Sunday, November 25, 2007

Box Office Bombs

Hollywood keeps pumping out anti-war, anti-American movies that are bombing at the box office.

For example, the "political thriller" Rendition didn't even crack $10 million domestically.

Some say these are made for the overseas market.

Perhaps they are.

But Rendition only made $5 million more overseas!

How about the Redford/Cruise/Streep big-star movie, Lions for Lambs?

Less than a paltry $14 million domestically, plus $20 million overseas!

Not a good debut for Cruise's newly purchased production company, Orion Pictures...

And Redacted, the Brian de Palma fiasco portraying American soldiers as rapists and murderers, in limited release this week brought in a measly $25,000 -- only $1,708 per theater!

Of course, it did do better in Spain.

With a "whopping" $75,000...


By comparison, 300, about Spartans defeating the Persians for the sake of Western civilization, grossed $210 million domestically and $245 million overseas, with a scorching opening weekend average of $22,844 per theater!

In other words, it was 13.4 times as popular as Redacted in its opening weekend per theater.

Or another way, one single theater showing 300 brought in as many viewers as Redacted's entire domestic opening weekend.

Maybe 300 was part of the movement leading to this:
Military training program for teens expands in US

One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes -- including how to shoot a gun properly -- from retired veterans.

That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme.

Proponents of the junior reserve programs say they provide stability and a sense of purpose for troubled youth and help to instill values such as leadership and responsibility.
While military officials say the junior reserve programs are not used as recruiting tools, about 30 to 50 percent of cadets eventually enlist, according to congressional testimony by the chiefs of staff of the various armed services in February 2000.
At Chicago's Marine Military Math and Science Academy, the first public Marine academy in the nation and the fifth military academy run by the city's school district, it's easy to see how signing up for service would be a logical post-graduation step.

The hallways are lined with prints depicting historic recruiting posters and great moments in military history, like the Battle of the Bulge. Teachers in uniform lead classes in military history, civics, health, and physical fitness.

"The purpose of our school is to send all of our students to post-secondary education," principal Paul Stroh told AFP.

"What's different about this school is we take the military model of discipline, structure and leadership and put it into a high school.

"All of our students wear a uniform and all of our students are expected to be accountable for their actions."

And every morning in formation, Sgt. Major Smith draws a line between the discipline and stability of the Marines and the chaos of the high-crime, low income neighborhood where most of the students live.

"My elementary school was out of control. Everybody just did whatever they wanted," said Mariah Coleman, 14.

"Here there's discipline, but there's freedom as well. Everybody just respects each other and we get respect from the teachers."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disclaimer (to whom it may concern): "300" is a great, entertaining film. If you haven't seen it you should do so immediately. Furthermore, I haven't watched "Rendition", "Lions for Lambs", or "Redacted", and have no plans to do so.

But...comparing "300" vs. those movies??? It just doesn't fit. ToCS's (grossly opportunistic) "analysis" goes to the trouble of calculating the opening weekend's average $ per theater but couldn't be bothered to consider:
- was "300" every really marketed as a 'political thriller'?
- aside from THAT, is the target audience for an adapted graphic novel film that depicts heroes, warriors, and visually stunning battles (against, in addition to 'Persians', some mythical creatures too) the same as for a stodgy 'political thriller'?
- could those other "anti-American" films that performed poorly at the box office just simply have been BAD?

Anyway, here are a few vital tidbits that seem to have eluded ToCS's comparison:

- "300" the film is based on "300" the graphic novel (as we all know) by the masterful Frank Miller
- "300" the graphic novel was first published in 1998
- "300" the graphic novel, and hence the film, was inspired by the 1962 film "The 300 Spartans" that Frank Miller watched as a young boy

So, here are a few other questions:
- In 1998, did Frank Miller anticipate 9/11, the rise of Islamo-fascism, a second war in Iraq?
- Rather, could the making and timing of "300" the film have possibly been inspired by the success of the (also great, entertaining) film version of Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels?

ToCS's analysis would have you believe that "300" the film is a parable for kicking ass in the Middle East. And, I guess, that the box office dogs are somehow sympathetic to Islamo-fascists or or other crackpots. I disagree. "300" is just a great film. Granted, it absolutely does have great, compelling elements of leadership, loyalty, valor, nationalism, sacrifice, and other massively meaningful & important attributes that apply to current geo-political themes, but so do films such as "Band of Brothers", "Star Wars", "Lord of the Rings", "Braveheart", and other classic movies. Although "300" is rooted in historical fact it STILL would have been great even if it wasn't about Leonidas's leading the heroic defeat of Xerxes and the Persians (or, in ToCS's interpretation, modern-day Islamo-fascists).

Does EVERYTHING have to be twisted to conform to right wing ideology? Can't a great film just be great, and crappy films just be crappy? Kilgore is worried about you, ToCS! Lighten up, brother!!


2:45 PM, December 06, 2007  

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