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Hollywood Blindsided by ‘2016: Obama’

James Hirsen By Monday, 27 August 2012 10:02 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Stunning the liberals in the entertainment industry as well as the Democratic Party, this weekend a documentary, “2016: Obama's America,” not only made it to the eighth spot with $6.3 million, but it was able to show the best per screen average of any of the films in the top ten, landing at $5,717 per screen.

Having a relatively small budget by Hollywood standards and an independent distributor (Rocky Mountain Pictures) to boot, “2016: Obama's America” effectively tied with the seventh placing film, which was Sony’s action packed “Premium Rush,” featuring star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The major studio offering hauled in $6.3 million, but it was exhibited in twice as many theaters as was “2016: Obama's America.”

Additionally, the documentary bested two other new wide releases, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s comedy “Hit & Run,” which at $4.7 million opened in tenth place, and the Warner Bros. horror flick “The Apparition,” which placed twelfth and took in $3 million.

Having an understated debut at a modest number of screens in mid-July, “2016: Obama's America” slowly and steadily increased to more than 160 screens the weekend before last.

The film’s most recent expansion, though, placed it up on more than 1000 screens. As a result, it has reached a domestic box-office level of $9.1 million, handing it the all-time largest gross for a conservative political documentary and enabling it to surpass the former number one right-of center documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” ($7.7 million).

The movie, based on Dinesh D'Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama's Rage,” examines the motivations behind the policies of President Obama by looking closely at his family background and personal history.

It also makes a prediction as to what the nation’s future might be should the president secure a second term. It does so in dramatic fashion incorporating a fast-moving juxtaposition of news footage and interviews. Viewers are also transported to a range of captivating locales including Indonesia and Kenya.

D'Souza wrote and co-directed the movie with John Sullivan, who had produced the aforementioned “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” Interestingly, “2016: Obama's America” was produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen, who in the past teamed up with Steven Spielberg on a number of films that include “Schindler's List” and “Jurassic Park.”

In an article that appeared in the Hollywood Reporter last May, Molen expressed that since the election of Obama it “was more difficult for conservatives to open up” in Hollywood.

“I don't know why Hollywood is so monolithic in its liberal politics now,” Molen stated. “When I first started in the business, some of the bigger names in Hollywood on the right, like John Wayne and Bob Hope, weren't afraid to exhibit their political stripes. Today, those on the right have a tendency to hide their politics because the left is vindictive.”

Ironically, the vindictiveness to which Molen refers was illustrated in the highly negatively charged reviews of the film published by Variety, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, which may have been partially motivated by the influence that “2016: Obama's America” may potentially have on the re-election of the publications’ candidate of choice.

Whatever the case, the Obama campaign may have reason to be concerned.

After the Republican National Convention concludes, the film will most likely expand to even more screens and could remain in theaters for several weeks, with a back-to-back DVD and digital download release to follow in the lead-up to the Nov. 6 presidential election.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.

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Monday, 27 August 2012 10:02 AM
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