Doc box office: Dinesh D'Souza pro-Trump film makes more loot; 'Three Identical Strangers' nears $10 mil. mark
Birth of a Nation sheds 180 screens, but stays at number 1
Critics may not care for conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's Death of a Nation -- it enjoys a 0-percent rating on RottenTomatoes.com -- but his target audience of Trump supporters seems relatively eager to see it..
The documentary (the term must be applied loosely here) earned another $987,906 over the weekend, pushing its two-week cume to more than $4.5 mil, according to audience measurement firm comScore. That represented a 58-percent drop from the previous weekend's box office earnings; the film did play on 180 fewer screens, making it more of a challenge to keep pace with the previous week's totals.
As we wrote in our piece last week, Death of a Nation is an intellectually dishonest film that attempts to smear the Democratic Party by noting that in the 19th century many Democrats opposed President Lincoln. What the film neglects to point out is that Southern racists who formerly pledged allegiance to the Democratic Party decamped for the Republican Party in the 1960s after President Johnson pushed through the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. So any criticism of the ideology ascribed to Democrats of more than a century ago is actually an attack on Republicans of today. Sadly, D'Souza is too busy passing the hat to Republican moviegoers to acknowledge that truth.
D'Souza's film serves mostly as a salve for Republicans who want to feel better about supporting a president who has cozied up to white nationalists. For more of my analysis, click here.
In other box office news, the number two film for the weekend was Three Identical Strangers, which sold $734,313 worth of tickets. Its total after four weeks of release stands at an impressive $9,79,905, comScore reported. It played on fewer than half the screens of Death of a Nation, earning a higher per-screen average than the D'Souza doc.
Tim Wardle directed the film about the stranger-than-fiction case of identical triplets in New York who were separated not long after birth, and only met each other by accident as adults.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.