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The Birth of a Nation failed to hit its desired $10 million mark at the box office this past weekend.

The disappointing box office numbersā€”$7.1 million in totalā€”caps an arc that started with the filmā€™s warm Sundance reception and an unprecedented $17.5 million deal that was forgotten once Nate Parkerā€™s 1999 rape trial resurfaced. Poor reviews and a baffling media run further sealed its fate.

Other descriptions of how poorly this movie did: ā€œflopped,ā€ ā€œstruggledā€ and ā€œtanked.ā€ The Los Angeles Times threw a bone, stating that Birth of a Nation simply met expectations but added that its Oscar chances are probably dead.

While Girl on a Train took in $24.7 million to lead the box office, Birth of a Nation came in sixth. Despite the mediocre opening, the film reportedly tracked well with black moviegoers in major cities. Via Deadline:

Sources tell Deadline that in several African American neighborhood theaters in Baldwin Hills, New York, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Norfolk, Birth of a Nation was the No. 1 title. In addition, Birth of a Nation overperformed in the south. ā€˜Aā€™ grade movies typically generate a 3.6x multiple, and with an opening this low, Birth of a Nation will likely land a final domestic tally thatā€™s under $30M. Thatā€™s not enough for a movie that carries an estimated P&A between $10M-$20M and an acquisition price of $17.5M.


An anonymous studio exec told Deadline, ā€œThis movie with its strong themes of uprising arrives at a very interesting time in our country. Without the filmmakersā€™ controversies, itā€™s a story many would feel compelled to see. And itā€™s a shame thatā€™s not happening.ā€