‘Waiting for Superman’ has surprising powers

As the autumn independent movie season heats up, film fans seem most interested in getting an education about education.

“Waiting for ‘Superman,’” the documentary about America’s public school system, is performing better than several other high-profile releases, including a new Woody Allen comedy, a Ryan Reynolds thriller and a highly touted British drama with several big names.

“Superman,” from “An Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim, collected $407,000 at 34 theaters on its second weekend, an average of $11,971 per theater. That’s better than Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” which took in a decent $232,424 at 29 theaters, and Reynolds’ “Buried,” which sold a weak $100,000 worth of tickets at 33 locations.

With $600,000 in total, Paramount Pictures’ “‘Superman’” has grossed nearly as much as the well-reviewed British drama “Never Let Me Go,” which has been in theaters one week longer. “Never Let Me Go,” which stars Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, is at 43 locations and has taken in $725,816.


“Catfish,” a controversial documentary about online romance that also opened three weekends ago, has expanded more rapidly to 136 theaters and grossed a so-so $1.6 million. The Philip Seymour Hoffman drama “Jack Goes Boating,” which opened the same weekend, has fizzled, collecting just $271,581 despite now playing in 78 locations.

Studios often release prestige pictures in a limited number of theaters in big cities during the fall in hopes that they will be fresh in the minds of awards voters at the end of the year.

Ben Fritz