*Uh oh, just as we feared, in the wake of rape accusations and overall bad press, Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” is not faring well at the box office. 🙁 The latest projections, according to TheWrap, are now set lower than initial estimates of $9 million. It only took in $2.6m on Friday.
Industry watchers are now saying the film will be lucky to clear $8 million this weekend.
On the other hand, the film has a solid A CinemaScore, which means it could play in the weeks to come off positive word of mouth. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is also a fresh 79 percent.
As has been extensively reported, the film’s publicity campaign has been derailed by stories about a 17-year-old rape allegations against Parker, who was acquitted. The thinking goes that “Birth” will now have a hard time meeting the initial expectations from when it was bought by Fox Searchlight at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for a record-breaking $17.5 million.
READ RELATED STORY: NATE PARKER WANTS TO FOCUS ON ‘THE BIRTH OF A NATION’ NOT RAPE CONTROVERSY
Somewhere Byron Allen is probably saying “thank you” to the film gods for letting him get out bid by Fox Searchlight when he tried to buy the film after it got rave reviews at Sundance where it won the grand jury prize and the audience award.
The film, produced for a reported $10 million, stars Parker as Nat Turner, who led a 48-hour slave rebellion against his white masters. Armie Hammer and Aja Naomi King co-star alongside Jackie Earle Haley and Jayson Warner Smith. TheWrap also notes that it will have hard time finishing in the top five, tracking behind the animated flick “Storks,” a holdover from last week’s release.
While there bad box office news for Nate Parker, things are on the bright side for DreamWorks Pictures’ murder mystery “The Girl on the Train,” starring Emily Blunt. It’s on track to top this weekend’s box office with $26.5 million.
Earning $9.4 million on Friday, the adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel of the same name revolves around a troubled and eccentric divorcée (Blunt) who inserts herself into a missing persons case.
For MORE, check out TheWrap.