Box-Office Shock: Families Spurn Dylan Biopic, Iraq War Drama in Favor of Family Films

Photo: Courtesy of Disney (Adams) and Miramax (Blanchett)

Astonishingly, American families opted to spend their Thanksgiving weekends watching a lighthearted comedy about an adorable princess instead of an arty, nonlinear film in which Bob Dylan is played by six different actors. While Disney's live-action fairy tale Enchanted enjoyed a hugely successful $50 million opening over the holiday weekend, Todd Haynes's Bob Dylan biopic, I'm Not There, debuted with a measly $757,000 in limited release, causing Variety to entertain the possibility that art films might be out of step with mainstream American values. While we were considering that, the New York Post blindsided us with the news that Brian De Palma's Redacted, about U.S. soldiers who rape and kill a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, has also failed to deliver big at the box office, pulling in only $25,628 in its opening weekend. "This, despite an A-list director, a huge wave of publicity, high praise in the Times, The New Yorker, left-leaning sites like Salon, etc.," exclaims one Post reader. “Not even people who presumably agree with the movie's antiwar thesis made the effort to see it." That's right, not even the 240 million Americans who disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war could be bothered to make their way to one of the fifteen theaters nationwide where Redacted was playing to see a film featuring actual photos of dead Iraqis. Unbelievable!

Audiences Are "Enchanted" [LAT]
Are Art Films Out Of Touch? [Variety]
DePalma Iraq Flick Bombs [NYP]