Okay, so the anti-Obama doc “2016: Obama’s America,” based on conservative author Dines D’Souza’s book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” is continuing a solid box-office run in theaters, but it’s not nearly as successful as the media is reporting. And it’s not just conservative outlets that are touting its triumphs. For instance, even ABC News misreported that the film’s $2.4 million in ticket sales has made “it the 12th highest-grossing political documentary in history,” which seems like it was excerpted from a press release. The statement is highly skewed, considering the loose definition of “political documentary.” While $2.4 million is definitely a good number for a theatrical documentary, it’s no record breaker. (In fact, it ranks 64th, according to Box Office Mojo, but you won’t see that statistic in the news.)
This year’s “Bully,” a documentary about bullying, for instance, earned about $3.5 million this year, but I don’t see The Weinstein Company sending out press releases, touting the film as the 6th highest-grossing issue documentary this year. It’s a clear case of over-politicizing statistics, something that’s all too sadly familiar in this highly contentious political season.
Here’s a run-down of the box-office performance of several docs, which, as you can see, many of them far exceed $2.4 million.