The dramatization of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion took in a disappointing $7.1 million during its opening weekend, trailing behind the weekend’s no. 1 and no. 2 films The Girl on a Train ($24.7 million) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ($15 million).
The Birth of a Nation made headlines earlier this year when Fox Searchlight bought it for an unprecedented $17.5 million at Sundance. Reviews from the time of the sale were glowing, but support for Parker’s opus soured after rape charges from Parker’s past resurfaced in August.
Parker’s repeatedly questionable, sometimes insensitive, responses to the allegations that he had nonconsensual sex with a fellow student at Penn State in 1999 further soured support for the film. “I don’t feel guilty,” he said as recently as Oct. 2. “As I sit here, an apology is—no.”