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'Obama's America' documentary beats 'Premium Rush' in final tally

August 27, 2012|By Ben Fritz and Amy Kaufman
  • President Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas.
President Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Austin Music Hall… (Saul Loeb / AFP/GettyImages…)

This recount worked out well for the right wing.

With final ticket sales tallied Monday, the conservative documentary "2016: Obama's America" was the top new movie this weekend, selling $6.5 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada.

Estimates compiled by studios Sunday morning showed Sony Pictures' thriller "Premium Rush" with a slight lead at $6.3 million, compared with $6.2 million for the anti-Obama film, directed by conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza.

It's a remarkable achievement for the movie, distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, given that it played at only 1,091 theaters, compared with 2,225 for "Premium Rush," which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a New York City bike messenger in danger.

"Obama's America," financed for $2.5 million by 25 individuals personally courted by D’Souza,  performed best this weekend in such red states as Louisiana and Kansas. The movie was primarily promoted through a grass-roots marketing campaign that included phone chains to conservative groups and interviews with the filmmaker on networks such as CNN and Fox.

While "Obama's America" -- which has grossed a total of $9.3 million, including a small run the prior weekend -- is already a success given its scale, it is hardly a blockbuster. The most successful feature documentary ever is still Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which examined then-President George W. Bush and grossed $119 domestically million in 2004.

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