Fahrenheit 9/11 opened on 868 screens and brought in $25,115 "per engagement." The next most successful movie this weekend was White Chicks, which also debuted and played on 2,726 screens -- about triple that of Fahrenheit, yet it brought in only $7,190 per engagement.[salon]
While this probably isn't surprising to anyone who stood in a long line [mm] to see the film, it does make the box office record seem all the more remarkable.
It also shows that IFC/Lion's Gate was incredibly smart to release while a 21.8 million dollar weekend would still be newsworthy1 -- before Spiderman 2 rolls out with a huge Independence Day box office. If HSX is any indication of potential for box office success, the $130M (Fri-Sun) call is selling for > $10. [hsx]
(1) ... though I'm sure they were really going for a documentary record.