The Atlantic was in a rush to bury the thing, gleefully noting that no one save their own reviewer remained seated by the end of the picture’s first showing in Orange County, California. But let’s be fair: That was a midnight show, and Palin supporters are hardly the type to be out and about at that hour. They’re all home sleeping soundly in their beds, dreaming of shooting undocumented workers from a helicopter. They’re not Harry Potter fans, y’know. (Although Christine O’Donnell is rumored to have spent some time in the special-ed classes at Hogwarts, so there is some thematic overlap on that side of the fence.)
Meanwhile, ARC Entertainment, distributor of The Undefeated, couldn’t wait to pronounce the film a howling success, trumpeting the $5,000 per-screen average it had allegedly racked up by Saturday night. Why didn’t they wait until the end of the weekend? ‘Cause Palinites don’t go the movies on Sundays either, silly! They’re all either in church or closing meth deals behind the Safeway.
Little to nothing in the ARC press release seems usable for anything save comic relief -- particularly the part that quotes The Brisbane Times of Australia as saying that The Undefeated “has opened in US theatres to overwhelmingly positive opinion." (The current count on Rotten Tomatoes: 10 reviews, 10 pans.)
For its part, FOXNews.com uses the “evidence” of a sold-out show in Grapevine, Texas to justify its headline “Palin Film Opens Strong, Theaters Packed.” But even Murdoch’s minions have to admit that little Grapevine “isn’t exactly a teeming metropolis.” Yeah, but when you hack their phones, at least they keep their mouths shut about it!
The last word (for now, anyway) goes to The Wrap, which puts all this disparate chatter in perspective to pronounce the flick “no winner” at the box office, having garnered a “soft” $65,000-$75,000 in its 10 opening-weekend markets (including Orlando). Hope those folks spent big on moose dogs at the refreshment counter!
The best part is that the Wrap article quotes the ARC people as trying to make the most of their movie’s poor performance, by focusing on the “standing ovations” it supposedly received and the challenges they faced to get it out in three weeks with minimal “traditional” advertising. Yet those are the very same talking points ARC uses in its own release to contextualize the film’s allegedly mammoth haul! Now there’s some creative repurposing for your used white ass.
The final tally on Sunday night: fact-based community 0, freedom-lovin’ ticket buyers 1 kajillion.*
*(Per screen; not adjusted for 3-D.)