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A drop in the box office? It's an Obama trick!

Published September 25, 2012 9:30 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When other movies see a decline in their box-office fortunes, the distributors see it as the normal economic life of a movie release.

When the right-wing documentary "2016: Obama's America" started its downward slide at the box office, its distributors cried "conspiracy!" and blamed President Barack Obama's re-election campaign of dirty tricks.

Makers of the documentary claim a disinformation campaign — sparking a rumor that the movie would air on Fox News Channel this Sunday (it's not) — and a pirated copy put on YouTube helped drop this weekend's box office to $938,000, about 53 percent below the previous week's tally.

"Saturday morning, I started getting e-mails from groups and individuals either warning me about the piracy of '2016: Obama's America' or thanking me for allowing the movie to go online," Randy Slaughter, president of the movie's Salt Lake City-based distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The filmmakers called the FBI and notified YouTube, which took down the pirated download.

Meanwhile, THR reported, a few bloggers reported (erroneously) that Fox News would air the film — and by the time those sites issued corrections, the rumor was flying on Twitter.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment announced Monday that the movie will hit DVD shelves on Oct. 16, and video-on-demand on Oct. 12.