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2016 OBAMA'S AMERICA Movie Box Office: Hit or Disappointment?

2016 Obama's America movie anti-Obama documentary2016 Obama's America movie weekend box office: Solid, but at lower end of expectations

The Republican national convention kicks off on Monday in Tampa, Florida. Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's right-wing documentary about U.S. president Barack Obama (photo), 2016 Obama's America, was a cinematic tie-in to the proceedings, expanding from 169 to 1,091 venues this weekend. That strategy, coupled with some savvy targeted marketing, worked. But only to a certain extent.

Although 2016 Obama's America topped advance ticket sales on Fandango for three days in a row last week and was the no. 1 movie in North America at early Friday showings, the D'Souza / Sullivan documentary ended up in the no. 4 slot after Friday evening screenings were tallied and, at least for now, is no. 8 on the Aug. 24-26 box office chart according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

2016 Obama's America movie box office: Hit or disappointment?

Because of the film's unusual per-theater-average increases following two weekend-to-weekend expansions, several box office pundits had prophesied that 2016 Obama's America would gross more than $8 million this weekend. At least one box office soothsayer raised the possibility that the anti-Obama documentary could top the domestic box office chart, i.e., outgross The Expendables 2's expected $12-13 million. Needless to say, that didn't happen. Not even close. [See also: “2016 Obama's America Movie: Right-Wing Blockbuster?” “2016 Obama's America Box Office: Weekend's No.1?"]

So, does that mean 2016 Obama's America was a box office disappointment? Not at all. Though lambasted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Variety, 2016 Obama's America was widely praised by the right-wing media. Ultimately, the film succeeded in reaching its target audience. The documentary, which portrays Barack Obama as an idealistic threat to the United States, collected an estimated $6.23 million, averaging a solid – though hardly outstanding – $5,718 per site. That's less than the $7,365 per-theater take at 169 locations last weekend, but more than the $5,202 per-theater take at 61 venues two weekends ago. And that's no small feat.

Whether there's room for further expansions is debatable, as the movie, thanks to its smart wide-release timing, may have reached its box office peak. Don't be too surprised if 2016 Obama's America plummets next weekend. We'll see.

Also, bear in mind that 2016 Obama's America's position at the no. 8 slot could change once box office actuals are released on Monday. That's because the gap between the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle Premium Rush (no. 7) and the Meryl Streep / Tommy Lee Jones romantic comedy Hope Springs (no. 9) is only $300,000, with the Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan documentary sandwiched between those two movies. D'Souza and Sullivan's film could easily move up or down one spot.

2016 Obama's America movie vs. Fahrenheit 9/11

Though hardly the movie to catch the American zeitgeist this election year (as some over-excited pundits had claimed), or the right-wing elite's cinematic equivalent to Michael Moore's epoch-making anti-George W. Bush / anti-Iraq War / anti-Britney Spears 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, 2016 Obama's America's $9.07 million cume is nothing to be sniffed at. After all, at least officially the movie cost only $2.5 million. Note: even if accurate, this figure doesn't include marketing / distribution expenses, which must have been considerable as a result of the film's wide expansion and heavy-duty promotion. Also, keep in mind that, as a rule of thumb, exhibitors get about 50 percent of a movie's domestic gross.

2016 Obama's America movie savvy targeted marketing

Yesterday, Deadline.com reported that the (relative) success of 2016 Obama's America was due to “savvy marketing on the eve of the Republican National Convention August 27-30. Exhibitors are reporting busloads arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips.”

Deadline added that the 2016 Obama's America movie marketing team employed similar techniques to those used to plug Christian movies, “understandable since the audience is overlapping.” Additionally, 2016 Obama's America was pushed nationally on talk radio and cable channels such as Fox News, MSNBC, A&E, and The History Channel. [See also “2016 Obama's America movie: 2012's #2 documentary? Wrong. #12 all-time political documentary? Wrong Again."

Barack Obama 2016 Obama's America movie image: Rocky Mountain Pictures.

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18 Comments to 2016 OBAMA'S AMERICA Movie Box Office: Hit or Disappointment?

  1. TimRivers

    @Jennifer72 TimRivers 
    Seriously, these guys are more crooked than Chicago politicians in the 20's and 30's.
    No Ontario budget numbers or policy projections are accurate. They are more cooked than and overdone turkey.

  2. Jennifer72

    TimRivers If you're referring to Ontario's “program spending,” — the lowest per capita in Canada — then your information, figures, and previsions are all wrong. Check this out:

  3. TimRivers

    @Jennifer72 TimRivers 
    Sorry your wrong, I live in Ontario Canada and the provinces run the health care here with federal help. Currently the provincial budget has health care as half of it's budget plus we pay and additional $1200 a year per person to the province as a surcharge because they don't have enough money to pay the bills. The doctor also can only make so much and every procedure is rated by the government and they can only make so much.  According to trends that are being set if it continues we will pay all the provincial budget for health care by the middle of the century.  This province is currently  over $180 billion in debt due to health care and education costs rising much faster than they can tax people.

  4. Jennifer72

    TimRivers You're right that one can dislike or criticize Obama and not be a racist. But you're TOTALLY wrong when you say that health care in Canada “is currently taking up 50% of the budgets [sic].” Not sure where you got your (way off the mark) info, but Canada spends about 10% of its GDP on health care — vs. 16% in the (mostly privately owned) U.S. You might want to stop getting your info from far-right websites and/or Fox News.

  5. TimRivers

    @Norm T.  Because a person does not agree with Obama's political beliefs such as bigger government and more government involment in person's life doesn't mean that they are racist.. You are right mostly about what you say about Bush but now we have a government that has indebted the nation twice as much as Bush did and now is about to try and have government take over health care Canada style by pushing a system that is bound to fail and then the government will have to pick it up the mess that is left. Health care in Canada is currently taking up 50% of the budgets and accelerating. If something isn't done soon it will take all the budget in 30 years.   Obama's foreign policy has been abysmal and it's his government that is listening in all everything you online or on your phone. They are even building a huge new NSA bunker in Nevada I think that will listen in on everything you do or anyone else in the word including other friendly leaders. This is being done during Obama's tenure not Bush's.

  6. One thing you have to give it to the Left… the perpetual re-write of history and the deliberate lies that you need to go along with their constant attempts to corrupt government and enslave the average American.
    Every problem we have ts someone eases fault, i.e., double the income tax, enact hundreds of new, and usually UN-Constitutional “laws” to consolidate their over reaching power over the American people with one hand and point the finger of blame at the “right-wing” with the other.
    No president in history has been so power-mad and tyranical and so quick to deny the human rights he demands for this countries enemies.
    This man is a bigot and a racist and only gets away with stealing, both billions of dollars and their basic human rights, from the American people by having the ultra-Left press cover up his numerous misdeeds.

  7. Steve S.

    Every American must see this film. We have narrowly escaped total disaster in the past. We may not be so lucky this time. Everyone needs to see precisely who this man is before placing him at the helm of our nation for another four years only to destroy everything we have stood for in our 236 years of freedom. It's frightening. And, by the way, who is this clown “zivo24” who thinks this is a joke? Because if America doesn't get wise and elect a leader this time around, everyone including “zivo” is in for a rude awakening. Brace yourselves.

  8. Norm T.

    The American economy nearly collapses while George W. Bush is in office. It's Obama's fault.

    Phones wiretapped without warrants while Bush is in office. Obama is to blame.

    The United States becomes enmeshed in two bloody wars - one of which a result of false (or “faulty”) information - that drain the country's economy, Obama is to blame.

    Bush and his cronies create Homeland Security and the Patriot Act and to hell with civil liberties. It's all Obama's fault.

    Are you people psychotic?

    Why don't you just say outright that you hate and fear Obama because he's black and was raised in a Muslim country?

    Because if you think Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their fellow power-hungry far-right Christians (Mormons belong to a Christian sect, too) will save the U.S. economy and increase/restore civil liberties, you're either very stupid or completely totally irrevocably incurably INSANE.

  9. B.Z.

    @Zivo24, you took time out from your busy youtube viewing schedule to comment, I am honored. I understand your fear, if a conservative gets in office you'll have to find a job and they will undoubtedly cut into your online gaming, but we all must do our part.

  10. Japos

    If this movie makes a lot of money or not. It is real and undeniable and that's why the media does not want to talk about it. Those of you who continue to deny the truth will see the truth when if he is re-elected he is impeached for trying to turn this country into a state of Tyranny.

    I was always a leftist and I now see clearly that it is the leftists that are the threat to our individual freedoms and liberty.

  11. rick ernst

    This movie was thoughtful, and on point. The movie allows you to draw your own conclusion, and states facts about Obama's mentors. The only problem I have is the psychoanalysis about his father. I do not presume that Obama would feel or think a certain way because his father was non-existent. It is hard to argue against his actions toward lowering the standard of living in America. He has been very successful at this. It would make it hard to tell the truth on the campaign trail though.

  12. Joe

    How is a documentary about ones life anti? So, March of the Penguins must be anti penguin?

  13. Mike

    Seriously, comparing this documentary to movies? You fail to mention it is the top grossing on opening weeken in its category…documentaries.

  14. Alleghanygirl

    EVERYONE, black and white, left or right, needs to see this movie! Because unless you are one of the Very Wealthy Elites on the Left that the Marxists, Communists, Socialists, Anti-Colonialists, Islamists or whatever name you want to call yourselves who THINK you will be SOMEHOW exempted from loosing your wealth and your home or property when the *hit hits the fan it this president is re-elected you better think again! Look at the “old” history books, if you can find one, and look at pre-cold war USSR and how their citizens lived. Now look at how the citizens of Somolia, Kenya, Sudan, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, and other third world countries live today. That is how this president wants us to live. He doesn't care whether we are red, yellow, black or white skinned. He doesn't care whether we are Democrats or Republicans. He doesn't even care if we are rich or poor. Because he says, “our poor are rich compared the the poor of third world countries.” He has already just this past Friday, dissolved the missile defense system in Europe. Twelve year old children know that this leaves us defenseless!!! Twelve year olds!! Where are the adults out there? Quit looking for a handout all of the time! John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln are both rolling in their graves right now!!! I heard President John F. Kennedy say, “Ask not what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Country!” All of you children of the Baby Boomers, and the tail end of the Baby Boomers, quit whinning, quit looking for an “easy” job and a “hand out”, get off your butt and start trying to save this Country! Because if this man is reelected, we won't have a country anymore!
    Oh, zivo24, go jump in a lake, in Nairobi, Kenya. Because people like you are the reason we are in this mess in the first place!

  15. John Lafer

    Dinesh D'Souza's Film 2016 Obama's America

    is a film that everyone must see. It is historical and also should

    clear up the question;”who is Obama and what are his dreams”.

  16. George Rivet

    Waiting for the release in Lake Charles Louisiana area.

  17. zivo24


    One, two, three…ok, ALL RETHUGLICANTSS…get ready to regurgitate baseless rhetoric in unison!!!

    “Waaah, the liberal media! waaaah waaah WAAAAHHH!!”

  18. B.Z.

    The truth is hard to swallow, especially for the liberal media. The liberal media has had things their way for so long - that they are truly blinded. The liberally media has handicapped itself, and the nation. So sad, and preventable.