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article imageOp-Ed: Anti-War Films Continue to Fizzle At The Box Office

By Lew Waters     Mar 30, 2008 in Entertainment
In spite of rave reviews given the latest anti-war films coming out of Hollywood, none have yet to perform as well as did similar films shot three decades ago to turn public opinion against the War in Viet Nam. Stop Loss, the latest, is no different.
Stop Loss opened to a measly $1.6 Million this weekend with Paramount announcing they expect little more than $4+ Million overall. Studio officials said they weren't expecting much because “no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office.
During and right after the Viet Nam War we were treated to a multitude of films heavily leaning on an anti-war theme, or as some saw it, an anti-American theme, portraying the Viet Nam Veteran and the American Military as negatively as possible. Even the successful Sylvester Stallone “Rambo” series portrayed the movies hero, John Rambo, as a war torn killing machine ready to destroy a town for being denied a meal and getting arrested.
A succession of movies like The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, Rumors of War, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and many others carried forth the notion of the “deranged veteran” and the “evil soldier” raping, maiming and indiscriminately killing both in war and at home afterwards.
Even successful movies like M*A*S*H*, even though set in the earlier Korean Conflict, reflected the strong anti-war sentiment leftists pushed off on the public, many in the public accepting these movies as a true reflection of the U.S. Military members.
Apparently the effectiveness of those films spurred critics of both the war and President Bush, very prevalent in far left leaning Hollywood, to attempt a repeat with a whole new stable of anti-war films aimed at turning off public support for the ongoing battle in Iraq in the greater War on Terror.
We’ve been treated to movies like Lions for Lambs, Rendition, In the Valley of Elah, Redacted and now Stop Loss, that have all been flops at the box office, neither earning the expected money or turning public opinion more against the war and the Military.
As one studio source puts it, “No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It’s a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that’s unresolved yet. It's a shame because it’s a good movie that’s just ahead of its time.”
Perhaps the movie isn’t as “good” as this source claims and the public is waking up to the manipulation instead of entertainment Hollywood has been producing.
Perhaps more in the public than is reported sees the ongoing threat of radical Jihadism and realizes our All Volunteer Military merits the support that was denied the soldiers of the Viet Nam War.
Perhaps the countering efforts of Viet Nam Veterans and Patriots to the leftist’s protests and disinformation spread about this time gives Americans needed insight into the truth of their sons and daughters fighting for our way of life and the freedom of the Iraqi people.
Perhaps memories of millions of murdered Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians after our abandonment of South Viet Nam turns the public away from these films.
Whatever the reason is, these films continue to tank at the box office and in this writers opinion, rightfully so.
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