‘2016: Obama’s America’ Filmmaker Pleads Not Guilty To Campaign Contribution Fraud

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 12:21pm PST

DJP LEGAL BADGEDinesh D’Souza, co-director and star of the second-most-successful political documentary in American box office history, faced a federal judge in New York today on charges of campaign finance fraud. The 2016: Obama’s America 0A2K2031filmmaker pleaded not guilty to District Judge Richard Berman at a noon ET hearing in Manhattan. He was released on $500,000 bail as the case was pushed back to March 4. D’Souza’s 2016 has made more than $33 million since it was first released in July 2012. In an indictment handed down Thursday, the conservative author and former aide to President Reagan faces a maximum of two years in prison for allegedly donating more than $20,000 to the unsuccessful 2012 GOP Senate campaign of longtime friend Wendy Long through other people. He also faces a max of five years behind bars for causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission in connection with those contributions,” according the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Related: Anti-Obama Filmmaker Plans ‘America’ Follow-up Movie Read More »

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Did Oscars Punish ’2016 Obama’s America’? Producer Says Yes, Academy Says No

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recently opened up first-round Oscar voting to the entire documentary branch and abandoned the previous system of allowing a small committee to determine the short list of eligible films. This radically curtails the influence of the documentary branch governors. Interesting, because last month an accusation of political bias in the documentary branch was lodged against the Academy – specifically, in an April 16th letter from Gerald Molen who produced the controversial right-wing documentary 2016: Obama’s America (as well as the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List). Molen’s missive was sent to Academy President Hawk Koch and documentary branch governors Rob Epstein, Michael Apted, and Michael Moore who is also a member of the AMPAS Board Of Governors. Molen questions why 2016: Obama’s America was ignored for an Academy Award nomination even though it was last year’s second highest grossing political documentary (behind only Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.) Molen wrote:

“I find myself wondering if it was excluded for ‘other’ reasons…”

“I have tremendous respect for Michael Apted as a creative and talented filmmaker but putting him with Rob Epstein and Michael Moore as the gatekeepers in charge of which films get nominated in the documentary category seems patently absurd…

“While Mr. Moore is a distinguished filmmaker, he holds a strong partisan view representing what Gallup tells us is only 21 percent of the population. Even if he were able to keep his personal philosophy out of the equation, you can certainly understand why the larger American constituency (pegged at 40%) would question the exclusion of a well-made and popular film that fails to reflect his views. Even if only in perception, this assumed bias will serve (in my opinion) only to injure the Academy…

“All up and coming filmmakers deserve to be recognized for their creative sensibilities and should not be punished because the messages of their films fail to fit the dogma of what some believe is politically correct.”

Hawk replied on behalf of the Academy: Read More »

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Anti-Obama Filmmaker Plans ‘America’ Followup Movie For 2014

By | Sunday March 17, 2013 @ 7:07am PDT

Filmmakers behind 2016: Obama’s America, the second-highest grossing political documentary of all time, are preparing a followup film. Dinesh D’Souza, bestselling author and co-director/co-writer of 2016, announced the new movie which will be titled Read More »

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Judge Rejects ‘2016: Obama’s America’ Lawsuits

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 2:57pm PDT

The two legal actions against Dinesh D’Souza are heading to arbitration — just like the 2016: Obama’s America co-director said he wanted. “The court declines to decide this case on the merits outside the arbitration process,” Judge Kevin … Read More »

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‘2016: Obama’s America’ Maker Fires Back At Producer; Investors Sue For Book Profits

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 4:42pm PDT

Dinesh D’Souza says legal action by a fellow producer of the anti-Obama film 2016: Obama’s America claiming that he misappropriated money and broke contracts “contains many false statements.” The author and 2016 co-director was responding to a filing this week by Douglas Sain, credited as a producer of the political documentary, one of two lawsuits filed related to the film. Plaintiff Sain Communications says its civil complaint (read it here) was filed “in an effort to force D’Souza to comply with his contractual obligations to the members of [production company Obama's America Foundation], and to stop D’Souza from abusing and exceeding his management authority in the company for his own financial benefit.” A hearing was held this afternoon in San Diego on the matter. Lawyers for Sain and D’Souza appeared in front of Judge Kevin Enright. Sain’s lawyers are seeking, as stated in their suit, a temporary restraining order against D’Souza over access to funds and other aspects of OAF business dealings. The judge said he would issue a written ruling at a later date. Sain and D’Souza formed OAF with Christopher Williams in 2011 to make the film, which has grossed more than $33 million at the box office, making it the second-most-successful domestic political documentary ever. It has also been a bestseller since its recent Lionsgate-distributed DVD release. “I have never diverted any money from any bank account belonging to OAF,” said D’Souza in a four-page declaration (read it here). Read More »

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Major Battleground States Cabler Offering Anti-Obama Documentary For Free View

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 9:21pm PDT

Armstrong Utiities is the nation’s 15th-largest cable provider and operates in 6 states including Ohio and Pennsylvania, two crucial battleground states in the 2012 election. In Ohio alone, Armstrong is available in over 50 cities and towns in 10 Ohio counties. So it’s all the more controversial that the cabler is offering the anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America as a “Free Movie Special” to all its subscribers on-demand at no charge.

Related: 2016: Obama’s America Slammed By President’s Campaign

News reports say top Armstrong executives are big donors to Republican politics. An Armstrong executive claimed to the Pittsburgh City Paper this promotion is not part of a partisan agenda. But he also confirmed that “This is the first time the cable provider has offered such a deal for a recently released feature film.” Armstrong claims it will offer a free recently released film each month to encourage use of its premium on-demand offerings. But the company acknowledges no other recent releases are currently available without charge. Polls show that Romney and Obama are tied in Ohio while the President has a slim lead in Pennsylvania. The filmmakers behind what is the second-most-successful political documentary in American box office history (behind Michael Moore’s liberal Fahrenheit 9/11, about the George W Bush presidency) had been seeking a network to air it before the November election. And they’ve attacked the mainstream media for “refusing” coverage.  Meanwhile, the docu is also being shown at Evangelical Christian churches in battleground states. Read More »

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‘2016: Obama’s America’ Coming Out On DVD Tomorrow

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 1:57pm PDT

The second-most-successful political documentary in American box office history will be available on DVD and for rental Tuesday. That’s 91 days after 2016: Obama’s America was first released in a single theater July 13, one day more … Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE: ’2016 Obama’s America’ Filmmaker Reacts To President’s Slam; Looking For Network To Air Before Election; Says Mainstream Media Refusing Coverage

By | Tuesday September 11, 2012 @ 4:39pm PDT

’2016: Obama’s America’ Docu Slammed By President’s Campaign As “Lies”

2016 Obamas America DocumentaryBREAKING… EXCLUSIVE: Dinesh D’Souza is the conservative author of the best-seller The Roots Of Read More »

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’2016: Obama’s America’ Documentary Slammed By President’s Campaign As “Lies”

By | Tuesday September 11, 2012 @ 11:02am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: ’2016 Obama’s America’ Filmmaker Reacts To President’s Slam

BREAKING… The Obama-Biden relection campaign online today hit back at the documentary 2016: Obama’s America based on Dinesh … Read More »

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Anti-Obama Pic #2 Political Documentary: Now Bigger Than 3 Michael Moore Movies

By | Sunday September 9, 2012 @ 3:07am PDT

It’s a heated contest between conservatives vs liberals in the political documentary genre, too. 2016 Obama’s America grossed $26.2M by end of today (give or take some bucks) and passed 4 of Michael Moore’s five political documentaries to become the #2 all-time biggest. Only Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, his highly critical examination of the first term of President George W Bush, retains the #1 position with $119.1M. It’s extremely unlikely that 2016 Obama’s America will make even half that. But it now has made more money (not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices) than Moore’s Sicko (2007 – $24.5M), Oscar-winner Bowling For Columbine (2002 – $21.5M), and Capitalism: A Love Story (2009 – $14.3M). The right-wing doc 2016 Obama’s America is produced by Gerald R. Molen who in fact credits “learning some lessons” from Moore. “When he released Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 ahead of the election, it sparked intense debate.” 2016 Obama’s America also has passed the box office for Al Gore’s and Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006 – $24.1M) and is the #1 biggest-grossing conservative political docu ever (besting Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M). Read More »

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‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ Nets Biggest Audience In 8 Years

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 10:14am PDT

Real Time With Bill Maher Dinesh D'SouzaHBO‘s political talk show Real Time With Bill Maher averaged 1.4 million viewers on Friday, marking the biggest audience for the show in almost eight years. The episode fell between the hot-button … Read More »

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Anti-Obama Film Hot In Battleground States

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 5:08am PDT

Rentrak reported today that 2016: Obama’s America is benefitting from the runup to the Republican National Convention. The Rocky Mountain Pictures political documentary has generated $10.6 million since its release seven weeks ago. Now the pic is hot in four of … Read More »

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Weak Weekend: No New Film Breaks $7M, Holdover ‘The Expendables 2′ On Top Again, Anti-Obama Movie #1 Conservative Docu

By | Sunday August 26, 2012 @ 4:01am PDT

 

August 24-26 Weekend Actuals

1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,355 Runs] R
Friday $3.8M, Saturday $5.6M, Sunday $4M, Weekend $13.4M (-53%), Cume $52.2M

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 3 [3,654 Runs] PG13
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $4.1M, Sunday $2.5M, Weekend $9.3M (-45%), Cume $85.5M

3. ParaNorman (Focus Features) Week 2 [3,455 Runs] PG
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $3.7M, Sunday $2.6M, Weekend $8.6M (-39%), Cume $28.3M

4. The Campaign (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,302 Runs] R
Friday $2.2, Saturday $3.3M,Sunday $2M, Weekend $7.5M (-43%), Cume $64.6M

5. The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/WB) Week 6 [2,606 Runs] PG13
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $3.1M, Sunday $2.1M, Weekend $7.2M (-34%), Cume $422.3M

6. Odd Life Of Timothy Green (Disney) Week 2 [2,598 Runs] PG
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $3.1M, Sunday $2M, Weekend $7.1M (-34%), Cume $27.1M

7. 2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain) Week 7 [1,091 Runs] PG
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.9M, Weekend $6.5M (+423%), Cume $9.3M

8. Premium Rush (Sony) NEW [2,255 Runs] PG13
Friday $2M, Saturday $2.4M, Sunday $1.6M, Weekend $6.0M

9. Hope Springs (Sony) Week 3 [2,402 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $1.5M, Weekend $5.7M (-37%), Cume $44.8M

10. Hit And Run (Open Road) NEW [2,870 Runs] R
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.9M, Sunday $1.2M, Weekend $4.5M, Cume $5.7M

11. Sparkle (TriStar) Week 2 [2,244 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.8M, Sunday $1M, Weekend $4M (-66%), Cume $18.7M

12. The Apparition (Dark Castle/WB) NEW [810 Runs]
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.1M, Sunday $593K, Weekend $2.8M

 

SUNDAY AM, 5TH UPDATEFriday’s very weak box office stayed soft Saturday to end the weekend with total moviegoing only around $90M on a par with last year. As predicted, Millenium’s and Lionsgate’s holdover The Expendables 2 finished in first place, followed by Universal’s two-week-old The Bourne Legacy in second place. But no new movie opening this week or weekend could even break $6.5M. “It’s exhausting working with numbers this bad,” one studio exec griped to me.

Among this weekend’s crop of newly released films, Sony Pictures’ Premium Rush opened poorly with very soft grosses of $6.3M. Producer Gavin Polone just saw his Pariah Television freshman ABC Family series Jane By Design canceled and now this Pariah production tanks as well. (Guess it sucks to be Polone these days. Maybe he should make his day job writing that lame blog.) The studio tried to interest young males with sports programming (NFL pre-season, UFC, MLB and wrestling) and a promotion running in over 4,000 GameStop stores. But what’s to be expected from a tired premise about a bicycle messenger being chased through Manhattan. And what a waste of talented actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt or director/screenwriter David Koepp. With a $30sM budget, the pic even underperformed Sony’s very low expectations. Only hope is if it does business overseas.

Hit And Run opened Wednesday and lost what little steam it had going into this weekend ending up #10. Open Road picked up the U.S distribution rights and changed the name of the film from Outrun. My sources said the low-budget comedic chase movie would have been a solid win for Open  Road with $10M for the 5-day opening.  But it made only $5.8M. The film stars Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard who also wrote and co-directed with David Palmer. (They teamed up on Brother’s Justice in 2010). Shepard and Bell tried their best to drum up biz with appearances at word-of-mouth screenings all summer and on Kimmel, MTV, CMT, Spike. The film’s featured 1967 Lincoln also offered marketing opportunities on car enthusiast TV shows and websites. No go. Well, you know a movie is in trouble when Bradley Cooper appears in it looking unrecognizable in dreds.

Joel Silver had a parting gift for Warner Bros: his new Dark Castle Entertainment release The Apparition was widely panned even though it wasn’t even screened for critics. Not even Silver’s stunt casting of Twilight Saga‘s Ashley Greene in this supernatural story described as unscary and inept could give it a ghost of a chance at the box office. Pic was directed by first-time director Todd Lincoln who also wrote it and didn’t even make the Top 10, finishing #12. It’s unclear what will happen to Silver’s mxed bag Dark Castle now that he and Warner Bros have divorced after irreconcilable differences. Joel has now gone indie and made a 5-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures for his new division Silver Pictures Entertainment.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Silver Making Distribution Deal With Universal
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Silver, Warner Bros Severing 25-Year Relationship

The shocker among all the films was Rocky Mountain Pictures’ political documentary 2016 Obama’s America which opened July 13th in very limited release and expanded into theaters across America this weekend. It wound up in 4th place Friday and 8th place for the weekend. That’s  stunning because it was playing in 2/3 fewer theaters across North American than the other wider release films. (See below for more details). Due to its hot pre-sales, the pic proved frontloaded which explains why its ranking started out #1 and then fell steeply by end of Sunday. But the doc’s new cume of $9.0M makes it the #1 all-time biggest-grossing conservative political documentary, besting Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M. And the 6th all-time biggest political documentary behind liberal docs by Michael Moore and Al Gore. (Neither ranking is adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices.) 2016 Obama’s America is based on conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s New York Times bestselling 2010 book The Roots Of Obama’s Rage and co-directed by D’Souza and John Sullivan and produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen (co-producer of Schindler’s List). In fact, Molen credits “learning some lessons” from Michael Moore for the film: “When he released Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 ahead of the election, it sparked intense debate.” And 2016 Obama’s America‘s success comes from equally savvy marketing on the eve of the Republican National Convention next week.

Exhibitors were reporting busloads arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips to the pic. 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. ”I didn’t believe it when I first saw the film taking off in pre-sales on Tuesday,” an exhibition insider tells me. “Because there’s not a lot of new product that’s taking off.”

The Top Ten based on weekend estimates are:

1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,355 Runs] R
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $5.4M, Weekend $13.5M (-53%), Cume $52.3M

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 3 [3,652 Runs] PG13
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $4.1M, Weekend $9.2M, Cume $85.4M

3. ParaNorman (Focus Features) Week 2 [3,455 Runs] PG
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $3.7M, Weekend $8.5M (-39%), Cume $28.2M

4. The Campaign (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,302 Runs] R
Friday $2.2, Saturday $3.2M, Weekend $7.4M, Cume $64.5M

5. The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/WB) Week 6 [2,606 Runs] PG13
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $3.2M, Weekend $7.1M, Cume $422.1M

6. Odd Life Of Timothy Green (Disney) Week 2 [2,598 Runs] PG
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $3.0M, Weekend $7.1M (-34%), Cume $27.0M

7. Premium Rush (Sony) NEW [2,255 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $6.3M

8. 2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain) NEW [1,091 Runs] PG
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $2.4M, Weekend $6.2M, Cume $9.0M

9. Hope Springs (Sony) Week 3 [2,402 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.5M, Weekend $6.0M, Cume $45.0M

10. Hit And Run (Open Road) NEW [2,870 Runs] R
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.8M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $5.8M

12. The Apparition (Dark Castle/WB) NEW [810 Runs]
Friday $1.1K, Saturday $1.0M, Weekend $2.9M
Read More »

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