Barack Obama


A small, independent movie critical of President Obama scored big at the box office success this weekend. It's called "2016: Obama's America." And NPR's Neda Ulaby reports that the movie's been building momentum steadily since its release last month.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: "2016" tells a conservative alternative story about President Obama.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Obama has a dream. A dream from his father. That the sins of colonialism be set right, and America be downsized.

ULABY: The movie was the brainchild of writer Dinsesh D'Souza. He interviewed Mr. Obama's half brother in Kenya and probes into his father's leftist ideologies. At the end, the film imagines an America devastated by four more years of an Obama presidency.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Which dream will we carry into 2016?


RUSH LIMBAUGH TALK SHOW HOST: This movie is going gangbusters.

ULABY: Rush Limbaugh boosted it last week on his radio show.


HOST: I wouldn't be surprised if Dinesh's movie is the third or maybe the second highest grossing box office movie of the weekend.

ULABY: It was actually number seven. Still, the documentary pulled in a very respectable six and a half million dollars. When Pamela Gilcrist went to see it in Cincinnati, Ohio, this weekend, she says the matinee was about half full.

PAMELA GILCRIST: And everybody was pretty quiet throughout the movie, and at the end there was applause. Everybody stood up and applauded at the end of the movie.

ULABY: That's especially gratifying, given the film's first, super small release, says producer Gerry Molen.

GERRY MOLEN: You can't get any smaller. We started out with one theater in Houston, Texas.

ULABY: "2016" has expanded over the past six weeks to over 1,100 screens. Molen and D'Souza wanted to tap into a tradition of rabble rousing political films.

MOLEN: Michael Moore did very well with his documentaries.

ULABY: And "2016" is closing in on Moore's success, says box office analyst Jeff Bock. He works for Exhibitor Relations. He says "2016" is already the sixth highest grossing political documentary of all time.

JEFF BOCK: End of the summer's always the weakest time at the box office. So it was a great move by Rocky Mountain Pictures to drop their political documentary in this spot.

ULABY: Bock says he only expects audiences to get bigger during a slow movie season, and that's exactly what producer Gerry Molen wants.

MOLEN: Well, the ultimate goal would be for everyone in America to see the film. I realize that's outrageous. But, sure, if there was a goal that's what I would seek.

ULABY: Molen hopes people who disagree with his politics will seek out "2016: Obama's America." He thinks the movie will change their minds. Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

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