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After another high-money earning weekend for the movie “2016: Obama’s America,” author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza promises to expand to about 1,600 theaters by next weekend. Uncomplimentary movie reviews by liberal columnists telling moviegoers to stay away from the film have not deterred the film’s success so far.
Following its expansion to 1,091 screens, the movie “stunned Hollywood” by taking in an estimated $6.3 million dollars last weekend, according to its publicity firm. The take for the weekend translates to the highest per-screen average of any major release and makes it the highest grossing new film of the weekend.
“We still live in a consumer-driven capitalistic economy and if there is demand we will do everything we can to meet it with supply,” D’Souza is reported to have joked. “Our plan is to do our best to expand this film to as many theaters as the people demand. We’ll be taking a close look at various markets and determining where we go next.”
While some movie reviewers say that D’Souza’s tracing of Barack Obama’s life in order to understand his worldview is only something conservatives can appreciate, others say the film is spot on.
“The documentary itself was fascinating, as D’Souza presented the story of Barack Obama’s life and view of the world, in a very conversational sort of way, illustrating it with visits to people and places around the world that played a role in the way Obama’s ideas and beliefs evolved,” writes columnist Thomas Sowell.
“It was refreshing to see how addressing adults as adults could be effective, in an age when so many parts of the media address the public as if they were children who need a constant whirlwind of sounds and movements to keep them interested,” Sowell added.
In terms of the movie’s cash flow, John Fund writes in the National Review Online: “It’s still not in Michael Moore territory. His anti-George Bush screed ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ eventually earned $119.2 million. But ‘2016: Obama’s America’ is more cerebral and subdued.”
Produced by Academy award-winning producer Gerald Molen, who won an Oscar for his work on “Schindler’s List,” and produced hits such as “Jurassic Park,” “Minority Report” and “Hook,” “2016” was co-written and co-directed by D’Souza and John Sullivan and is based on D’Souza’s bestselling books The Roots of Obama’s Rage and Obama’s America.
“All of my movies have been about telling the truth,” Molen said. “That’s important to me. We’ve gone out of our way to make a movie that’s fair and truthful. And these numbers tell me that the American people agree with that assessment.”
However, political column writers such as David Swerdlick, contributing editor to TheRoot.com, do not give the movie much credence.
“You know how ‘Purple Rain’ was a really, really entertaining movie, but at the end of the day, just a really long music video with no character development? That’s Dinesh D’Souza’s feature-film-slash-campaign-infomercial, ‘2016: Obama’s America’ – and I’m hereby giving you permission to skip it,” wrote Swerdlick.
In the last couple of weeks, it’s been reported that moviegoers searching for the film at popular movie listing sites found that a simple search for the film yielded no results and the movie was excluded from a number of film guides published in newspapers across the country.
One reader of the Kansas City Star not only complained about the newspaper not having the listing of locations and times for “2016” in its print version, but he also could not hear a listing of the movie on the Fandango phone line service either.
After writing that the situation must be “cleared up,” he stated, “The public deserves the truth before they vote this November. I knew much of the storyline prior to 2008, but many folks are unaware today. This film is easy to understand and provides you an insight into the ideology of Obama in layman’s terms.”