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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Imagine Yoko Ono Shutting Down Showings of Expelled?

So far it is imaginary.

Ono is seeking at least $75,000 in damages and injunctive relief.

Her case turns on the use of some lines from Ono’s late husband John Lennon’s ”Imagine”*.

On April 30, 2008, a New York-based United States judge, Sidney Stein, enjoined “further distribution” of Expelled until Yoko Ono’s lawsuit for copyright infringement is heard.

A legal eagle friend has shown me a copy of the judge’s order, with hand-scrawled changes. It means that new copies of the film can’t be sent out until the hearing later this month, but so far as I can see, the current copies of the film can continue to be shown.

*While finding the link to Lennon and “Imagine” on YouTube, I noticed quite a number of attacks on Expelled. But so far no one seems to have pirated footage of the film, or at least not that they are crowing about.

I almost think that’s too bad. I am getting impatient. So many American friends have seen it, but it is not coming to Canada till at least June 6.

While we are here, how is Expelled doing after 17 days?

Well, as I write this (7:18 EST), it is #6 in political documentaries, #13 in documentaries, and #10 in Christian documentaries at MOJO. Here’s the daily calendar view. I don’t yet have more than an estimate for this weekend's box office, but it comes out to:

TOTAL LIFETIME GROSSES: Domestic: $6,619,000 est.

About the people who are confidently predicting doom for Expelled, a friend writes to say that they crack him up:
I believe it's #13 of all time in box office receipts after only two weekends and it's possible, if not likely, it will crack into the top ten before it's done. $6 million going into the third weekend is tanking? This person needs to check out "Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden" which came out on the same weekend as EXPELLED. I don't think Spurlock's bomb (the guy who brought you Supersize Me) has even made $300k yet. That's a poor performing film. By contrast, EXPELLED is a huge success.
By the way, I wouldn’t pay much attention to reader opinion at the MoJo site:
Readers B- (362 votes)
Your Grade Log in
As: 229 63.3%
Bs: 12 3.3%
Cs: 3 0.8%
Ds: 3 0.8%
Fs: 115 31.8%
In other words, what you think of Expelled depends on whether you think that scientists should be allowed to talk about evidence of design in the universe or life forms. But if you don’t think so, you were less likely than others to see the film. In fact, I have no idea what proportion of the 31.8% who failed the film did in fact see it. There would really be no need for them to do so, of course; they could always watch another film and go home and rant about Expelled anyway.

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