Thursday, November 05, 2015

That's Gross

Celebrities sometimes say controversial things, but it takes a lot for something to hurt their career.  But this doesn't stop conservatives from hoping they'll crash and burn every time they speak out politically (often in stupid ways, but who cares).

John Nolte at Breitbart has been on a tear lately about how big names have been hurting themselves with their political statements.  For instance, he thinks Seth Rogen's profanity-laced attack on Ben Carson is the reason Steve Jobs tanked.  First, Steve Jobs didn't do well because it's an undramatic gabfest.  Second, most people don't even know Seth Rogen's in it--he's not the lead, after all, though after reading Nolte you might think he is.  Third, all of Seth Rogen's biggest hits have been raucous comedies--the few times he's done more serious films his audience didn't show up.  He does have a wild comedy coming out in a couple weeks, but if it tanks--as some of his comedies have--it'll be because it doesn't deliver, not because Seth Rogen fans are offended on behalf of Ben Carson.

Nolte also believes Sicario failed because of lead Emily Blunt's statements about America.  Actually, what she said was pretty mild, and not widely publicized.  But I wouldn't even say Sicario flopped. It's doing decent business for a relatively low-budget film without the kind of names that open movies.  The idea that the audience was planning to bust down the doors until Blunt said something stupid doesn't wash.

Nolte needs to learn not all films are blockbusters.  In fact, we've just had major flops from Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper and Bill Murray, though I don't recall them shooting off their mouths recently.  Or look at The Walk, directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt.  It's a sweet film that certainly says nothing bad about America, but the audience stayed away in droves.  That's show biz.

Now there's Quentin Tarantino, who has gotten himself into hot water for saying some nasty things about the cops.  Many police unions are calling for a boycott of his upcoming The Hateful Eight.  I doubt this will have much effect on the grosses, but the trouble is it'll be had to tell.  His last two films, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, were the biggest hits of his career. I've been expecting The Hateful Eight to do less well, since it's--or so I've heard--a smaller film, mostly set in and around a cabin and lasting three hours.  But I'm sure if it doesn't break records, John Nolte will be claiming another scalp.

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