When "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer" was released last week, 668 theaters decided to hold screenings of the independent film. The movie quickly surpassed expectations by grossing $1.2 million on just 668 screenings of the film, Daily Wire reported. It even was put in the top 10 film list. Now, 188 theaters have dropped the film, 15 of which were top-performing multiplexes.
"Gosnell" executives aren't surprised by the move, especially after the up-hill battle they've faced producing and placing the film.
"I can tell you from my experience in 15 years of releasing movies independently, we’re in uncharted territories," the film's marketing director, John Sullivan, told Daily Wire. "It is an impacted fall, no doubt about it, but the fact that we’ve been dropped from theaters where the movie is the number 6 or number 9 movie is just something you don’t see. It’s hard not to believe it isn’t about the content of the movie."
Sullivan said some smaller theaters pulled the movie to make way for "Halloween," which is projected to be a best-seller, but the same can't be said for theaters where 20 plus movies are showing.
"We have theaters that are dropping that are top theaters, that are performing very well. We’ve been the number 6 in a 15-plex and it gets dropped this week. We’ve been number 9 in a 30-plex and we’re getting dropped this week. There are about 15 theaters like that where typically you would not get dropped," Sullivan said. "I do recognize it’s a crowded marketplace – 'Halloween' is going to be a huge opening but it’s very odd to me that you’re within the top 10 and you’re getting dropped out of a movie house."
The 15 theaters that dropped the "Gosnell" movie are all high-performing theaters and major theater chains.
Here are a few examples, according to the Daily Wire:
• AMC Kips Bay #6 out of 15 screens
• AMC Burbank #9 out of 30 screens
• Temecula Stadium #9 out of 15 screens
• AMC Alderwood #9 out of 16 screens
• AMC Methuen 20 #9 out of 20 screens
"Gosnell" producer Phelim McAleer took to Facebook to explain some of the issues surrounding the movie, including theater personnel lying to customers about the film being available.
"People are saying that they are going to the box office and being told that the films isn't being shown when it is," McAleer said. "We are being told that people are also not able to buy tickets online. Some theaters are trying to cut this down, trying to exclude people from going to see it."
There's no denying that this controversy is stemming from the film's content.