Dinesh D‘Souza’s anti-Obama documentary, “2016: Obama’s America” began playing in 1,090 North American theaters on Friday and is opening as the number one movie at the domestic box office today, Deadline reports.
Playing in a third of the theaters as some big-budget Hollywood blockbusters like “The Expendables 2” (3,335 theaters), D‘Souza’s intriguing look into the life of President Obama is showing incredible promise. Rocky Mountain Pictures is releasing the documentary.
And while the Stallone action flick previously mentioned from Millenium/Lionsgate will likely finish the weekend on top of the box office, “2016” should, going off matinee trends, hold its own and is expected to rake in $3.7-$5 million by the end of the weekend.
Deadline has the exclusive on this story:
The Stallone picture from Millenium/Lionsgate is still expected to end the weekend #1 and should top the box office tonight. And, based on matinee trends, 2016 Obama’s America looks to gross $1.2M-$1.7M Friday for a $3.7M-$5.0M weekend.
But right now it has grossed $700,000 today compared to $300,000 for The Expendables 2. Its new cume after this weekend could make it the #1 conservative documentary (ahead of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M). The success of the anti-Obama pic is based on big pre-sales leading into the Republican National Convention August 27-30, and exhibitors are reporting busloads of filmgoers arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips. It also employed much of the same marketing techniques used to garner attention and support for faith-based films, understandable since the audience is overlapping. Its campaign included advertising nationally over the past two weeks on talk radio and cable news channels including Fox News Channel, A&E, History and MSNBC.
Both online ticket-sellers Fandango and MovieTickets.com showed advance buying for 2016 Obama’s America were accounting for 35% to 28% respectively before this weekend. The pic is based on conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s New York Times bestselling 2010 book The Roots Of Obama’s Rage and co-directed by D’Souza and John Sullivan and produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen (co-producer of Schindler’s List). It opened on July 13th in a preview on a single screen in Texas grossing almost $32,000 during its opening weekend, then expanded into 61 theaters including New York and Los Angeles. In August, the film widened to 169 theaters nationwide and expanded again this weekend. “Yes, I also didn’t believe it when I first saw the film taking off in pre-sales on Tuesday,” an exhibition insider tells me. “Because there’s not a lot of new product that’s taking off.”
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer for “2016”: