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Pro-American Vs. Anti-American at the U.S. Box Office ^ | February 24, 2013 | Political Calculations

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:

The Difference Between Being Pro-American and Anti-American at the U.S. Box Office

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....

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
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1 posted on 02/24/2013 7:41:36 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Good hard data here.

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.

2 posted on 02/24/2013 7:53:27 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: Kaslin

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.

3 posted on 02/24/2013 7:57:48 AM PST by stanne
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To: Kaslin

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.

4 posted on 02/24/2013 8:04:18 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: ClearCase_guy


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.

5 posted on 02/24/2013 8:05:04 AM PST by stanne
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To: ClearCase_guy
I really cant take conservatives seriously anymore when they complain about Hollywood, the media and the entertainment buisness in general. We have known about the bias in these industries for decades now, yet still choose not to go into them or encourage our children to get into them in any great numbers. So just keep mocking those art degrees and keep getting those "real" jobs, conservatives. That's really going to change the culture.
6 posted on 02/24/2013 8:08:15 AM PST by southern rock
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To: Kaslin
I saw Zero Dark Thirty last week. I was suspicious based on the pro-Obama aspects of its making. The only overt pro-Obama was a comment by a top-staffer that the President was very smart and wanted good information. This of course is total BS. Obama is a Chicago punk thug gangster.

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.

7 posted on 02/24/2013 8:09:11 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt (.Are they stupid, malicious or evil?)
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To: stanne

OBL was still a threat, albeit a symbolic one, and it was justice not revenge to take him out.

8 posted on 02/24/2013 8:09:11 AM PST by loveitor.. ("I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours..." Ronald Reagan)
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To: stanne

OBL was still a threat, albeit more of a symbolic one, but it was justice not revenge to take him out.

9 posted on 02/24/2013 8:10:26 AM PST by loveitor.. ("I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours..." Ronald Reagan)
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To: loveitor..

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.

10 posted on 02/24/2013 8:14:26 AM PST by Hardraade ( (Vendetta))
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To: Kaslin

Can’t say that Hurt Locker was anti-American but it was a godawful representation of OIF.

11 posted on 02/24/2013 8:16:59 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (
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To: loveitor..

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.

12 posted on 02/24/2013 8:18:11 AM PST by stanne
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To: ClearCase_guy
Hollywood exists to push a bad agenda; the money is secondary.

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 ...

13 posted on 02/24/2013 8:19:33 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: IronJack

Enthusiastic bump.

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.

14 posted on 02/24/2013 8:25:42 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: IronJack

Makes one wonder about other pressures and kickbacks. Agenda only goes so far in any cases.


15 posted on 02/24/2013 8:30:20 AM PST by stanne
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To: Hardraade

So the Seals involved are lying about his demise?
Tin Foil Hat time my friend.

16 posted on 02/24/2013 8:42:55 AM PST by loveitor.. ("I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours..." Ronald Reagan)
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To: ClearCase_guy; stanne

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.

17 posted on 02/24/2013 8:44:38 AM PST by spankalib (The downside of liberty is the need to tolerate those who despise it.)
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To: stanne

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.

18 posted on 02/24/2013 8:53:17 AM PST by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: spankalib

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.

19 posted on 02/24/2013 8:55:08 AM PST by stanne
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To: stanne
Arguably, OBL was one of America's greatest enemies, but because he was “old, sick and useless”, he should have gotten a pass? He had young women, pornography, food and shelter when he was taken out, not exactly a cave in Bora Bora. To equate being “ with BO on this” is a non sequitur.
Perhaps we should have let all of the escaped Nazi murderers alone as well because they were old, sick and useless? Not me and my family.
20 posted on 02/24/2013 8:56:10 AM PST by loveitor.. ("I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours..." Ronald Reagan)
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