We all know the rules when it comes to political films, right? They’re just not worth sinking your money into them because people don’t watch. With the sole exception of one “documentary” by Michael Moore, they don’t cover their own costs and people don’t turn out to the theater for them. This is particularly true if you try to produce one from a conservative point of view in the liberal lock-down atmosphere of Hollywood. Well, hold on to your hats. It looks like the the very unflattering critique of the current administration, 2016 Obama’s America, is set to come in at number three this weekend and turn a profit in the first 24 hours since its wide release. (It actually premiered six weeks ago and was previously in limited release.)
As predicted Millenium/Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2 will finish in first place Friday and this weekend. It’s followed by Universal’s The Bourne Legacy in second place and the Rocky Mountain Pictures’ documentary 2016 Obama’s America in third place after starting out Friday #1. That’s stunning because it’s playing in a 1/3 less theaters across North American than the other wide release actioners. (See below for more details). However, its hot pre-sales have made the pic frontloaded, and its ranking will fall steeply by end of Sunday. But its new cume after this weekend could make it the #1 conservative documentary (ahead of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M). The success of the anti-Obama pic comes on the eve of the Republican National Convention August 27-30.
In case you missed it, here’s the trailer.
Entertainment Weekly explains why the math involved in this film’s rising status is so puzzling to industry insiders, and not just because of the content.
You see, normally, when a film’s theater count increases, the amount of money it’s earning in each theater decreases. This is the standard performance pattern for a limited release and follows common supply/demand logic.
Here’s how things have gone for 2016: Obama’s America, though: Three weekends ago, 2016 earned $34,133 out of 10 theaters, which gave it a per theater average of $3,413 — not all that remarkable for a limited release. When it expanded into 61 theaters the next weekend, its per theater average did a funny thing: it jumped up to $5,202. Last weekend, the film experienced an even bigger expansion, into 169 theaters, and again, its per theater average substantially leapt up to $7,365.
Let’s be clear: this almost never happens.
Let’s be clear about something else that “almost never happens.” It’s a movie which is critical of Democrats ever seeing the light of day outside the production studio. This film only cost $2.5M to make and it looks like it’s going to have taken in nearly four times that amount by the time the convention kicks off. It’s a fairly remarkable story.