[adrotate banner=”1″]2016: Obama’s America has made over $33 million, making it the second highest grossing political documentary of all time (behind Fahrenheit 9/11’s $119 million), and that’s making right wing nutjobs have dollar signs spring from their eyes like some sort of cartoon. So you can now expect a title wave of similar films coming to a theater near you!
2016: Obama’s America expanded from a single screen to hundreds thanks to the work of Movie To Movement‘s “theater captains”, approximately 1200 volunteers who acted as a street team, calling, emailing, and social networking conservative Christians. MJM Entertainment and distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures made sure their film was mentioned and advertised on many conservative hangouts and radio shows. In fact, they’re even still making headlines, complaining about “dirty tricks” to stop 2016 and other ridiculous conspiracy theories.
The first to cash in was Occupy Unmasked, the latest film from writer-director Stephen K. Bannon (the guy who made the pro-Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated last year.) Occupy Unmasked features the late Andrew Breitbart and also David Horowitz, who provides 2 of the 3 Press Quotes about the film featured on the website (they are essentially the same quote, one has his name misspelled, and the other “press” is Sarah Palin!) Despite already being available on DVD and VOD, it got a release via Magnet Releasing.
Next up this Friday, October 12th, will be Atlas Shrugged: Part II. Atlas Shrugged: Part II follows in the heals of producer Harmon Kaslow’s mega-successful Atlas Shrugged Part I. Mega-successful = Mega-bomb. Part I made $1.7 million on 300 screen, expanded to around 465 screens, and saw business sharply drop off for a total take of under $5 million on a $20 million budget. The DVD release also made headlines when the cover jackets were all recalled because the package said “Ayn Rand’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice.” Despite the Free Market speaking, Part II continued with production, anyway.
Part I marketed heavily through astroturf Teabagger groups like Freedomworks. Part II is getting a more heavy media blitz, with radio ads attempting to tie it into the election (“Will it influence the election?” asks the ad I hear daily. No, no it won’t.) Oddly enough, none of the ads mention this is Part II of Atlas Shrugged. This is part of a $5 million media blitz to advertise the film, which is scheduled to open on 850 screens.
Hating Breitbart is a documentary about the enemies of Andrew Breitbart made by Andrew Marcus, and they’re also using Movie To Movement to promote the film. Rocky Mountain Pictures is doing the distribution, they also did 2016, Atlas Shrugged Part I, the anti-evolution movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and the anti-ACLU flick Last Ounce of Courage. It was shown at the RNC convention. Hating Breitbart was also supposed to open October 12th, but the producers got into a spat with the MPAA because Breitbart uses “fuck” like a bajillion times in the film. They’ve edited it down to only four fucks, and are fighting to keep them because they’re essential to the plot or something. So fucking look out for Hating Breitbart on October 19th, fuckers!
They hype is even causing former bombs to come back to life. Runaway Slave (another Rocky Mountain Pictures distribution) bombed in theaters, but was resurrected for another 2 dozen or so theaters.
Of course, not every Right Wing Nuthouse film will be a hit. Won’t Back Down was an anti-teacher union film from Walden Media (who also released the 2010 anti-teacher union documentary Waiting for “Superman”) as propaganda for the parent-trigger option laws to create privately run charter schools (which are then immune to said laws no matter how bad they are!) Walden Media CEO Philip Anschutz is behind both films, and Won’t Back Down was gifted over $2 million in publicity via right wing groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Thankfully, the public wasn’t buying it, and Won’t Back Down became the biggest box office bomb for the first weekend of a film opening in over 2500 screens.
But with money on the line, you can be sure that there will be more Right Wing Nuthouse films coming to a theater near you, all playing to a specific audience of true believers and all designed to suck out all of their money.