Case Study

Girl Rising: A Documentary's $1.85M Box Office Achievement


With ‘GIRL RISING’, the filmmakers set out to showcase the untold stories of nine extraordinary girls, aiming to catalyze a global movement for girls’ education. Through GATHR’s bottom-up Theatrical On Demand® model they were able to bring these pivotal narratives to audiences far and wide, transforming their film into a beacon of advocacy and mobilization. GATHR’s platform not only amplified their message but also fostered a unique community engagement model that has been instrumental in building hundreds of alliances with organizations worldwide. GATHR’s Theatrical On Demand® is more than a service; it’s a catalyst for change, making it possible for stories like those in ‘GIRL RISING’ to inspire, educate, and mobilize communities towards a brighter future for girls everywhere.

Scott Glosserman
  • $1.85M

    Box Office

  • 150k

    Tickets Sold

  • $2400

    Avg. revenue per screening

Highest Grossing Documentaries 2013

  • 1. 20 Feet From Stardom $4.8mm (Radius/TWC)
  • 2. The Gatekeepers 2.4mm (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • 3. Blackfish 2mm (Magnolia)
  • 4. Girl Rising 1.85mm (GATHR)
  • 5. Stories We Tell 1.3mm (Mongrel Media)
  • 6. Inequality For All 1.2mm (Radius/TWC)

Table Of Contents

About Girl Rising

Girl Rising stands at the intersection of a groundbreaking film and a global non-profit movement dedicated to girls' education and empowerment. The documentary, a centerpiece of this movement, is a poignant portrayal of nine girls from different corners of the world, each facing and overcoming incredible challenges to access education. Directed by Academy Award Nominee Richard E. Robbins, and featuring the voices of renowned actresses like Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, the documentary transcends mere storytelling. It serves as a catalyst for change, highlighting the urgent need to value and support girls' education globally. Parallel to the film, the GIRL RISING non-profit organization works tirelessly to dismantle the barriers to girls' education through various global programs.


The primary goal of GIRL RISING was to harness the power of film as a transformative storytelling medium, focusing not on entertainment but on education and societal impact. As a non-profit dedicated to girls' education, GIRL RISING aimed to utilize the documentary as a dynamic tool for empathy-building, aiming to change global perceptions about the value of girls and their education. Their approach was to break down barriers to girls’ education through engaging, powerful narratives that could inspire action and awareness.


Girl Rising’s audience wasn't the typical cinephile crowd seeking entertainment; rather, they needed to reach a diverse range of organizations and individuals invested in educational and social change.


Gathr’s Theatrical On Demand® provided a solution tailored to these unique needs. This platform allowed for localized, demand-driven screenings, making the documentary accessible to a wide range of audiences across various locations.

Key Outcomes

Box Office Success
GIRL RISING became the 4th highest-grossing documentary of 2013, with an average of 174 attendees per screening, translating to an average of $2400 per screening. This extended reach was a direct result of the flexibility and community-driven approach of Theatrical On Demand®.

Extended Theatrical Window
The film saw over 150K ticket sales and more than 1000 consumer-generated screenings across 50 states. This extended theatrical window, lasting well beyond a year, underscored the enduring interest and relevance of the film.

Community Building
The model proved effective in creating real-world connections, as noted by Tom Yellin, Producer of GIRL RISING. It harnessed social media for online engagement that translated into in-person gatherings, strengthening community bonds.

Audience Data Utilization
The ticketing data collected was pivotal in understanding the impact of the film, building an enduring following for the non-profit organization, and leading to re-engagement with the audience, thereby amplifying the film's educational and social objectives.

Corporate Sponsorships Enhanced by Theatrical On Demand®

Theatrical On Demand® (TOD) has revolutionized the ease of corporate sponsorships for films, as evidenced by INTEL's involvement with GIRL RISING. Through TOD, companies like INTEL could seamlessly fund various aspects of film distribution, including employee screenings, red-carpet premieres, and DCP charges. This streamlined process not only facilitated corporate engagement in supporting impactful films but also offered businesses a valuable avenue to align their brand with social causes. The collaboration with INTEL is a prime example of how TOD can effectively bridge the gap between corporate sponsors and films with a strong social message, enhancing the visibility of both the film and the corporate brand, while contributing significantly to the film's distribution and outreach.

Conclusion: Theatrical On Demand® - A Paradigm Shift in Film Distribution

Gathr's Theatrical On Demand® (TOD) represents a revolutionary blend of Kickstarter's crowdfunding approach and Netflix's on-demand accessibility, effectively democratizing theatrical distribution. This innovative model excels particularly with documentaries that have emotionally engaged communities, like GIRL RISING, by aggregating substantial pre-sale audiences and clawing back vital consumer insights typically lost in traditional distribution. TOD's success in propelling GIRL RISING to Βοx Office success underscores its potency in connecting impactful films with targeted audiences, redefining the potential for documentaries to effectuate social change through a more direct and insightful engagement with viewers.

Case Studies

Related Case Studies

Fahrenheit 11/9

GATHR's TOD® boosted FAHRENHEIT 9/11's Box Office 15% Launching The Inaugural Nationwide People's Premiere
Read Now


UnCharitable Documentary's Global Impact - $100K in Value and Reach in 35 Countries Through GATHR's Partner Transactional Video On Demand
Read Now