[Guest post by DRJ]
From DeadlineHollywood, the box office numbers are in and the latest Hollywood war movie has not done well:
“I’m told #7 Stop-Loss opened to only $1.6 million Friday from just 1,291 plays and should eke out $4+M. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn’t expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office. “It’s not looking good,” a studio source told me before the weekend. “No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It’s a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that’s unresolved yet. It’s a shame because it’s a good movie that’s just ahead of its time.”
The Miami Herald published a review of “Stop-Loss” that recounts how the heroes come home from Iraq only to engage in endless drunken brawls. One goes AWOL to protest the stop-loss policy and another abandons his girlfriend for a foxhole in his front yard where he “curls up in his underwear, cradling a bottle and a loaded handgun.” And yet, here’s the bottom line from the review:
“While obviously admiring the valor and devotion of our fighting men and women, “Stop-Loss” makes no judgment about the rightness of the war in Iraq. But it generates a good deal of contempt for a system that rewards its soldiers by betraying them. A credit at the end of the film estimates that 81,000 soldiers have been stop-lossed back to Iraq.”
I don’t care how Hollywood producers feel about the war or Bush but they should be able to realistically judge what their market wants instead of endlessly trying to tell them what to think. With judgment like this, it’s amazing to me they can make a living.