Box Office Mojo reports that the new film Miss Sloane — about a cutthroat lobbyist who takes up the cause of fighting the Second Amendment — is having one of the worst box office openings in decades. In the last week of December, it averaged $1,528 per theater for the entire week. Even assuming only two showings a day, that works out to $109 (or roughly five to ten tickets!) per showing. It currently ranks at #161 of the worst openings out of all movies released since 1982.
That in itself would be bad enough, but National Review reports that this occurred despite overwhelming marketing support from producers. “Out of the 200 highest-grossing movies of 2016, only ten exceeded the $15.9 million television advertising budget of Miss Sloane, and seven of those did so by very small amounts. Miss Sloane spent more than the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, Star Trek, Pete’s Dragon, Arrival, Doctor Strange, and Hacksaw Ridge. It had twice the advertising budget of such hits as Sully, The Girl on the Train, and The Secret Life of Pets. For every dollar spent on advertising, Miss Sloane brought in just 21 cents in ticket sales. By this measure, it came in dead last out of the 200 top-grossing movies in 2016. No one else was even close.”
Pity the producers. The title character is played as a cold, hard-nosed, unscrupulous woman, unhesitatingly deceptive, disloyal to her friends when the cause demands it, with a burning passion to win whatever the human and moral cost, a walking epitome of “the end justifies the means.” You get the impression that she wrote her college thesis on Saul Alinsky. Yes, in short, she’s Hillary Clinton.
As previously reported on MissLiberty.com, when the film was being made, Hillary’s election was of course widely anticipated, and had she won, the timing of this release would have seemed like destiny, a foreshadowing of the inevitable battle to come, one in which a tough-as-nails woman would street-fight Second Amendment fans into oblivion; and while the fight wouldn’t be clean, she would, as progressives like to say with a knowing wink, “get things done.”
But Hillary didn’t get elected, and more than one reviewer has noticed the irony. As Bloomberg put it, “When French indie distributor EuropaCorp sought a late November release for Miss Sloane, it anticipated a moment when post-election policy wonkery and Academy Awards buzz might coalesce into a single, ripped-from-the-headlines conversation…The timing looked perfect. Surprise!” The sentiment was echoed by actress Jessica Chastain, who plays Miss Sloane, “This is my nightmare, doing press for this movie this week.”
For the cynical, the film’s worship of political thuggery and a romanticism of the Machiavellian will nonetheless have an intense appeal, but it’s not likely to be a hit with increasingly pro-gun Americans. Under the circumstances, even the critics have only worked up modest enthusiasm for Miss Sloane and audiences even less so.