Skip to comments.Pro-American Vs. Anti-American at the U.S. Box Office
Posted on 02/24/2013 7:41:30 AM PST by Kaslin
It's not often that we can measure something like pro or anti-American political bias in American movies, but we can today because of a unique experiment conducted by Hollywood!
The reason why is because of the uneven level of quality of most movies, which can make it extremely difficult to make direct comparisons of a characteristic like political bias between them using the measure of how well they do at the box office. For example, one movie in a given genre might have good acting, but suffers from bad writing or poor direction. Another movie might have only okay acting and direction, but features really good writing.
That's often because different movies get made by different people, which introduces a lot of random elements into their production that can affect their quality, which in turn, affects their money-making potential. And then there's the matter of what audience the movie is aimed at - a movie targeted for teens will have a different box office performance than a movie targeted toward a older segment of the movie-going public.
But what happens when you put the same creative team to work behind movies that target the same basic audience demographic in the U.S., but are very different in their pro or anti-American political sentiment?
What happens is that you take out a lot of the randomness that might otherwise make a comparison between the movies produced by the same team invalid. You get a consistency of quality in all the other elements that can affect box office performance that makes it possible to measure just how much having a pro or anti-American political bias can have at the U.S. box office.
And that's exactly what we have today, thanks to the former Academy Award for Best-Picture winning The Hurt Locker and the current Academy Award Best-Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty!
Both movies were made by same production team, including the director and screenwriter. Although they feature different actors, the overall quality of acting in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty is also consistent, as measured by Academy Award nominations for the lead characters in each film.
Where they differ is in their political bias in how they present their stories, in which the post 9/11 U.S. war against terror is the backdrop. The Hurt Locker suggests that U.S. military servicemen conducting operations against terrorists are psychologically-impaired, irresponsible rogue elements who are dangers to themselves and others. Zero Dark Thirty portrays American spies and secret military operatives as devoted avengers of a horrific act of terror against the United States.
Same quality movie, made the most of the same people, different political bias. Our chart below shows the cumulative U.S. box office receipts as reported by Box Office Mojo for both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty against the number of days since release in their original theater runs. We also show the inflation-adjusted box office for The Hurt Locker in terms of constant 2012 U.S. dollars:
Through their first 65 days of release, Zero Dark Thirty has made over seven times as much in U.S. box office receipts as did The Hurt Locker, with nearly $90 million in receipts just in the United States. That figure then represents the real difference between being pro and anti-American at the U.S. box office.
As for why Hollywood keeps making anti-American movies even though it would appear to cost them so much at the U.S. box office, well, when it comes to America, it seems they have other values....
I don't consider either the News or Entertainment business to be real businesses. If they really wanted to make money, they could make more than they currently do, by adopting more lucrative values. But they don't. Look at Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ". It made hundreds of millions of dollars, even though the dialogue was in Latin or Aramaic. People didn't care -- they bought tickets. Did Hollywood follow up with a film about the Maccabees? David? Samson? Anything? No. Hollywood left that money on the table, and decided that movies about sexual deviancy would be much better projects.
It's not about the money. It's about the message. Hollywood exists to push a bad agenda; the money is secondary.
Had to go over this three times to determine which one was the pro American movie to discover that this:
“. . .operatives as devoted avengers of a horrific act. . .”
is what is ocnsidered American.
Haven’t seen “ZDT” as it appears to me to be all aobut killing someone no longer a threat, just vengeance. Definitely not American in value, just a lot of valuable, wonderful SEALS used and abused for politics.
Bought the Hurt Locjer yesterday will return it and not show it to my familiy.
I thought this peice was going to be about “Argo”. Have seen it more than once.
One thing interesting is the audience reaction within different communities.
The Liberal artsy theater I prefer for ambience and services hosts a crowd which does not react audibly to this wonderful account of a heroic story, and the cinema in the suburb hosts an audience which obviously loves the film.
THis film by the way, has been filling up theaters here since before Christmas.
ZDT sees like a lot of revenge crap that we accept from BO.
The problem is with us thinking conservatives. For true anti Americanism they have to make it so wildly blatant that the story becomes cartoonish.
The creator of the new FX series “The Americans” says he wanted to humanize the Reagan era Soviet spies and succeeds to a certain extent. The problem is that I watch with a conservative eye and don’t have a problem accepting spies as people with their own emotions and personal lives but I can also accept that they are the enemy at the same time. It is kind of interesting that the female spy is the true believer with a deep hatred of America while her male counterpart isn’t so sure America is a bad place.
Unfortunately the show isn’t drawing the conservative outrage the creator likely expected so he’ll destroy a decent series in an attempt to make it more offensive.
And it’s the only wasy to explain the NYT’s refusal to get real in the face of its financial failurel.
Hollywood acts the same.
Ben Affleck probably unwittingly mad a superior angaging film about real life. He’ll not only get reamed at the Oscars, while his film is still filling up theaters two months in, but he’ll be self flagellating over his error and will be forever beholden to his buddies who will be on his case form now on.
Tom Hanks is the model. He produced and even put his family into the making of “Band of Brothers”; did a wonderful job with “Apollo 13” and has been ragging on America ever since.
No way it’s about money.
They also showed a clip of Obama condemning torture by the US. This set the CIA guys to start covering their butts. Not a pro-Obama sentiment.
Good movie, well worth seeing. The "torture" did not happen in reality as depicted in the film.
OBL was still a threat, albeit a symbolic one, and it was justice not revenge to take him out.
OBL was still a threat, albeit more of a symbolic one, but it was justice not revenge to take him out.
I can only observe that freepers still don’t know their a** from a hole in the ground, when it comes to the fate of OBL.
Hook, line, sinker, boat, outboard.
Can’t say that Hurt Locker was anti-American but it was a godawful representation of OIF.
He was sick, old, a useless member of Al Quaida for this reason as well as for being on our radar and living an isolated filthy miserable life.
If you mean, by “justice” revenge, as in, according to the article, “devoted avengers”, then, yes, you have many in your camp.
It’s stil vengeance of which so much of Holllywood is full. It was never the role of our morally superior country, though, and it is one of the most disturbing turns of events. We are so willing to join forces with BO on this?
Not me and not my family.
Yep. And when an industry as lucrative as the film business eschews profit in the name of propaganda, you know its disciples are slaves to their agenda.
The same goes for the other mass media. The newspaper business is crumbling and rather than balance their news, they continue down the same left-wing path that leads to their doom. If anything, they're hurrying ...
I seem in media and entertainment, a monopoly. As pure as can be evidenced in business today.
Carefully created, and continually pushed. A monopoly intent on subverting US global strength, to push an increasingly bad social agenda.
I agree and conservatives need to push back hard. Ignoring the problem simply leaves the monopoly in power.
Makes one wonder about other pressures and kickbacks. Agenda only goes so far in any cases.
So the Seals involved are lying about his demise?
Tin Foil Hat time my friend.
It’s not about the money - they have more money than King Croesus anyway & don’t know what to do with it.
Want to jet to Paris for lunch?
How about this $50,000 handbag to go with my outfit?
These are the same people who gaze at the ruins of Detroit and pronounce their policies a success.
Planning a film, maybe a few of them gather & agree to “push a bad agenda”, but most of them are blinded by their lust for power and acceptance. To remain part of the “in crowd”, they make films that reflect their OWN (however perverted & twisted) values.
They’re “above it all” doncha know.
It’s preening hubris, NOT money.
I see it differently, I don’t see those that went after OBL as doing it as just as an act of vengeance as much as protection. I do think our country is much stronger when the bad guys believe we will pursue them for as long as it takes when they attack our country- especially our innocents. I don’t want anyone that has done what he did to have peaceful sleep thinking we won’t be there one day or night.
As far as him no longer being a threat, maybe- who really knows, he did still have clout and messengers in and out. I truly believe our country had no real choice but to track him down as a warning to those that would do us harm in the future. That may be a form of avenging, but to me it is necessary. Of course it doesn’t mean no one will mess with us again, but I do think it will give them pause and some won’t want to mess with us.
I did see ZDT and I thought it was a good movie, not great but good. I do recommend it as there are few good movies.
I was warned by some I know in the military about Hurt Locker and have not seen it so can’t say anything about it.
Pride IS powerful
Hollywiidians are in the den of a spiritual battle. When they expose the power, they are just not equipeed to go against it.
It will be interesting to watch Affleck for how far he goes to capitulate.
He’s tapped into it, no doubt.
His film is sublime and powerful and good as in morally so.
Oh, all of the reports are mangled beyond recognition. Someone was shot, but not OBL - probably his oldest son, which gave some part of a DNA match.
The seals didn’t really say anything, one way or another. They couldn’t.
OBL died in 2004, and Zawahiri announced it. It was an internal dispute in AQ. FR happily disregards the Z announcement, of course.
ClearCase_guy: Look at Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ". It made hundreds of millions of dollars, even though the dialogue was in Latin or Aramaic. People didn't care -- they bought tickets. Did Hollywood follow up with a film about the Maccabees? David? Samson? Anything? No. Hollywood left that money on the table, and decided that movies about sexual deviancy would be much better projects. It's not about the money. It's about the message. Hollywood exists to push a bad agenda; the money is secondary.
Well, I tend to think of these two goals as co-equal in the Hollywood mind. They like the money but they also like the Hate America vibe. Hanks is sitting on about half a billion dollars in net worth, thanks to the pro-America movies you mentioned (Band of Brothers and Apollo 13, but also acting in Saving Private Ryan), so he's set for life. So now he can afford to indulge his real passion, which is making anti-American movies such as Philadelphia.
Remember, it's possible to make nothing but exclusively Hate America movies and live a very prosperous, comfortable life. Look at Michael Moore. Every last one of his movies has been a virulent Hate America movie, and millions upon millions of dollars, as well as an Oscar, have come his way.
They're not even well made movies. They didn't cost a ton of money to make. And he's thriving.
But not the way that Tom Hanks and others like him are thriving.
That's why I think the two goals -- money and the Hate America message -- are co-equal in the minds of Hollywood. If the Hate America message was pre-eminent, and the money was secondary, Hanks and others like him would be making Michael Moore propaganda schlockumentaries.
Take another look at Apollo 13. Not much in the way of traditional values there except for courage in the face of adversity, and the astronauts' family vignettes. The military angle wasn't even presented. Although all of the astronauts were military officers, they might as well have been civilians. That was the sort of movie that both left-wing partisans and conservatives could love. And it was a love song for America, and at least one of the things that make America great.
I think what we may be talking about here isn't Hate America, but Hate Military. Or perhaps Hate Traditional Values, including the military.
Now let's think about Titanic for a moment, one of the top grossing movies of all time, if not Number One. Much of the movie was about adherence to the accurate historical record. Every detail about that ship and her sinking has been painstakingly preserved, and Cameron is a lot more sensitive than Spielberg about being skewered for a lack of historical accuracy.
But what was the movie really about? A pair of mall rats. Think about it. They defied authority constantly, to the point of flipping the bird at an authority figure. They spit over the railing. They had premarital sex in the back seat of a car, even though they had to search far and wide for a car to do it in. They ran around all over the place, and acted like they owned it. One of them got arrested and handcuffed. That's textbook mall rat behavior.
Then Cameron turned around and made Avatar, a movie which embraced with enormous lust every left-wing commandment. During the last third of the movie everybody was cheering for the primitive indigenous tribe, against the clearly American military and the clearly American corporation, which were portrayed as thoroughly evil. The environment was being destroyed. Science had triumphed over faith .... except for the non-Christian, non-Jewish faith of that primitive indigenous tribe: faith in supernatural forces which turned out to be very, very real.
It isn't Hate America. It's Hate Traditional Values.
Turning Saudi Arabia and Iran into glass would go a long way, if not all the way to ending Islam and it’s terrorism.
Actually, I think ZDT is more of a re-telling of the 10-year search for OBL. As one SEAL said in a TV-interview a while back (I forget his name, sorry), the dog-collar scene at the beginning was inaccurate and overdone "for effect" - but the story line itself demonstrates the tedious and frustrating nature of the hunt for Bin Laden. The actual May event was a short, 15-minute-ish segment at the end of the movie (and of course everyone knows how the movie ends!).
I thought it was a well done reenactment of the process.
Yes, in the sense that America represents good or traditional values, it’s both or either.
Saw a few minutes of “Titanic” which was more than my interest in it. Dicaprio wading up to his neck through freezing water as if he would not have gone into hypothermia - he wasn’t even shivering. It was so cartoonish I am amazed there ws even any interest in that silly movie. Of course it was full of immorality, otherwise no one would have watched it.
I’m the only one who hated “Saving Private Ryan” sappy portrayal of the eil of American soldiers. Not one likeable character.
“Avatar” no interest. My kids had to watch it to be xocial They are of an age where they can endure a harmless bad movie. They say to my question, “did you see Avatar?”, “Oh my gosh it was so stupid. Horrible. It’s so different form Titanic that the same director made. But that was stupid too”.
A low budget, meaning low star and special effects & location, movie like, again, “Argo” has to rely on traditional values if it’s trying to be a good movie that people will see and recommend and/or see again.
Maybe there are some hidden financial incentives. But I think the real motive is an almost religious fanaticism. These cretins worship at the altar of the State, and can justify any depravity in its name, despite the repeated lessons of history.
Can’t argue with that.