POLL: Can ‘2016: Obama’s America’ Influence the Presidential Election?
It was just the other week that the anti-Obama documentary '2016: Obama's America' made the unexpected jump from relatively unknown flick to box office domination, grossing around $10.6 million since it's theatrical release. Boding well for Mitt Romney supporters, the film, both co-produced and co-directed by former Ronald Reagan policy adviser Dinesh D'Souza, first opened in one single Houston, Texas theater on July 13, and by the coming weekend will have expanded to around 1,800. But what does this all mean for the coming election in November? Will it really have a large affect on the polls?
With the slogan "Love Him or Hate Him, You Don't Know Him," '2016: Obama's America' is based on D'Souza's novel 'The Roots of Obama's Rage' and begs to question where the country will end up if President Obama wins another term.
John Sullivan, D'Souza's co-director and co-producer, revealed to EW that the entire project lacked any funding from presidential candidates and corporations, and that the $2.5 million production funds were raised on their own. From there, the team handled marketing for '2016' while Rocky Mountain Pictures agreed to handle distribution -- and by the end of the week the film will have surpassed the studio's 'Atlas Shrugged' to be its highest grossing project.
Though, the real driving force behind '2016''s meteoric rise up the box office chain was the strategic promotion route, which began by focusing on their primary audience. "I think one of the key things we’ve done is we’ve partnered with radio show talk shows, knowing that that’s where the political audience lives," said Sullivan. Aside from a select number of liberal-y areas, '2016' stuck predominantly to red states like Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina closer to its premiere date.
Regardless of your own personal thoughts regarding politics and the documentary, there is no denying that this film has become a hot button issue now that we're getting closer to the November elections. Currently, Florida, Illinois, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado, the four states in which both Obama and Romney are campaigning heavily, are currently in the top 10 year-to-date states generating the most sales from '2016.' In addition, the film is being strongly promoted around the Republican National Convention, and will likely garner additional supporters and moviegoers, as the project's most effective marketing ploy continues to be word of mouth. Most recently, Rupert Murdoch came out in support of the film and urged all voters to go and see '2016.'
Just saw 2016.Truly scary if no answer.Every voter should see and decide for self what future they want for America.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) August 29, 2012
But the question still remains to be, Will this film greatly affect the presidential race? We ran into a similar debate a couple years back around the Obama-McCain election when both Bill Maher's 'Religulous' and Oliver Stone's 'W.' premiered. The argument was made then that the majority of those audiences would most likely be those who already maintain the same set of beliefs expressed by the films, and that no real change would come out. However, the current trending box office numbers for '2016' suggest it will soon surpass both these two films. It has already become the highest grossing conservative documentary of all time and the sixth biggest political documentary, with some even saying that it has a chance of reaching the No. 1 box office spot by next week.