Joe Berlinger’s latest film "Crude," a documentary about the legal battle in Ecuador between 30,000 rainforest residents and Chevron, is already stirring up emotions at the box office. The film opened in New York with the highest per-screen weekend average in the country last weekend.
Its Los Angeles premiere is Friday at the Nuart.
Though it was only played on a single screen at New York City’s IFC Center, the film raked in $23,225 in ticket sales since its opening last Wednesday, according to a news release issued by the filmmakers.
Even before its release, the film was stirring up controversy: Chevron called it "long on emotion and short on facts." It focuses around a $27 billion environmental lawsuit filed by the residents of the Amazon Rainforest that argues Chevron should compensate those who live near the waste pits left over from those seeking oil in the 1960s.
The movie has a number of graphic scenes involving villagers interacting with oil-filled bodies of water and children with skin rashes and other health problems.
"Despite Chevron’s efforts to discredit the film, audiences made their voices heard this weekend," Berlinger said in a statement. "’Crude’ respects its viewers and allows people to make up their own minds about this story, and we are grateful that so many folks came out this weekend to do just that."The film opens in San Francisco on Sept. 25, followed by additional markets across the U.S. throughout the fall.