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“Expelled” at the box office.

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04212008_expelled.jpgDid all the controversy-courting work for Ben Stein’s critically unloved anti-Darwinist documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”? The film, which opened last weekend against Morgan Spurlock’s equally pop if not so rampantly right-wing “Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?”, racked up over $3 million at the box office.Two reads, the first from Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood, who doesn’t call this a success:

[T]he per screen average for Friday was a low $1,145 and for Saturday $940 (and $2,830 for the entire weekend), showing there wasn’t much pent-up demand for the film despite an aggressive publicity campaign on right-wing media. So much for the conservative argument that people would flock to films not representing the “agenda of liberal Hollywood”. (Just for comparison purposes: left-wing Michael Moore’s most recent Sicko did $4.4 mil its opening weekend from only 441 theaters, and his Fahrenheit 9/11 did $23.9M its opening weekend from 868 venues.)

AJ Schnack at All These Wonderful Things disagrees, writing that the film is “by no means a blockbuster by narrative standards, but highly successful for such a widely released doc, particularly in the current climate.”

The success of EXPELLED marks the first time that a conservative-targeted nonfiction film has made a mark at the box office. For years there have been questions as to why there wasn’t a conservative strand of documentary and why film festivals seem to exclusively screen docs with a liberal, activist tilt. Reasons given often revolved around dual arguments of quantity and quality. While EXPELLED may not satisfy the quality question, its success suggests that there is a market for other conservative docs, particularly if a filmmaker was able to score a high profile figure like Stein and follow a similar marketing path. Is the Glenn Beck anti-Gore film far behind?

“Where in the World,” meanwhile, made less than half of “Expelled”‘s on-screen average, pulling in $143,000 total. Back in January, Reuters reported that the Weinstein Co. paid $2 million for the film at Berlin, though more lip-frothy rumors put the figure as high as $25 million. Not everyone can be Michael Moore, the lesson seems to be. Speaking of, Moore gave his endorsement to Obama today, adding that “the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting.”

[Photo: “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2008]

+ Jet And Jackie Nudge Out Judd For No. 1; Ben Stein Shows He’s No Michael Moore (Deadline Hollywood Daily)
+ EXPELLED Trounces OSAMA, Nearly Enters Top 25 Docs All Time on First Weekend (All These Wonderful Things)
+ My Vote’s for Obama (if I could vote) …by Michael Moore (

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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