Monday, August 27, 2012

Anti-Obama doc, produced by Montanan, gains traction

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

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By now you've probably heard about the new documentary called 2016: Obama's America. It's produced by Kalispell Republican Gerald "Jerry" Molen, whose previous credits include Schindler's List and Minority Report. The movie opened Friday in Missoula at the Village 6. Critics have called it everything from "crazy racist" to "not the hatchet job I thought it would be." A couple weeks ago, some were also calling it a flop.

Not so fast on that last one.

This past weekend, just before the start of the Republican convention, 2016 jumped from 169 theaters to 1,091 and ended up grossing $6.2 million. Entertainment Weekly puts those numbers in perspective:

2016 has earned $9.1 million after seven weekends, making it the highest grossing conservative documentary ever, above Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which grossed $7.7 million in 2008. While the film has already earned more than most documentaries could ever dream of earning (The Weinstein Company’s much-publicized doc Bully grossed $3.5 million), its gross doesn’t yet compare to Michael Moore’s liberal doc Fahrenheit 9/11, which grossed $119.2 million in 2004, George W. Bush’s re-election year. Keep in mind that film had a major studio (Lionsgate) and marketing campaign behind it, and it opened in 868 theaters. 2016 opened in one theater — in Houston — and had to rely on word-of-mouth and talk radio promotions before its national ad campaign kicked off two weeks ago.

2016 was made for $2.5 million and is distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures. While the expansion into more theaters hurt the film's per-theater average (dropping from $7,365 to $5,718), EW notes "it still notched the highest per-theater average in the Top 20."

Molen spoke in late June to the Glacier Country Pachyderm Club and called the upcoming election one that will be "heard around the world" and "for many generations," and said Obama was drawing the "blueprint for the end of America." The Flathead Beacon reported that he likened the country's current situation to "how European Jews failed to fully grasp the extent of the Nazis’ aggression until it was too late."

"They were asleep to the horrors around them,” the paper quoted him as saying.

You can see a trailer for the film below:

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