There isn’t a documentary filmmaker alive who wouldn’t kill for all the free publicity handed to the recent film “Bully.”
The documentary, a cause celebre for the same anti-bullying movement employing uber-bully Dan Savage, received buckets of news stories about the battle to reduce its rating from R to PG:13.
Credit producer and superbully himself, Harvey Weinstein, who brilliantly directed the ratings campaign while swearing it had nothing to do with publicity.
So … how did “Bully” fare at the box office?
No one could have realistically expected “Bully” to compete with the likes of “The Hunger Games” or “The Three Stooges.” Yet so far, the film has earned a very modest $2.28 million since its March 30 release.
Had no ratings imbroglio existed, those figures would have been considered respectable. Documentaries rarely earn that kind of cash. But given the nonstop buzz over the film, it’s hard to see its box office tally as anything but a letdown.
Bullying doesn’t pay.