Mini-Update, Monday, 5:34 pm ET: According to the actuals (as opposed to the estimated numbers they release on Sunday), final box office numbers show 2016 ahead of Premium Rush, $6.5m to $6m.
I know most of you hate it when I cover politics, and I feel your pain, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that 2016: Obama’s America, a documentary directed by an Evangelical, Indian-American former Reagan advisor named Dinesh D’Souza, is already the sixth all-time highest-grossing political documentary, and trailed Premium Rush by less than $100 grand this weekend, despite playing on half the screens. Pretty good for a movie most of us probably hadn’t heard of before a few days ago. Though it does help when people can just take a bus there from church:
Exhibitors were reporting busloads arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips to the pic. It also employed much of the same marketing techniques used to garner attention and support for faith-based films, understandable since the audience is overlapping. Its campaign included advertising nationally over the past two weeks on talk radio and cable news channels including Fox News Channel, A&E, History and MSNBC. ”I didn’t believe it when I first saw the film taking off in pre-sales on Tuesday,” an exhibition insider tells me. “Because there’s not a lot of new product that’s taking off.” [Deadline]
So what the hell is it actually about? Well, the trailer (which you can watch below) has the batsh*t wingnut trifecta of dramatic music, a spider-web graphic connecting places and dates (CONSPIRACY!), and vague mumbo jumbo about the founding fathers. But it also throws in Muslim music playing over an Obama speech, and the coup de grace, an explicable b-roll shot of a black family fighting during a Monopoly game. The basic thesis of the documentary would seem to come from an article Dinesh D’Souza wrote for Forbes a few years back called “How Obama Thinks.”
Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.
Well sure, America’s policies can all be traced back to Obama’s dead Kenyan father, and not, say, Goldman Sachs, who give him billions of dollars and occupy all the major regulatory positions. That all sounds perfectly rational. Here’s my favorite clip I found:
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