The documentary “2016: Obama’s America,”Â based on conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” â promoted by Fox, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck – was a box office hit this weekend.
From The Wrap:
With the Republican convention convening this week in Tampa, independent distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures on Friday expanded it from 169 to 1,091 screens. It took in $6.2 million over the three days for a per-screen average of $5,940 — the best of any film in wide release, including the No. 1 film, “Expendables 2.”âŚ.
D’Souza co-directed with John Sullivan. Produced for a reported $2.1 million, “2016″ has made $9.3 million since its release seven weeks ago, and has surpassed “Bully” as the year’s top-earning documentary.
The film played most strongly in a range of states that were varied geographically as well in terms of red and blue. They included New York, Washington, Lousiana and Kansas, according to Joseph, who headed the marketing campaign along with Sullivan.
He discounted reports that there were religious groups shepherding moviegoers to the film and that othes were bused in. He said the only effort organized by his company was a Los Angeles call center designed to get the word outâŚ..
So how indicative is the film’s popularity of the country’s feeling about Obama?
It may be more of a box-office coup than a bellwether for the nationâs political pulse, according to left-leaning documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald (“Steal This Movie,” “Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War”) of Brave New Films.
Greenwald feels the success of the film is mostly a matter of preaching to the choir.
âI think that documentaries have an impact and the potential to affect peopleâs thinking and feeling,â he told The Wrap on Sunday. âBut when you put a movie in a theater and ask people to pay between $7 and $12, you are getting a very small, select group of people who already have an opinion.
Meanwhile, as Tommy Christopher reports at Mediate, Current TVâs Cenk Uygur âdestroyedâ DâSouza in an interview challenging the book and filmâs accuracy:
The facts, not surprisingly, are not DâSouzaâs friends. For the fiscal year ending in September of 2008, the federal budget deficit was just over a trillion dollars, adjusted for inflation. For the âcarry-over yearâ ending in September of 2009, the deficit was $1.8 trillion dollars, which included mandatory spending that Bush put in place, and the stimulus that halted the Bush slide into oblivion.
DâSouza did get one fact right. His film is actually doing relatively well, having just expanded into 169 theaters, and averaging a respectable $7,365 per screen, with a domestic gross of just over $2 million in limited release.Â The film is partially financed byÂ TD AmeritradebillionaireÂ Joe Ricketts, who infamouslyÂ commissioned a strategy memo that sought to launch a race-based attack on the President by resurrecting the Rev.Â Jeremiah Wright story.
Hereâs the interview, in two parts, from Current TVâs The Young Turks: