Dinesh D’Souza’s anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America broke into the U.S. box office top 10 over the weekend, grossing US$6.2 million, putting it on track to become one of the year’s highest grossing box office docs.
The film enjoyed a limited theatrical release mid-July, and over the weekend expanded nationwide into 1,091 American theaters, where it led all other wide releases with an average take of $5,717 per cinema.
The documentary is billed as examining the question, “If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?” and is based on D’Souza’s 2010 book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. It is produced by Gerald R. Molen (Schindler’s List, Minority Report) and is being distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures.
To date, the film has grossed $9.08 million at the box office, making it the top grossing documentary of the year so far, excluding concert films (Katy Perry: Part of Me, $25.3 million to date) and nature docs (Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, $28.9 million).
And with the upcoming Republican National Convention taking place in America this week, 2016 could see its box office gross rise considerably higher. Trailing behind it, the Weinstein Company-backed Bully is the second highest-grossing feature doc of the year, having taken $3.49 million to date.
According to analysts, D’Souza’s film is in part benefiting from an August release schedule featuring less competition than usual from Hollywood blockbusters.
“It’s extremely rare for a documentary to break into the top 10, but August can be a land of opportunity for smaller films,” Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com, told The Washington Post. “Also, there’s the fact that this is a very conservative film. Normally, it’s Michael Moore-branded documentaries – the liberal documentaries – that make all the money.”
Moore’s 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11 holds the record for the highest grossing political documentary – and the highest grossing documentary – to date, with a total box office haul of $119.2 million.
The full weekend box office results for August 24-26 were:
1. The Expendables 2 – $13.5 million
2. The Bourne Legacy – $9.3 million
3. ParaNorman – $8.5 million
4. The Campaign – $7.4 million
5. The Dark Knight Rises – $7.2 million
6. The Odd Life of Timothy Green – $7.1 million
7. Premium Rush – $6.3 million
8. 2016: Obama’s America – $6.2 million
9. Hope Springs – $6 million
10. Hit and Run – $4.7 million