Don’t buy the hype you might be reading at places like Grantland about “Selma’s” wide release debut at the box office this weekend. The news was not good. Far from it. Especially when compared to other apples, like “The Butler,” “J. Edgar,” and “W.”
In a distant second place, Selma expanded to nearly 2,200 locations and earned an estimated $11.2 million. Compare that to Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which dealt with similar issues during a similar time period in U.S. history and earned over twice as much in its first weekend ($24.6 million). Selma instead wound up opening in line with disappointing political dramas J. Edgar ($11.2 million) and W. ($10.5 million).
Both are considered costly flops.
If there’s a perfect storm during Oscar Season, Box Office Mojo sees “Selma’s” best case box office scenario as $50 million. Yet, with an estimated $40 million budget, “Selma” will have to at least crack $80 to $90 million just to break even.
“Selma” is undoubtedly suffering a backlash created by its own historically inaccurate smearing of Lyndon Johnson combined with a country that’s been thoroughly exhausted by race-race-race-race and lies-lies-lies-lies over the last couple of years.
“Selma” itself not only lies about LBJ and his racial attitude towards the march in Selma, but for more than a year now Obama, his administration, Democrats, and the media have all been lying about race at every given opportunity. We were told by all to go into a national frenzy over the racist shooting of Trayvon Martin and the racist shooting of Michael Brown, only to discover later that race had nothing to do with either. Both were shot in legitimate cases of self-defense.
The filmmakers behind “Selma” made a huge moral and public relations error by promoting the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” lie fabricated around the self-defense shooting of strong-arm robber Brown.
A little more than a year ago, Oprah herself was responsible for what many believe was a race hoax when she accused a Swiss store clerk of racism, only to back off later when the clerk branded her a liar.
Oprah’s fishy purse story garnered a ton of publicity for her and her 2014 race drama “The Butler,” which was also filled with historical inaccuracies.
It appears as though even a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score for “Selma” just isn’t going to be able to overcome a country tired of being racially and emotionally blackmailed by cynical liars and their cynical lies.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC