By NIKKI FINKE | DeadlineHollywood.com
Because of Fridayâ€™s very weak box office, there was finally clarity for the Top 10 film rankings this morning. As predicted, Millenium/Lionsgateâ€™s holdover The Expendables 2 finished in first place Friday and this weekend. Itâ€™s followed by Universalâ€™s 2-week-old The Bourne Legacy in second place. New movies didnâ€™t perform.
But the shocker was Rocky Mountain Picturesâ€™ political documentary 2016 Obamaâ€™s America which expanded into theaters across America this weekend after a very limited release and wound up in 4th place. Thatâ€™s stunning because itâ€™s playing in 2/3 fewer theaters across North American than the other wide release actioners.
Due to its hot pre-sales, the pic is proving frontloaded, and its ranking will fall steeply by end of Sunday.
But the doc made its point: its new cume after this weekend should make it the #1 conservative documentary (besting Expelled: No Intelligence Allowedâ€™s $7.7M). The pic is based on conservative author and commentator Dinesh Dâ€™Souzaâ€™s New York Times bestselling 2010 book The Roots Of Obamaâ€™s Rage and co-directed by Dâ€™Souza and John Sullivan and produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen (co-producer of Schindlerâ€™s List).
Its success comes because of savvy marketing on the eve of the Republican National Convention August 27-30. Exhibitors are reporting busloads arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips. 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. â€Yes, I also didnâ€™t believe it when I first saw the film taking off in pre-sales on Tuesday,â€ an exhibition insider tells me. â€œBecause thereâ€™s not a lot of new product thatâ€™s taking off.â€
Among this weekendâ€™s new films, Sony Picturesâ€™ newcomer Premium Rush is a disappointment, while Open Roadâ€™s Hit And Run (which opened Wednesday) takes a bad fall, and Dark Castle/Warner Brosâ€™ new release The Apparition didnâ€™t stand a ghost of a chance as a parting present for producer Joel Silver. â€œItâ€™s exhausting working with numbers this bad,â€ one studio exec griped Friday. No new pic will even break $10M. Total moviegoing for the weekend adds up to only $75M, or -13% from last year.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.deadline.com/2012/08/first-box-office-anti-obama-movie-1/
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