Hollywood actress Taraji P. Henson and Boosie BadAzz‘s Birth of a Nation support were just enough to make the controversial film an impactful box office debut this weekend.

The highly-anticipated film met its expectations by bringing in just over $7 million in sales.

The picture pulled in an estimated $7.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, barely meeting analyst projections of $7 million to $9 million. The studio, which expected $7 million to $8 million going into the weekend, is happy with the debut, said Frank Rodriguez, Fox Searchlight’s senior vice president of domestic distribution. (Los Angeles Times)

This past weekend, “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson and Boosie both encouraged their fans to support the film.

YES @origi_nate YES YES YES!!! Thank you!!! 💋💋💋

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on


Heading into the weekend, Southern hip-hop artist David Banner stood behind Birth of a Nation.

#BirthOfANation in theaters tonight!!!!!! #NatTurner

A post shared by Charlamagne Thagod (@cthagod) on

Last week, the film’s star Nate Parker addressed the media coverage he’d received from an acquitted 1999 rape case.

In an excerpt from an interview airing Wednesday on The Steve Harvey Show, Parker, 36, says he has spent the past month “watching the ticker of headlines, salacious headlines, asking myself, ‘What are these journalists trying to do? Do they care about anyone involved? Do they care about what we’ve been talking about?’ I think it’s been a tragedy on so many levels.” (EW)

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