Ed Driscoll

AP: Movie Audiences Shrink Below Post-9/11 Level

Hollywood, interrupted:

Hollywood’s holidays are off to a dreadful start: Fewer people went to the movies the last two weekends than during the box-office hush that followed the Sept. 11attacks 10 years ago.

Domestic revenues tumbled to a 2011 low of about $77 million this weekend, when the star-filled, holiday-themed romance “New Year’s Eve” debuted at No. 1 with a weak $13.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

It’s the worst weekend in more than three years, since the weekend after Labor Day in 2008, when revenues amounted to $67.6 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. And it comes after an $81 million total a week earlier that had been this year’s previous low.

“It’s unbelievable how bad it is,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

No it’s quite believable.

Speaking of which, at Big Hollywood, John Nolte wonders “Did the Left-Wing Entertainment Media Help Kill ‘The Muppets?'”

The entertainment media is so crippled by their inability to relate to anyone who doesn’t sip white wine and listen to NPR, that they never once stopped to think about how flooding the media zone with their conformist, cool-kid mockery might be interpreted by, you know, the large majority of Americans who read them but don’t share their values.

What could be worse for a children’s film than controversy? Parents don’t want to subject their kids to controversy, especially with the price of a movie ticket  these days. But who’s responsible for creating this controversy?

Well, it wasn’t Fox Business, that’s for sure. Even I didn’t see the now notorious clip until the media fired up its mockery machine. Furthermore, as much as I’d like for Big Hollywood to take some of the credit for all of this, we didn’t cover the controversy until the left-wing media turned it into one. In fact, our “Muppets” review was glowing and only mentioned the “oil baron” in passing as a plot point.

No, ’twas the wildly out-of-touch entertainment media that helped to kill Kermit and company. While they were having their elitist fun in their elitist bubbles under the false impression that their oh-so clever mockery would help to undermine that evil Rupert Murdoch, throughout the rest of America, parents everywhere weren’t laughing.

They were making plans to avoid the controversy.

Back in 2006, when Brokeback Mountain debuted to boffo reviews in all the usual places, but only so-so box office, Michael Medved wrote:

The publicists and activists involved in promoting Brokeback Mountain seem almost disappointed that religious conservatives have expressed so little indignation. No major organizations called for a boycott of the film, or threatened its producers, or made any serious attempt to interfere with those who might enjoy this artfully-crafted motion picture (it has become a modest commercial success). In the heartland of Evangelical America, Brokeback has generated more ho-hums than howls of protest (or hosannas).

Similarly, around that same time, Mark Steyn added, “The more artful leftie websites have taken to complaining that the religious right deliberately killed Brokeback at the box-office by declining to get mad about it.”

Does it work in reverse? By promoting a Fox Business report on the left-wing excesses and potential sucker punch in the new Muppet Movie, as John suggests, Hollywood and its water carriers may have ought-thought themselves. Perhaps the “liberal” establishment could learn something from America’s scrappy, hard-working counterculture.