Ed Driscoll


There’s a headline on the Internet Movie Database’s “Studio Briefing” page today which I find almost laughable:

Disney Staggered by ‘Alamo’ Defeat

The post under it reads:

The Alamo fell for a second time over the weekend, and this time, the scope of the defeat, although bloodless, was no less staggering than the original. The $100-million Disney movie took in just $9.2 million, tying for third place with the $12-million urban comedy Johnson Family Vacation, which played in only about half the number of theaters. (Some box-office trackers were predicting that when the final numbers are released later today, The Alamo will finish fourth.) “I’m shocked, quite honestly, at the number,” Disney distribution chief Chuck Viane told USA Today. Analysts had predicted a relatively low figure, but had not anticipated the utter debacle that transpired. They also had not anticipated that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ would be resurrected in first place again four weeks after dropping out of that position. “That’s unprecedented. I’ve never seen that before,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, told the Associated Press. “The Passion is just rewriting box-office history.” (However, Dan Marks of the rival Nielsen EDI told the Los Angeles Times that almost the same thing happened in 1996 when Jerry Maguire returned to No. 1 after dropping out for three weeks.) Passion has now earned a total of $354.8 million and ranks eighth on the all-time domestic box-office list. Other new films also tanked at the box office. The Whole Ten Yards with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, debuted with just $6.7 million. The girls’ flick Ella Enchanted drew a less-than-enchanting $6.1 million, just ahead of The Girl Next Door, which earned $6 million. And in yet another dose of bad news for Disney, the studio’s The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks, dropped out of the top 10 after just two weeks.

Given that the film was originally promoted as a Christmas release, and was then pulled back for four months of additional cutting and possibly reshoots after it bombed in previews, Disney had to know that things did not bode well for their revisionist epic.

Also, given the backlash that CBS’s attempted smear job of The Reagans received, and Pearl Harbor (another piece of revisionist Disney history) more and more Americans are becoming aware that Hollywood has an increasingly warped view of America and its history, at least when compared to those in the Red States.

So when Disney distribution chief Chuck Viane tells USA Today, “I’m shocked, quite honestly, at the number,” how honest is he being about being shocked?

(Probably about has shocked as Claude Rains was to discover that there was gambling going on at Rick’s cafe.)