‘The Birth Of A Nation’ Fizzles In First Weekend At The Box Office

The Birth Of A Nation opened in 2,100 movie theaters spanning the country over the weekend (Oct 7). Many expected the Sundance Festival standout film to gross more than 10 million dollars, but the Nate Parker directed movie only garnered 7.1 million, while finishing sixth at the box office and seeing its Oscar hopes diminish. An estimated 60% of the film’s audience was made up by African-Americans.

Read: Nate Parker Hopes ‘Birth of A Nation’ Opens Everyone’s Eyes To The Trauma Of Slavery

Nate Parker’s 1999 rape case clouded the film’s release, as many wonder could this have been the reason for the weak public showing as Parker has become a liability in his own film.

“We thought it could be a little higher, but word of mouth is going to be positive, which will allow us to string out to a good result,” said Frank Rodriguez, who heads Fox Searchlight’s distribution. The film saw a $10 million dollar budget, but will be lucky to gross $30 million over the course of its release, according to the industry experts.

After generating quite the buzz after the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight Pictures shelled out a record 17.5 million dollars for distributing rights to the film in January, 10 months later, an additional 10 million was spent on an aggressive marketing campaign.

Read: Rebellion Music: Listen To ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Soundtrack

The Birth Of A Nation tells the story of a preacher, (Nat Turner) who led a slave rebellion in 1831 Virginia. The powerful film has generated positive reviews from critics and boasts an inspiring soundtrack. Support the film and generate an opinion of your own after viewing the trailer below.