Weekend Box Office: “2016” beats openers; “Sleepwalk with Me” sizzles on specialty circuit

The conservative doc "2016: Obama's America" and the stand-up comedy movie "Sleepwalk with Me" were the big box office hits this weekend.No, it’s not a sequel to the Roland Emmerich disaster movie, but the conservative doc “2016: Obama’s America” forecasts a future that’s nearly as bleak. Even without big explosions, the film, which was advertised nonstop on talk radio and cable news,  grossed a stunning $6.2 million in its first weekend of wide release. That was enough to beat the new openers “Hit & Run” and “The Apparition” by a large margin, and while “Premium Rush” is estimated to gross about $70,000 more than the political film over the weekend, “2016” has done more business going into Sunday. Whether all of the Dinesh D’Souza-narrated film’s supporters showed up on opening weekend or not is anyone’s guess. Its grosses could drop like a log next weekend or, with good word of mouth, they could remain strong through election day. But this weekend was certainly an accomplishment — the highest three-day gross Utah-based distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures has ever achieved.

In limited release, comedian Mike Bribiglia’s “Sleepwalk with Me” also did sensationally, pulling in $65,000 from just one venue, the IFC Center in New York. The film was produced in conjunction with Ira Glass’ NPR program “This American Life,” so it has been able to pull from both Bribiglia’s comedy fanbase and Glass’ radio fanbase. Also helped by a promotional viral video put out by “Avengers”-director Joss Whedon, “Sleepwalk with Me” has built a strong campaign of these fanbases demanding that theaters book it. As a result, this tiny indie will platform in 20 more cities next Friday and play another 100 dates throughout September. “Sleepwalk with Me” could give Sony Pictures Classics’ inspirational music doc “Searching for Sugar Man” (which raked in another $128,000 this weekend) a run for its money in becoming the art-house crossover hit of the summer.

Here’s the full top 10 chart for your perusal…

No. Title Weekend Per Theater Average Total
1 “The Expendables 2” $13.5M $4,024 $52.3M
2 “The Bourne Legacy” $9.3M $2,545 $85.5M
3 “ParaNorman” $8.5M $2,474 $28.3M
4 “The Campaign” $7.4M $2,253 $64.5M
5 “The Dark Knight Rises” $7.2M $2,744 $422.2M
6 “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” $7.1M $2,742 $27.1M
7 “Premium Rush” $6.3M $2,794 $6.3M
8 “2016: Obama’s America” $6.2M $5,718 $9.1M
9 “Hope Springs” $6.0M $2,498 $45.0M
10 “Hit & Run” $4.7M $1,629 $5.9M

Source: Box Office Mojo