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Box office receipts not kind to anti-war movies
Posted by: McQ on Friday, October 26, 2007

Seems as if America isn't interested in the anti-war tripe Hollywood is peddling if the box office receipts of recently released movies of that genre are any indication:
It doesn't matter how many Oscar winners are in front of or behind the camera — audiences are proving to be conscientious objectors when it comes to this fall's surge of antiwar and anti-Bush films.

Both "In the Valley of Elah" and, more recently, "Rendition" drew minuscule crowds upon their release, which doesn't bode well for the ongoing stream of films critical of the Iraq war and the Bush administration's wider war on terror.

"Rendition," which features three Oscar winners in key roles, grossed $4.1 million over the weekend in 2,250 screens for a ninth-place finish. A re-release of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" beat it, and it's 14 years old.
So which is it, not in the mood for this stuff, reject it out-of-hand or just don't care enough to go see it?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
If I wanted to hear an actor politicize to me, I’d vote for him. So, until such a day happens: stfu and make movies. I’m not paying to hear you pontificate for 2.5 hours while you degrade half the country.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
All I know is that I still really wanna go see The Kingdom...

:)

Asskicking on some terrorists, and a wise-crasking Saudi who wants to kill terrorists. Dude, what could be a better movie?

Ok, it would be better if it had The Duke in it, but that’s a moot point...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
While perhaps a plurality, or even a majority, exists in America which "opposes the war" based on a multitude of disparate reasons, it is truly a minority that despises this country and what it stands for.

NED
 
Written By: NewEnglandDevil
URL: http://
Just remember all those films in 2004 that were supposed to "take Bush down".

Let’s face it. It’s easier to sit at home in your "home theater" and watch a DVD of "300" ripping the Persians to pieces.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I rarely go see movies at the theater anymore. When I’ve only got enough date time to choose dinner or a movie but not both, I go for the dinner. Certainly, as one of the Official Red-State Rubes that Hollywood patricians are trying to "educate", I resent the whole idea that I can know nothing substantive about foreign policy and need to be told by Hollywood. But it goes back way before that. I hated the movie "Magnolia" because its "deep insight" at the end was that $#!^ happens. $#!^ happens?!?!?!?! I get more substantial moral lessons from fortune cookies.

I really don’t have any desire to pay $(whatever it costs nowadays) to sit in a darkened room for two and a half hours being treated to the shallow insight of some moronic college dropout, especially when I can be paid to sit in a lightened room for three hours a week and listen to the same thing, and afterwards get to tell the future college dropouts why they’re wrong.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
When I’ve only got enough date time to choose dinner or a movie but not both, I go for the dinner.
Hey, if you go for the fruit-crumble and a frozen pizza, you can fit the movie in also!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
All I know is that I still really wanna go see The Kingdom...
The Kingdom is excellent. I saw it in theaters and would gladly go again. It’s surprising, but the movie is pretty much unequivocably pro-American (and pro-Muslims-who-are-against-terrorists).
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
First and foremost, a movie has to be entertaining to be successful. Any political or social themes that underscore the film should be secondary at least.
From the previews, the film in question screamed politically charged tear-jerker… not a recipe for success. I don’t believe it has much to do with the direction of the ideology, people of all persuasions don’t want go out and be entertained by being preached to – and especially at those prices.

And I truly believe that there is a teeny-tiny percentage of people that choose their entertainment choices over which side of the political sphere a production may, or may not, profess. Those people are either sitting at home watching FoxNews or out somewhere bangin’ on bongo drums.

There have been many, many films that had scores of political undertones that were highly successful. But the key is, of course, the entertainment value.
And for a film to be successful, any political or social theme must be translucently for the entertainment.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Since the 60s, Hollywood confuses anti-Americanism with deep thinking, while believing that Patriotism is only for the shallow.

OT but very cool: a few weeks back I was in Beverly Hills doing some work and Jon Voight (for Seinfeld fans: the actor, not the periodontist!) passed me by in his SUV and waived. Now he’s a good American. Not so much for Canadian Paul Haggis (writer/director of "Elah") and Brian DePalma ("Redacted" which is another acclaimed work of anti-US Militarism).

 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
"So which is it, not in the mood for this stuff, reject it out-of-hand or just don’t care enough to go see it?"
I’ll echo what others have said. Overtly political movies suck. Preachy movies suck. Even movies that parenthetically insert political messages which don’t fit the flow of the story suck. Hollywood needs to get off its high horse and focus on telling good stories. There are obviously good political stories; but Hollywood has been having trouble of late telling any good stories.


 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
"Official Red-State Rubes"

I like that. Somebody might use it for a website.


Someone said that ’Art imitiates life’. I can get all the life I need by reading the paper or watching TV or, if absolutely necessary, actually living. I don’t need some pseudo-intellectual(s) from Athens-on-the-Pacific to educate me. Besides, if it doesn’t have George Clooney in it, it can’t be very educational.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"but Hollywood has been having trouble of late telling any good stories."

Amen, brother! I have to resort to reading. Then, of course, there is the fact that actually entertaining or amusing people is not nearly as noble or important a cause as educating them and enlightening them. Hey, if Gore can get awards, why can’t they?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Parroting the Moonie Times’ tendentious headlines now? Really McQ? Reading the tea leaves of box office returns for political messages is a mug’s game. The biggest take was for 30 Days of Night, what’s that supposed to mean about the publics feelings about the Iraq war?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
The biggest take was for 30 Days of Night, what’s that supposed to mean about the publics feelings about the Iraq war?

1) That America doesn’t buy "The War is lost and America is evilllll" Theme?
2) That in a choice between seeing a movie about vampires and a movie about Evilllllll Neo-Cons people would rather see the movie about vampires?
3) I don’t know Retief, what does it say? Can you....I didn’t think so. Or are you just grumpy that teh Sheeple, who had such promise in ’06 have turned out to be the gullible dupes of the Corporate Shills pumping out mindliess consumerism, desensitizing us to the tragedy of the world around us and preventing us from taking meaningful action.....blah..blah...blah...yadayada IMPEACH BUSH!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It means we’re terrified of Vampires.

:)
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I don’t know Retief, what does it say? Can you....I didn’t think so.
Nobody can. That’s why I said trying is a mug’s game. You can make any result say anything you want.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
So which is it, not in the mood for this stuff, reject it out-of-hand or just don’t care enough to go see it?
I figure they don’t like the idea of their money being used to support positions they don’t. Mark this well... it’s not just the anti-war movies per se’. It’s the actors who star in them, who seem to ahve trouble getting a hit again, afterward. The Baldwin Bros are a prime example of people whose star faded seriously after getting behind such movies.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Nobody can. That’s why I said trying is a mug’s game. You can make any result say anything you want.

Or that anti-war films don’t sell, well...gee we have some emprical evidence of that, it would appear. We’ll see how Lions for Lambs does, and if it bombs I guess we’ll pretty much be able to say that the war may not be popular but that the ANTI-War forces are MORE unpopular. But right now I’d say that the preliminary evidence suggests that The Sheeple aren’t to enamoured of the "America SUCKS" School of Film.
It means we’re terrified of Vampires.
But not just any vampires, really grody vampires....Tom Cruise as a vampire is pretty dreamy..but I digress.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Retief

I don’t know Retief, what does it say? Can you....I didn’t think so.
Nobody can. That’s why I said trying is a mug’s game. You can make any result say anything you want.
Actually I think it was said much earlier - to paraphrase: when a film is marketed/recognized as a political exercise telling us what we should think, Americans have no interest in seeing it. When a film is marketed as entertainment without some ’message’ regardless of genre (seasonal holiday, horror, book remake, etc.) people are interested.
 
Written By: BIllS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com
Does "Rendition" have a home game version ?

That explains all.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
It demonstrates that most of America realizes it’s not 1968 anymore. The film industry seems not to have received the memo.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
If they made a good version of The Gulag Archipelago or other thriller about the old Soviet Union and its malevolence, I’d pay to see it.

But pronouncing on events that haven’t unfolded enough to really say? Nope, no thanks.
 
Written By: dicentra
URL: http://dicentrasgarden.blogspot.com
Does "Rendition" have a home game version ?

That explains all.

It does, and it is fun....but the oil and the rack are a bother, and make sure you or your partner aren’t allegeric to Latex.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Imagine my middle finger extended...


If it sounds like poop, and it smells like poop, and it wiggles like poop....IT IS POOP - I don’t have to TASTE it to be sure.

Like others, I have a nice collection of DVDs (and a 60" TV, but no cable/sat). On that note, I think I’ll go watch Band of Brothers.


(NOTE to previous comments: Many people oppose the WAY the war is being fought, they don’t necessarily oppose it in total. Many would prefer to kick ass and not bother to take names, then get out (IMNSHO))
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Retief sez:
That’s why I said trying is a mug’s game. You can make any result say anything you want.
Well, on one or two instances, you’re probably right. When it happens again and again...(recall the miserable box office year in 2005 and remember what was offered).
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
"If they made a good version of The Gulag Archipelago or other thriller about the old Soviet Union and its malevolence, I’d pay to see it."

They made a movie of "A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch", starring Tom Courtenay, back in the 70’s. Excellent movie, but I think it didn’t do too well. Probably too realistic. People pay money to be amused and taken out of the real world. If they want to get depressed, they can stay home with the kids and watch television.


"Many people oppose the WAY the war is being fought, they don’t necessarily oppose it in total."

Just like a prostate exam; I am not overly fond of the way it is done, but I do support the cause, and I sure wouldn’t pay to see a movie about it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
(NOTE to previous comments: Many people oppose the WAY the war is being fought, they don’t necessarily oppose it in total. Many would prefer to kick ass and not bother to take names, then get out (IMNSHO))
Oh I can totally appreciate that.

But anyhoo,
Retief is right. To use ticket sales as some sort of barometer for the war is foolish. The only thing it can be used as a meter is how do people want to be entertained.

Or that Susan Sarandon lost her appeal shortly after The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Although she is a fine actress and I’d still do her. And it wouldn’t bother me at all if she were to scream… Bigger… Harder… … …government.

Oh yeah…
High fives anyone?... anyone? Come on. (that’s what I’m talking about)

The only meter worth pondering is the public opinion polls. Which suggests something different than these ticket sales.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I went and saw 30 Days of Night. It wasn’t worth the free platinum pass I used to go. About as scary as a bubble-gum wrapper.
 
Written By: Random Numbers
URL: http://randomnumbers.us
The vampires in 30 Days of Night represent neo-cons and their attempt to take over ANWR.

 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
Allow an illustration:

Can anyone tell me the most recent movie Sean Penn has made?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Greetings...

While on the net, it captured my attention the way you’ve posted this type of topic and i found it well informative at the same time very knowledgeable to read. Nice posted topic, and i hope to see more coming from your blog. By the way in terms of DVDs products i had blog where you can use as your guide, it has a sneak free tv shows online. thanks...
 
Written By: Mara Cruz
URL: http://www.dvdavenue.tv

 
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