Whether you’re against fracking (hello: global climate change, polluted lives and livelihoods, corporate exploitation run amok) or you’re for fracking (hello: jobs, homeland security, cheap energy), see “Gasland II.” New to fracking? See “Gasland II” -- THE juicy feature length film for sidling up to a controversial economic boom that’s firing up the nation.
“Gasland II” is a “crossover film” because it actually gets released in movie theaters. Mind you, there’s little chance any documentary by anyone besides Michael Moore will sell many tickets in commercial theaters. Indeed, the Academy Awards nomination requirement of a “theatrical run” probably drives most crossover documentary release decisions.
Excluding Moore’s four out of the top fifteen grossing documentaries, the average total gross for the top 100 documentaries sells about $3 million at US movie theaters. Josh Fox’s first “Gasland” film (nominated for an Oscar) grossed $30,000 in theaters. That’s one percent of the theater sales of an average documentary that piddles time in movie theaters. Yes, films like this do have a life on cable networks and public television. No, documentary films aren’t usurping the mindshare of an American public that spent $73 million in the first weekend of the Hobbit sequel.
The “Film Festival” is a different movie going concept (that you should hanker to support). Amongst more than 100 films each year at The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, most of the filmmakers would drool at the thought of $30,000 in commercial theater sales.
“Crossover hits” make it into the Wild & Scenic occasionally. Perhaps the biggest, “The Cove” won the 2009 Best Documentary Oscar. Its box office grossed under a million. This year, Wild & Scenic has “Blackfish.” Huge: it grossed more than $2 million. (See it. You may never go to a Sea-World-type whale show again.)
The numbers parade aside, see “Gasland II.” See why the American Petroleum Institute (the largest oil and gas trade association) wants to stomp on a whisper in the movie making landscape. See it to enjoy Josh Fox’s personable style of muckraking. He carries the torch against fracking’s dangers to our environment, and expanding from the first “Gasland,” shines light on fracking’s dangers to our democracy.