Two movies with “Obama” in the title opened in Houston last weekend. I haven’t seen either though the trailer for The Obama Effect makes it seem like the sort of pro-Obama comedy that preaches to the choir, most likely while escaping the notice of everyone else.
The other movie, 2016: Obama’s America, is something else entirely. It is a documentary that attacks the President. Houston’s Regal Edward’s Marq*E is the only theater that has screened it, but the movie did so well that its producers told the Hollywood Reporter over the weekend that they have greatly raised their expectations for it.
The movie has gotten attention in part because the President’s Kenyan half brother, George, appears in it. I’ve posted a clip after the jump.
2016: Obama’s America is based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. The book argues that Obama shares his African father’s anti-colonialist worldview and that this view is at odds with traditional American views of the nation’s rightful place in the world. The 2010 book was condemned by many on the left but drew praise from such figures on the right as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who have been eager to embrace the notion that the President is somehow “anti-American.”
The film reportedly earned $31,750 over three days. That is a pittance beside the estimated $46 million earned by Ice Age: Continental Drift, but it’s impressive for an independently produced and distributed documentary that only played in one theater.
It did so well, in fact, that its producer hopes to more than double the number of screens it appears on when it expands on July 27.
Doug Sain, one of the movie’s producers, told the Hollywood Reporter that the movie in three days earned more than double than it had been expected to earn in a week.
“We’re getting tremendous media coverage and box office results,” he said.
The movie had been scheduled to expand to 120 theaters on July 27 but given its popularity in Houston Sain said he’s confidant the distribution company will increase the expansion to 400 theaters.
Turn out also was exceptional at an advance promotional screening held Thursday night. It reportedly was held in a larger-than-planned theater because of anticipated interest, and 200 people still had to be turned away.
The attached clip from the movie shows D’Souza interviewing George Obama on what looks like a park bench. It doesn’t appear from the clip that the young Kenyan holds any animosity toward his half-brother. In fact, he rejects D’Souza’s attempts to get him to criticize the President for not doing more financially to help his Kenyan relatives.
Then D’Souza quotes from a book that George Obama published in 2010 that says Kenya’s troubles cannot be blamed on colonialism. This is a subject dear to heart of D’Souza, a native of India who has written favorably of the effects of colonialism on developing countries.
The Reporter says that the theater received some complaints for showing the documentary. It also quotes a Regal spokesman as saying theater managers also received “many positive comments thanking them for playing the film.”