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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Expelled ten days later ...

According to Box Office Mojo, Expelled is estimated to have

- earned $5,282,000 in 10 days.

- it is currently ranked 6th in political documentary, 12th in Christian, and 15th in documentary.

- It is currently ranked 13 in films, but every film ranked above it was released in far more theatres.

Meanwhile, John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, is suing the Expelled filmmakers over their use of his 1971 song Imagine, ranked all time # 3 by Rolling Stone. The producers claim they cited it under fair use for commentary and criticism.

The Expelled producers replied to Ms. Ono, "Let it be," adding,
Premise did not pursue a license for the song and had no obligation to do so. Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech. The brief clip - consisting of a mere 10 words - was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of EXPELLED.

But the irony of this lawsuit was not lost on the film's star Ben Stein, "So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'? Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free? After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world...You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'"
John P. Meyer at Pegasus News thinks, as I do, that
Frankly, it looks like the instigators of the lawsuit are playing right into the hands of the filmmakers, who're naturally (and in time-honored fashion) taking the approach that "all publicity is good publicity."
Apparently, Ms. Ono is trying to stop the distribution of Expelled, but there she certainly hasn't the advantage of originality. However, at least one group of fans has sent me a message urging that people see the film soon in case she succeeds.

In case she succeeds? I can't think of a better way to be sure that a billion people see it.

Meanwhile, if you want to hear and see Lennon's Imagine, go here, and here's Lennon with the other Beatles, in Let it be.

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