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October 19, 2008

Weekend Box Office - Max Payne Wins the Weekend; W. Not a Hit

Looks like Lions Gates' fears that it's too soon to laugh over George W. Bush and too late to cry were realized in the box office performance of "W," Oliver Stone's heavily-promoted new film about our lame duck prez.

The film, rolled out in 2,000 theaters, took in just $10.5 million, according to both Media by Numbers and Box Office Mojo. This makes a per theater average of $5,200, respectable, certainly but hardly a huge hit considering the back to back publicity appearances of Oliver Stone, the high interest in politics at the moment and a pricey advertising campaign.

"Max Payne," on the other hand -- a straight up, shoot--the-mothers R rated flick starring Mark Wahberg -- won the weekend, taking in $18 million. (His per theater average was not that much better, it should be noted.)

Meanwhile, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" keeps rolling along, taking in another $11 million, and "The Secret Life of Bees" was a hit in its category, for sure. It took in $11 million, in 500 fewer theaters than Dubya.


Inner Geek

Max Payne is rated PG-13. The videogame skews older.


Hollywood is getting sneaky. Its anti-U.S. military movies of the last couple of years failed miserably at the box office. So now the theme is well hidden until the middle of the film, and also hidden from the previews. At least in Max Payne.

Who wants to watch Marines turned into insane supermen by an unscrupulous pharmaceutical company? All so they can fight "insurgents" without "fear" in this "war on terror."

Just one more way for Hollywood insiders to depict soldiers as brawny morons relishing evil acts. What an insult to have the Marine logo displayed behind a nutjob in fatigues.

What is really funny is the average American soldier has a higher education than the self-righteous bigots that made this film.

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