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The Panda

March of the Penguins (2005): A True Success Story

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In June 2005, a magical documentary captivated the hearts of audiences and grossed an adjusted 110m DOM.  The only documentary to gross more than it was the Michael Moore’s Bush satire.


March of the Penguins more than doubles the second highest nature doc and was able to outgross films like “This is It” and Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never.  Even Popstar, with its (let’s call it) mixed reviews, failed to gross higher than the documentary phenomenon March of the Penguins.


Discuss this incredible, unprecedented success story that captured the heart of people around the globe.

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I watched this on HBO many months ago. I was transfixed by this film for its entire run-time. This is not just any random nature doc; this is a visceral, honest reflection on life and love. It contains stunning, unforgettable footage. It is one of my favorite films of all time, and I've only seen it fairly recently.

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Saw it in theaters with my family, largely based off hype. Extraordinarily beautiful documentary. I wasn't following box office at the time it came out, but I'm sure people following it, were astonished by just how leggy it was. It never reached the top five, but it kept chugging along in theaters until November of 05, becoming a very leggy film. I'm honestly surprised its box office run isn't talked about more, it's in the top 10 most surprising for me. 


I think its success can largely be attributed, not only due to a different box office landscape, but also because of how much people like Penguins. It's probably no coincidence that after its release, we started to see a slew of animated films starring the flightless birds. Given the fact that they walk funny, and aren't afraid of humans, it's hard to dislike them. 

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