Spike Lee's Politics Pummel His Box Office Fortunes

Spike Lee's Politics Pummel His Box Office Fortunes

Director Spike Lee’s off-screen behavior has finally caught up to his on-screen achievements in the minds of movie goers.

Consider his personal resume: He tweeted out the address of a home he thought belonged to George Zimmerman, a stunt that could have brought grievous harm upon the older couple who actually live at said address. He called out Clint Eastwood, one of the most beloved film icons in Hollywood history, for not casting more black actors in his historical films. He slammed the wildly popular Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, without seeing it. He backed failing President Barack Obama so vigorously he said we would someday measure time in “Before Barack” and “After Barack” increments.

Is it any surprise that audiences stayed away from his latest film, a remake of the South Korean cult classic Oldboy? Lee’s Oldboy made $850,000 in limited release over the holiday weekend, a pittance considering the $30 million budget and the original film’s fan base.

Lee created even more sour publicity a few days ago when he stiff-armed an artist who sought Lee’s help in a battle with the ad agency behind the Oldboy campaign.

New media ensures all of the above incidents aren’t forgotten. They are shared, liked and re-tweeted for all to see. Every time Lee does the wrong thing potential movie goers notice and consider it when they stand in line at the local multiplex.