Rightbloggers Celebrate the Unprecedented Success of Sarah Palin's (10-Theater) Movie Opening
Help them, Sarah Palin, you're their only hope! Like Eva Peron, the former Alaska governor has played coy with the conservative base, which only inflames rightbloggers' ardor to put her on the ticket.
Which may explain why, when Palin opened a documentary film about herself last week in a few theaters to small crowds, rightbloggers treated it as if it were an earth-shaking triumph, and the resuscitation of their Palinoid fantasies.
We have not seen the Palin documentary, which is called The Undefeated. Though rightbloggers usually don't let this stop them from reviewing films, we were raised better, and so refrain from offering artistic judgement. (We will note that the film received a rating of zero percent at Rotten Tomatoes.)
As to the film's box-office performance, its opening was modest. Or massive, depending on from whom you heard about it.
"The Undefeated Apparently Had A Better Gross Revenue Per Theater Average Than Nearly Every Other Movie Sans Harry Potter," said Conservatives4Palin. They provided a list supporting this conclusion. It began: "The Undefeated: $2870. Transformers: $1608."
Which is true: According to Conservatives4Palin's source, for Friday alone, Transformers: Dark of the Moon did indeed take in about $1608 per screen.
But the Transformers film, in its third weekend, accomplished this on 3,917 screens. The Undefeated opened on ten screens. No, that's not a typo: ten (10) screens. The Palin doc's Friday gross was thus $28,700, while that of Transformers was about $6.3 million.
So what does this portend for The Undefeated? Let's see what happened with another heavily-politicized film event, the debut of the film version of Atlas Shrugged in April.
How's this for a tagline, boss: "Make it a hit, America, or be lost!"
That film opened in 299 theaters, receipts for which, we were told at the time, promised an epochal hit and an Ayn Rand revival. But in its second weekend, Atlas Shrugged expanded to 465 screens -- and took in about half as much money as it had in its opening weekend. Shortly thereafter, its producer abandoned his plan to bring the film to 1,000 screens.
Now, it's not written in stone that The Undefeated will follow Atlas Shrugged's dismal trajectory. But neither does its tiny opening suggest a world-beater. Still, rightbloggers treated it like the debut of a Star Wars film.
"Strong Opening for 'The Undefeated,'" said Texans for Sarah Palin (and the film's press release). "'The Undefeated': Out of the gate strong," said the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis. "'The Undefeated' Roars to Big Opening Day... Theaters Sell Out From Atlanta to Orange County," said Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit.
"Big Demand For The Undefeated Drives Broader Release," said Dan Riehl -- but then, just about any release would be broader than the film's opening. (Riehl was working from the film's publicity materials, which constituted most of his post and included a claim of "standing ovations at most screenings.")
"Palin Film Opens Strong, Theaters Packed," cried the Fox Nation Blog. The actual article showed less to brag about: "'The Undefeated'... has already sold out a show in Grapevine, Texas (population 46,000), according to the distributor Cinedigm. Grapevine isn't exactly a teeming metropolis but the film is set to roll out across Tea Party country in 10 AMC theaters."
That doesn't sound like... well, like much of anything. But Fox Nation went on: "Understandably, filmmaker Stephen Bannon was all smiles." Well, you would expect a director on a film promo junket to smile, come what may.
If anyone didn't see it the same way, rightbloggers declared, it was only because they were determined to destroy Sarah Palin. Never mind that such MSM outlets as Reuters ("Palin film starts soft, but distributor pleased") and The Hollywood Reporter ("Sarah Palin Documentary 'The Undefeated' Claims Victory in its Box Office Debut") had given the opening as gentle a spin as its makers could want; all discouraging words were anti-Palin Lame Stream Media etc.