BoxOffice Guru: Tom Shadyac’s ‘I AM’ Takes Off In Portland

The inspiration for Hollywood director Tom Shadyac’s (pictured) personal journey documentary I AM did not come from power lunches with studio execs or the typical pitch meetings that led to his blockbuster hits Bruce Almighty and Ace Ventura. Shadyac took a break from the Hollywood treadmill after suffering severe injuries from a cycling accident. After battling and slowly beating the headaches and mood swings related to Post Concussion Syndrome, Shadyac set out with a small crew to travel the world and interview mankind’s great philosophers including Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to learn how people can lead better, more truthful lives and in the process improve the world around them.

The path that led Shadyac to directing I AM was an unusual one and specialty distributor Paladin Films chose an appropriately unique release strategy by launching the film’s platform release this weekend in the New Age-friendly city of Portland, Oregon. Paladin reported a three-day weekend opening of $10,500 at Portland’s Regal Fox Tower with multiple sold-out shows in support of Shadyac’s on-site appearances.

Plans call for a steady expansion with I AM traveling next to Seattle and San Francisco and the key markets of Los Angeles and New York in March. Shadyac will travel with the film to talk to audiences about his journey making the documentary as well as his current travels in support of the movie. Now that’s something he never had to do as the director of Bruce Almighty.

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