theater count rise from 7 to 34, but its per theater average remained strong at $21,750. It has already cracked its first major milestone, and with room to expand, it will reach more. Blackfish debuted in five theaters with a per theater average of $15,192. That's very strong for a documentary. The overall box office leader, The Conjuring, was right behind with an average of $14,418. More...

Weekend Estimates: Conjuring Humbles R.I.P.D.

July 21st, 2013

This is a Summer packed with big-budget proto-franchise films, which makes it a risky season for the studios. Predictably enough, we've had some success stories among them, like Man of Steel and World War Z, and some disasters (with The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim standing out). Overall, the batting average for these films is running around 50%, which makes it a particularly dicey proposition to have two of them opening in the same weekend. More...

Limited Releases Grab Your Attention

July 19th, 2013

Every week we try and find a limited release with potential to expand significantly. This week there are two such films that appeared to be contenders: Girl Most Likely and Only God Forgives. Then the reviews came in and the chances of limited release success became a lot more limited. There are a few films earning stunning reviews: The Act of Killing, Blackfish, and Ways to Live Forever. I'm not sure any will expand significantly. Grabbers' reviews are not quite as strong, but it is the film I'm looking forward to seeing the most. More...

Compare this performance with other movies…

Weekend Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossDays
2013/07/19 40 $75,962   5 $15,192   $75,962 3
2013/07/26 30 $172,954 +128% 21 $8,236   $295,667 10
2013/08/02 25 $268,095 +55% 55 $4,874   $666,052 17
2013/08/09 26 $233,103 -13% 81 $2,878   $1,044,553 24
2013/08/16 32 $190,970 -18% 97 $1,969   $1,383,226 31
2013/08/23 36 $134,209 -30% 99 $1,356   $1,638,411 38
2013/08/30 47 $91,556 -32% 82 $1,117   $1,811,064 45
2013/09/06 54 $42,808 -53% 60 $713   $1,929,761 52
2013/09/13 53 $32,802 -23% 60 $547   $1,989,544 59
2013/09/20 70 $12,965 -60% 28 $463   $2,019,254 66
2013/09/27 62 $13,400 +3% 22 $609   $2,043,691 73
2013/10/04 90 $2,959 -78% 11 $269   $2,056,445 80
2013/10/11 78 $3,568 +21% 13 $274   $2,063,312 87
2013/10/18 85 $4,438 +24% 16 $277   $2,070,053 94

Daily Box Office Performance

Weekly Box Office Performance

DateRankGross% ChangeTheatersPer TheaterTotal GrossDays
2013/07/19 39 $122,713   5 $24,543   $122,713 7
2013/07/26 31 $275,244 +124% 21 $13,107   $397,957 14
2013/08/02 27 $413,493 +50% 55 $7,518   $811,450 21
2013/08/09 26 $380,806 -8% 81 $4,701   $1,192,256 28
2013/08/16 32 $311,946 -18% 97 $3,216   $1,504,202 35
2013/08/23 37 $215,306 -31% 99 $2,175   $1,719,508 42
2013/08/30 44 $167,445 -22% 82 $2,042   $1,886,953 49
2013/09/06 49 $69,789 -58% 60 $1,163   $1,956,742 56
2013/09/13 - $49,547 -29% 44 $1,126   $2,006,289 63
2013/09/20 61 $24,002 -52% 28 $857   $2,030,291 70
2013/09/27 58 $23,195 -3% 22 $1,054   $2,053,486 77
2013/10/04 77 $6,258 -73% 11 $569   $2,059,744 84
2013/10/11 83 $5,871 -6% 13 $452   $2,065,615 91
2013/10/18 66 $7,967 +36% 16 $498   $2,073,582 98

Box Office Summary Per Territory

Territory Release
Box Office
Australia 11/21/2013 $16,584 6 6 6 $16,584 12/13/2015
Netherlands 11/7/2013 $0 0 1 1 $7,106 10/13/2015
Spain 10/31/2013 $0 0 3 3 $16,840 12/13/2015
Rest of World $240,763
International Total$281,293 12/13/2015

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