Box Office Report: Anti-Obama Doc Drawing Big Crowds, Even in New York City
An anti-Barack Obama documentary based on conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s book The Roots of Obama’s Rage will expand nationwide this weekend after doing notable business in select markets across the country -- including in liberal-minded New York City.
Overall, 2016: Obama's America grossed an impressive $1.2 million last weekend as it upped its theater count from 61 to 169 for a total gross of $2 million, the second-best showing of the year for a documentary after Bully ($3.2 million). That doesn't include nature documentaries Chimpanzee ($29 million) and To the Arctic ($7.6 million).
It's already the No. 12 political documentary of all time -- a market that Michael Moore has cornered -- as well as the No. 2 conservative documentary after Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed ($7.7 million).
On Friday, Obama's America, co-directed by D'Souza and John Sullivan, will be playing in 1,075 theaters in an aggressive expansion that comes on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., which gets underway Aug. 27.
Obama's America, distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, first began rolling out in mid-July and has been adding theaters slowly. On Aug. 10, it opened in a number of markets, including New York and Los Angeles (including the conservative Simi Valley).
Some in Hollywood were stumped by the amount of business the documentary did at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 in Lower Manhattan, situated in a liberal neighborhood where films from the likes of Moore have done huge business.
Obama's America was the No. 3 film of the weekend behind The Dark Knight Rises and Total Recall at Union Square, prompting at least one film executive to joke that people must have thought it was a pro-Obama documentary (New York is the No. 1 city when it comes to the amount of giving to the Obama campaign).
Moreover, Union Square turned in the second-best gross of any theater in the country after a multiplex in Simi Valley.
Last weekend, Obama's America fell only 40 percent at the Union Square theater.
Obama's America intends to show how the country's future will look if President Obama is elected to a second term in the White House and includes an interview with the president's half brother, George Obama.
"I think the reason why the film is doing so well is threefold: We've expanded into good markets, we've been advertising nationally for two weeks on talk radio and television news channels including Fox News Channel, A&E, History and MSNBC," Sullivan told The Hollywood Reporter.
Obama's America also is doing big business in cities including Sacramento, Dallas, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Greenville, N.C., and Tampa, Fla.