×

Dinesh D’Souza’s Pro-Trump Doc ‘Death of a Nation’ Suffers Mediocre Debut

Controversial pundit Dinesh D’Souza’s latest documentary received a lackluster response from moviegoers.

Death of a Nation” made $2.3 million when it opened on 1,032 screens, averaging a tepid $2,248 per theater. The documentary, which explores fascism and white supremacy and compares President Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln, is the lowest wide release launch to date for the right-wing conservative filmmaker. It’s the first political documentary to bow nationwide since Ben Stein’s “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” debuted 10 years ago.

While a start over a million dollars is impressive for any documentary given the low price tag, it’s not exactly promising for a film that debuted in over 1,000 locations. D’Souza’s previous titles all bowed in limited release before expanding.

His last movie, “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,” generated $3.6 million during its wide release in 2016. It went on to make $13 million. Prior to that, 2014’s “America: Imagine the World Without Her” picked up $2.6 million when it opened nationwide before ending its theatrical run with $14.4 million. D’Souza’s first documentary was “2016: Obama’s America,” which bowed with $6.5 million and topped out with a strong $33 million.

In his review of “Death of a Nation,”Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman says, “Dinesh D’Souza goes over the top — of hate, and of truth — in his latest documentary, a radical-right screed that equates liberalism with Nazism.” He adds, “Dinesh D’Souza is no longer preaching to the choir; he’s preaching to the mentally unsound.”

Though the doc currently holds a 0% on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, it has generated some positive sentiment among conservatives. “This film is a great reminder about what the left really stands for and why conservatives must never stop fighting for freedom and liberty,” Stephanie Hamill, a journalist with right-wing publication the Daily Caller, wrote on Twitter.

It also garnered praise from the Trumps, including Donald Trump Jr., who co-hosted a screening of the documentary in Washington D.C. He also tweeted about the film, saying, “It’s going to fire up Republicans for the midterms.”

Earlier this year, Trump pardoned D’Souza, who pled guilty in 2014 to a felony campaign finance violation.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers to Receive Publicists Motion Picture Showman Award

    Hollywood union publicists have selected the Russo Brothers to receive the Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award. Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed “Avengers: Endgame,” will receive the award at the 57th Annual Publicists Awards ceremony on Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The publicists are part of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild, IATSE [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: A

    Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: 'The Warrior Can Never Find Peace'

    Sylvester Stallone may be 73, but he’s not one to sit back in his twilight years. As his legendary body slows, his output certainly hasn’t. This Friday, “Rambo: Last Blood” hits theaters around the world – 37 years after the debut of “Rambo: First Blood.” Why bring the muscled Vietnam veteran back for a final, [...]

  • VINCENZO-NATALI

    Vincenzo Natali to Open Sitges Pitchbox (EXCLUSIVE)

    Like Ron Perlman in 2018 and Guillermo del Toro the year before, Canadian writer-director Vincenzo Natali, whose new Netflix film, an adaption of Steven King’s “In the Tall Grass” will innaugurate October’s Sitges Film Festival, is lined up to open this year’s Sitges Pitchbox, organized in by Barcelona-based platform Filmarket Hub. The Sitges Pitchbox take [...]

  • "Tezuka's Barbara" in competition at Tokyo

    ‘Tezuka’s Barbara’ and ‘A Beloved Wife’ Head for Tokyo Festival Competition

    Two Japanese films, “Tezuka’s Barbara” and “A Beloved Wife” have been selected for the main competition section of next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will reveal the remainder of the competition and the bulk of its other selections later this month. To date the Japanese festival has only revealed its opening film (“Tora-san, [...]

  • Garin Nugroho film "Memories of my

    Indonesia Selects Controversial 'Memories of My Body' as Oscar Contender

    “Memories of My Body,” directed by Garin Nugroho, has been selected to represent Indonesia at the Academy Awards in the international feature film category (previously best foreign-language film). The announcement was made Tuesday by actress Christine Hakim representing the Indonesian Film Selection Committee. The fact-based film depicts the story of a young man from a [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content