“2016: Obama’s America” — a box office success

Yesterday, John reviewed “2016,” the new movie in which Dinesh D’Souza argues that Barack Obama has assumed the anti-colonialist, anti-Western, anti-American, anti-free enterprise perspective of his left-wing, African father. Joe Malchow supplemented John’s post and noted that the film is doing well at the box office this weekend.

Joe is correct. According to this report, “2016: Obama’s America,” having expanded from limited to nationwide release this weekend, took in $6.2 million to finish at No. 8 among all movies. To put this strong showing in perspective, consider that “2016” nearly matched the $6.3 million debut of the action tale “Premium Rush,” a Sony release that played in more than twice as many theaters as the Obama documentary. The No. 1 film at the box office this weekend, Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables 2,” came in at $13.5 million.

In total, D’Souza’s documentary has pulled in $9.1 so far. That number may increase significantly as the Republican Convention unfolds and the film opens in new cities.

What we don’t know is whether the audience is largely confined to conservatives and Republicans. Ideally, of course, “2016” would be viewed by a many moderates and “swing voters.” But before that can happen, it probably needs to generate buzz, not to mention enough revenue to keep it in theatres. At a minimum, “2016” seems to meeting these threshold requirements.

As for the merits of D’Souza’s thesis, I agree with John that we don’t need Barack Obama Sr. to account for his son’s attitude toward the West, toward America, and toward free enterprise. That attitude is pretty standard among left liberals. For example, as John says, Hillary Clinton marinated in the view that America needs to be cut down to size just as much as Obama did.

But perhaps Barack Obama Sr. can help explain the intensity of his son’s hostility toward traditional American beliefs and values and toward its traditional role in the world. Unlike the case of many on the left, Obama’s hostility did not begin as an act of juvenile rebellion or as a way of fitting in with his peers. Rather, it seems deeply rooted in personal biography and psychodrama.

For me, that’s what makes “2016” a scary movie.

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