So, how'd all that work out? Did the vast movie going public swallow Carol whole and crap out a fortune for its filmmakers? Not only was it beaten out by a Mexican dog but, despite the fact that it opened in over 1600 theaters and had a decent ad budget that made me have to sit through commercials for it every time I watched The Daily Show, it opened at ninth place with a surprising 3.66 million dollar gross. To put that into perspective, Bill Maher's pro-atheist documentary Religulous opened for 3.5 million dollars despite being in only a third as many theaters. To put it into even sharper perspective, give me the ad budget that Carol had and I could get the movie Mike Clear Scratches His Nuts to open at ninth place for 3.66 million dollars.
I'm honestly surprised it didn't open for more. I was figuring it'd open somewhere around 7 million simply because that's usually where heavily pushed conservative films open. A Kirk Cameron movie marketed to the church group audience called Fireproof opened at around that amount last week and still managed to make more than Carol did in its second week.
Well, that's that, right? HA! If you thought that was that, it means you've never read right wing blogs. To my surprise, I've been unable to find anyone trying to spin the ninth place opening into a victorious sign of conservative ascendancy but I have found a couple of examples of right wingers trying to place the blame on something other than the sheer craptitude of the movie itself.
Dirty Harry's Place tried to blame the state of the election. Had John McCain been ahead by 20 points, theaters would still be trying to get the smell of millions of right wing douchebags out of its seats. This, of course, fails to explain why the new Tim Robbins anti-war film The Lucky Ones, something that should appeal to the liberal Obama loving crowd, which opened in limited release this week, managed to gross $183,000, a per screen average of just $425. Again, we're down in Mike Clear Scratches His Nuts territory assuming it had no ad budget but, somehow, I managed to get Tim Robbins to star in it.
My favorite defense, though, comes from a blogger called Little Miss Attila who said this:
Mpower pictures and Vivendi are starting to hear complaints about unorthodox treatment of An American Carol by employees of theaters that are carrying the movie. So far, ten theaters have been implicated in irregularities regarding the handling of this movie in cineplexes and other theaters—particularly as regards ticket sales.
This accusation is based on two pieces of evidence. The first piece is jack, the other, shit. LMA provides no links which would prove she hadn't merely reached up her ass and pulled out a conspiracy theory.
• The theater suggested that the movie was rated R (its true rating is PG-13);
• Posters for the film are not visible inside or outside the theater;
• An American Carol is not on the marquee, even though the movie is playing there;
• The film title not listed behind the clerk in the box office, so you have to ask if that movie is playing at that theater, never mind that you checked on the internet and called in advance (this actually happened to me);
• Showtimes are given on the theater's outgoing message machine for every movie playing except for An American Carol (this is also out of my personal experience: somehow the local four-plex only had showtimes listed on the phoneline for three movies . . . . hm);
• technical oddities: image or focus issues, problems with sound, and the like.
Again, no evidence is supplied to back up any of these accusations, but the sheer numbers of accusations couldn't all be bogus, right? So, there you have it. An American Carol's box office numbers actually rivaled those of The Dark Knight but only 3.66 million dollars of that got reported thanks to a nationwide liberal conspiracy of corporate theater owners.
Also, Mike Clear Scratches His Nuts actually beat out Titanic for top grossing movie of all time but you'd never know because of the massive conspiracy of theater owners to make people think the movie doesn't exist.