Fox Searchlight’s Oscar hopeful Birth of a Nation fell short of expectations at the box office this weekend.
The scandal-plagued movie was expected to bring in at least $10 million in ticket sales. But ‘Nation’ earned only $350,000 on Friday and will finish the 3-day weekend just under $8 million.
Birth of a Nation dropped out as Oscar contender after the film’s director, writer and star, Nate Parker, brought up his 1999 rape case during interviews in August.
Searchlight had scheduled Parker for a tour of black college campuses where he planned to portray himself as the victim of a false rape accusation.
But the college tour was cancelled after the victim’s brother came forward to announce his sister killed herself in 2012.
The news sent Searchlight and Parker scrambling to do damage control. Unfortunately, Parker’s narcissism and arrogance betrayed him.
The father-of-5 daughters couldn’t bring himself to publicly apologize for inviting 2 friends to run a train on his former college girlfriend.
Fox Searchlight paid a record $17.5 million to acquire the rights to Parker’s slave rebellion movie after it was critically acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival.
With a total budget of $27.5 million for ‘Nation‘, the studio may not break even.