Tina Fey has the mainstream press eating out of her manicured hand no matter what project she tackles. Fey’s Sarah Palin imitation, which news outlets used to paint the Alaska Governor as unfit for the Vice Presidency, earned her an endless stream of huzzahs whenever she makes the promotional rounds.
That hardly helped Admission, Fey’s latest comedy which scored a weak $6 million during its opening weekend. Fey’s liberal views are well known to the public, and it could be impacting her box office results.
Consider Sean Penn, an avowed leftist whose rambunctious turn in Gangster Squad seemed like the kind of part audiences would gobble up. The big-budget gangster film ended up making just $45 million during its theatrical run despite heavy promotion and limited competition.
Jim Carrey isn’t the star of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but his gonzo character is the key comic subplot, one meant to evoke the Mask star’s rubbery highlight reel. Once more, audiences stayed away in droves as Wonderstone will be lucky to crack the box office top 10 in its third week of release.
Carrey regularly uses his Twitter account to attack those who don’t agree with his points of view, culminating in this week’s attack on the late Charlon Heston over at Funny or Die. Does anyone think Carrey’s anti-gun music video, Cold Dead Hand, will help him put fannies in the seats for his future films?
Box office analyzing is an inexact science, but it can’t help actors when their political posturing polarizes the movie-going public. Today’s audiences have more options than ever when it comes to their entertainment dollar, and when stars either insult or alienate a large swath of the country it does their future prospects little good.