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The Unexpected Superheroes of Summer? Mister Rogers and RBG

The Washington Post

By Jake Coyle/AP

June 27, 2018


NEW YORK — Escapism is usually the domain of big-budget spectacles, but a pair of blockbuster documentaries has caught on at the summer box office partly because they’re a respite from today’s headlines.

The Fred Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait “RBG” have each played to some of the season’s most packed theaters. In eight weeks, “RBG” has made $10.9 million, a mammoth sum for any documentary. Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” has grossed $4.1 million in three weeks, including $1.9 million last weekend at 348 theaters.

Both movies have cracked the top 10 movies at the box office, ranking an 85-year-old justice and a deceased Presbyterian minister in multiplexes alongside Spandexed superheroes and supernatural thrillers. Documentaries, often sober counter-programming for the summer months, are instead supplying the movie season’s most potent wellspring of feel-good inspiration — particularly to liberal moviegoers. Read more