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Anti-Obama film making history

Updated: October 17, 2012 6:23AM



LOS ANGELES — While it hasn’t yet reached the lofty level of 2004’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” at the box office, “2016: Obama’s America” has become the hottest political documentary of the year.

And it comes from Hollywood’s conservative corner, a spot normally reserved for faith-based movies.

Produced by Dinesh D’Souza, “2016” cracked the top 10 for the third straight week — rare for a documentary, let alone a political one.

But the film’s message — that the Barack Obama administration would run amok if re-elected — has found a larger audience than analysts expected.

The film opened on one screen in Houston when it premiered July 13, earning $31,000 that weekend. Distributors expanded the movie to 10 theaters Aug. 3.

It since has collected $26.1 million, the sixth-highest-grossing documentary of all time, says Hollywood.com.

“The conservatives [found] their Michael Moore,” says John Hamann of Boxofficeprophets.com, referring to the controversial “Fahrenheit” director.

The bar for records among documentaries isn’t stratospheric: “2016” remains behind such films as last year’s concert movie “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which, at $73 million, is the third-biggest documentary on record, according to Boxofficemojo.com.

The non-fiction movie champ remains Moore’s anti-Bush “Fahrenheit,” which did $119 million in 2004.

Few see that mark coming into jeopardy, though 2016 could have opened a new door for conservative voices.

“The way conservatives have been represented is through faith-based movies,” such as the “Omega Code” and “Left Behind” franchises, says Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian. “This shows what you can do with a political documentary when the timing is right.”

Gannett News Service



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