Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

"Obama's America" Loses Box Office Momentum; But Watch Out for Rightwing Nonfiction Wave

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik September 3, 2012 at 3:15PM

The rightwing agit-prop doc "2016: Obama's America," a movie so full of conjecture and hole-y logic it makes a Michael Moore movie look like the phone book, has finally reached its box-office peak over the Labor Day Weekend, declining 14% in ticket sales from the previous week's stellar box office. So far, the movie's domestic gross is still a widely impressive $20.2 million -- an astounding number for a movie that has been universally panned by critics (a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). But, of course, neither the movie's quality, nor its accuracy, nor its racism, matters to ticket buyers. They just want to show their disaffection for the current President.
5

The rightwing agit-prop doc "2016: Obama's America," a movie so full of conjecture and hole-y logic it makes a Michael Moore movie look like the phone book, has finally reached its box-office peak over the Labor Day Weekend, declining 14% in ticket sales from the previous week's stellar box office. So far, the movie's domestic gross is still a widely impressive $20.2 million -- an astounding number for a movie that has been universally panned by critics (a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). But, of course, neither the movie's quality, nor its accuracy, nor its racism, matters to ticket buyers. They just want to show their disaffection for the current President.

obama's america

Currently playing across a wide 1,747 theaters, the movie has obviously played into rightwing ferver and conspiracy theories attacking President Obama. Comparisons have been made to "Fahrenheit 9/11," but the true model for "2016: Obama's America" is Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," similarly released during an election cycle and similarly embraced by America's conservative masses. Once again, I should reiterate that U.S. moviegoers are not surprisinginly conservative, and that the triumph of a right-wing movie is not the exception, it's the rule. ("Passion of the Christ" made $370 million in the U.S.; "Fahrenheit" made $119 million.) Conservations love to play the victim and the underdog, but the success of a rightwing diatribe is not news. Speaking of news, Fox remains the reigning cable network in the nation, but no one seems to be writing headlines about that.

But credit does need to be given to the distributors of "2016: Obama's America"; $20 million is a lot of money for a film with mostly talking heads. And once its run is over, it'll probably make closer to $30 million, putting it firmly in the nonfiction record books, and undoubtedly sparking a wave of imitators. And that is perhaps the scariest part of the success of the movie. Right-wing docs aren't rare, but with the template set forward by "Obama's America," you can bet a whole lot of filmmakers and distributors are going to try to replicate its success with similarly mediocre fare. If Obama is reelected, the anger that's fueled the film's success will surely be as rabid. But I'll take that over four years with Romney and Ryan.
 

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am