The Christmas season is a great time of year, isn’t it? Family everywhere, presents, snow falling, people bundled up by the fire and, of course, one of my favorite holiday treats is always readily available. No, not those delicious tiny people called gingerbread men (delicious as they are). I speak of Christmas movies.
We all love them. And they come every year … well, almost every year. It seems today’s multiplex is running a little short on Christmas cheer. In fact, the only major release I can even find coming this season is “Rise of the Guardians,” some animated adventure featuring a tatted up Kris Kringle. Other than that, there is an independent film from writer/director Edward Burns of “The Brothers McMullen” fame called “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas” … what the hell happened?
Christmas movies are almost always a slam dunk (unless they really suck). Now, they’re the last thing on Hollywood’s to do list. Where’s this generation’s “A Christmas Story?” And no, the recent straight to DVD sequel doesn’t count. Is Hollywood avoiding making these movies?
It’s most likely due to the fact that they are simply not interested. Hollywood is full of left wingers who don’t want to offend the non-existent crowd they bow down to by uttering something as hateful as, “Merry Christmas.”
They certainly are missing out on some scratch, though. Even recent Christmas movies that actually managed to get made end brought in a decent haul. Vince Vaughn, an outspoken Hollywood Republican, took the torch for Christmas movies in Hollywood for awhile and scored a hit with the 2008 comedy “Four Christmases.” Even Vaughn’s maligned “Fred Claus” the previous year didn’t fare badly at the box office – $72 million is a respectable tally.
Read more here.
Hollywood conservatives are hopeful for some real change in their industry.
Fox News reports that the recent support given to Mitt Romney by stars ranging from Stacey Dash to Kelsey Grammer are due to a new sense of comfort right-leaning celebrities feel within the show business community.
Publicist Angie Meyer told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column:
“For the first time in a long time, conservatives in Hollywood are resisting the bullying from the left. They are ready to speak their minds.”
So, too, are liberal celebrities – even when their thoughts are hateful or cruel. The latter group speaks freely with the knowledge they won’t get punished for their comments. They might even be resume enhancers.
The danger of conservatives speaking their minds in Hollywood, however, hasn’t gone away. This reporter spoke to a well known actor recently who described losing work because his conservative political views became known to his peers.
Others experience a similar backlash.
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Move over Kirk Cameron. Actor Nicolas Cage is reportedly in talks to star in a reworked and rebooted version of “Left Behind,” the film series based on the Biblical account of the Rapture. With a proposed budget of $15 million, those behind the revamped film effort are looking to go more mainstream than the original series, which was predominately popular among Christians.
While the “Left Behind” series is getting a major face-lift, the team behind the older films is, at least to a degree, intact. Writer, producer and Cloud Ten Pictures founder Paul Lalonde worked on the original series and he’s once again leading the latest effort. Script consultant John Patus, one of the many individuals who worked on “Left Behind: World at War,” the third movie in the series, is also involved in the new project.
Here’s a scene from the first “Left Behind” film:
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“2016: Obama’s America,” the right-wing documentary that has rocked the box office with its challenge to the president’s record, will expand to about 1,800 theaters on Friday, Rocky Mountain Pictures told TheWrap Monday night.
That’s up from the 1,091 theaters it played in over the weekend, when it took in $6.2 million between Friday and Sunday for a per-screen average of $5,940 – the best of any film in wide release. It added another $1.2 million at the box office Monday.
Produced for roughly $2.1 million, the film – with its catchphrase, “Love Him. Hate Him. You Don’t Know Him” – has made $10.3 million since its release seven weeks ago and has surpassed “Bully” as the year’s top-earning documentary.
The expansion will surely benefit from the buzz surrounding the ongoing Republican National Convention. Part of it will target the Heartland, a primary focus of the long-term rollout strategy according to MJM Entertainment’s Mark Joseph, who is handling the film’s marketing with co-director John Sullivan.
Theaters also will be added in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, Tex., and San Francisco. Joseph was still analyzing Monday’s box-office numbers and said the expansion count remained fluid.
Based on conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” the documentary purports to show what the nation will be like should President Obama be re-elected, and includes an interview with the president’s half brother, George Obama.
Read more here.
The anti-Obama movie 2016 Obama’s America went into wider release around America today and is opening right now in first place at the domestic box office. That’s quite a feat since the Rocky Mountain Pictures political documentary is still playing in only 1,090 North American theaters – or about 1/3 as many theaters as big-budget actioner The Expendables 2 (3,355 theaters). But these political documentaries like faith-based films are frontloaded. The Stallone picture from Millenium/Lionsgate is still expected to end the weekend #1 and should top the box office tonight. And, based on matinee trends, 2016 Obama’s America looks to gross $1.2M-$1.7M Friday for a $3.7M-$5.0M weekend. But right now it has grossed $700,000 today compared to $300,000 for The Expendables 2. Its new cume after this weekend could make it the #1 conservative documentary (ahead of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M). The success of the anti-Obama pic is based on big pre-sales leading into the Republican National Convention August 27-30, and exhibitors are reporting busloads of filmgoers arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips. It also employed much of the same marketing techniques used to garner attention and support for faith-based films, understandable since the audience is overlapping. Its campaign included advertising nationally over the past two weeks on talk radio and cable news channels including Fox News Channel, A&E, History and MSNBC.
Read more here.