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Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi did modest business at the box office after its January release, earning $52.9 million domestically and $69.4 million worldwide. But in an election-year surprise for Paramount, the film is doing herolike business in home entertainment, amassing more than $40 million since it became available digitally in May, followed by its Blu-ray/DVD and rental release June 7. That’s a huge number for a movie of its size. (Digital purchases total about $7.1 million, digital and physical rentals are at $20.2 million, and $13.5 million is from Blu-ray and DVD sales.) “The gross could end up being on par with the box office,” says Bob Buchi, Paramount’s president of worldwide home media distribution.
Interestingly, Paramount says Bay’s $50 million-budgeted film about the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya is doing well everywhere in America — not only in Donald Trump-leaning states — despite depicting an event conservatives often use against then-Secretary of State (now Democratic presidential nominee) Hillary Clinton. Bay says 13 Hours is apolitical and Clinton’s name isn’t mentioned, but two security contractors depicted, Mark Geist and John Tiegen, showed up at the Republican National Convention to berate Clinton. Insists Buchi, “The movie is showing broad appeal because it’s based on a true story of American heroes.”
This story first appeared in the Aug. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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