Conservatives Triumph at the Box Office

Hollywood will waste millions on ill-fated leftist gobbledygook like Green Zone or Promised Land while smaller conservative films have to struggle to even get distribution from the leftists who run the studios. But when theatergoers have the ability to pick well-made conservative films, they do so – in droves.

The last weekend of 2012 saw two conservative big-budget epics triumph: The Hobbit and Les Miserables. The Hobbit is the precursor to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and boasts the same dichotomy between good and evil in the story of  Bilbo Baggins, a young hobbit, who pledges to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland from an evil dragon. Les Miserables, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, is a triumph of Judeo-Christian morality. It features an open conversion scene, when the hero Jean Valjean is shown mercy by a priest and then dedicates his life to God; it shows his constant moral quandary about violating his parole but using that opportunity to do good for others. Most of all, it shows human beings as flawed and capable of great sin – but also capable of great good.

In fact, the vast majority of top films of 2012 are conservative-themed. Marvel’s The Avengers, featuring Captain America leading a patriotic band of heroes against an alien invasion, clocked in at the top. The Dark Knight Rises, the capper to Christopher Nolan’s masterful Dark Knight Trilogy, clocked in second – and that film featured an actual communist takeover of Gotham, communist show trials, class violence, and a hero to rescue Gotham from the scourge of tyranny. The new James Bond film Skyfall came in third – and for the first time in recent memory, featured a film villain who had turned against his government and yet remained the villain. Compare Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva to Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne: Silva tries to take down MI6 because he’s been abandoned by M (Judi Dench), and Jason Bourne tries to take down the CIA because he was ordered to commit an assassination of which he disapproved. Bourne is a hero; Silva is a villain. That’s a big difference.

Other top earners include the final installment of The Twilight Saga, which boasts a traditional relationship ending in marriage, and reserving sex for marriage; The Amazing Spider-Man, which always features the iconic superhero line “with great power comes great responsibility”; and The Hunger Games, centering on a rebellion against a tyrannical state.

Each of these movies was also a big budget popcorn flick. But that’s the point: when Hollywood bets big, it bets conservative (with the exception of Avatar). Hollywood executives may be wild leftists, but they’re not stupid. They’re not going to make a Dark Knight movie in which Batman fights for income redistribution or against fracking. They’re not going to feature a musical about an atheist awakening. (Other big budget musicals that didn’t feature conservative morals this year – see Rock of Ages – have been duds).

Americans are still fundamentally conservative. Their moviegoing choices tend to show that. But that’s why Hollywood is so clever about leveraging politics into its films. It will always trade a few Promised Land-type bombs for an Avatar. It remains for conservatives to stop waiting for Hollywood to cater to them and begin taking advantage of the market loophole that Hollywood’s wild leftism has created.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • colin powis

    The last musical to win an Oscar was CHICAGO ….was that conservative values ?

    Hollywood is liberal , Leftist and secular ….movies such as ''million dollar baby '' and AMOUR are a fine example ….the nihilistic ''No country for old men ''is even better

    The culture war between atheistic Hollywood and Christianity is over …HOLLYWOOD HAS WON and Obama is the result

    • frt

      – The Oscars are given out by Organized and overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
      – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a professional honorary organization, maintains a voting membership of 5,783 as of 2012.

      Are these 5,783 representative of the 315 million people?

      Are the people who can afford to watch or do watch Musicals & Broadway plays representative of America?

    • Questions

      There is no "war" between Hollywood and Christianity except in the minds of those who believe rancid editorials instead of actually seeing movies.

  • Tpartywarrior

    Two terms for the worst president this country has ever seen, and Hollyweird is a big reason why that happened.

  • RedWhiteAndJew

    As I pointed out in an earlier article's thread, I found it incredibly amusing that some of the more craven MSM personalities amused themselves by observing that Romney's old company, Bain Capital, sounds like the name of the villian, Bane.

    Such was a touchstone for how the leftist and statist mind works: symbol over substance, just as Rush Limbaugh says. The motivation for the Bain/Bane fiasco, for each knob who engaged in such sniping, is either 1) simple childish name calling, or the more sinister 2) deep understanding of the left wing base. In the later case, the act was a strategic one, where an understandably low opinion of the dim base, motivates such superficial pot-stirring. They know such is effective with the low information voter (Rush again), because even when the token MSM conservatives call them on it, the mandarins know the audience has already moved on to Honey Boo Boo or The Jersey Shore.

    Of course, if we look beneath the homophonic surface, we find that Bane, whose facade of chaos-inducing redistribution of wealth is ultimately intended to lead to collapse and destruction, is much closer to Hussein. Bane wanted to do it with a bomb. Hussein, with Cloward-Piven 2.0.

    • RonL

      Nolan wanted to create a Trilogy. Ending with Bane and Natalia al Ghul made perfect sense. Teh Baine-Bane thing is ignorance.

  • davarino

    I heard Mat Damon wants to get out of politics. Maybe that means he will stop making such stupid movies as his last one. Hopefully it means he will just go away. Zinn and Chumpsky will have to find some other dupe to preach their BS

    • Mary Sue

      Matt Damon thought he was in Politics?

  • lambsev

    The problem is that going to the movies does not translate into social change quickly, if it ever will at all! In fact we become inclined to apathy when our heroes on screen carry the water for us. Even christian movies tend to satisfy our need for assurance that everything is ok, when God is calling us to fulfill the great commission in the REAL WORLD. The world is passing away. If Armageddon or an asteroid or mega earthquake do not end the world, be assured you will die soon enough even from "natural causes." Or Jesus could return today!

    R U red E 2 C Jesus?

  • directedby1

    There is an intriguing common element in all these successful conservative films of 2012. Let's take them one by one: 'The Hobbit' is a New Zealand production; in 'Les Miserables' much of the acting talent is Australian; the 3rd 'Dark Knight' is British directed; 'Skyfall' is British, and carries a patriotic message this time out; the 4th 'Twilight' and 'The Hunger Games' were both produced by the Canadian studio 'Lions Gate Entertainment. The common element is movies where much of the production was undertaken by actors and directors, and production and distribution companies from the English-speaking world outside of Marxist Hollywood. Frankly, the world is getting sick and tired of Hollywood's anti-democratic, anti-capitalist, West-bashing movies.

    • Questions

      Wild generalizations don't make for facts. Ben has his act down to a science. He looks at box office figures of the movies that did best and then, after the fact, labels these movies "conservative." Of course, those movies that don't do well (and for all kinds of reasons, none of which have anything to do with protests of imagined liberal content) he declares retroactively to be "liberal."

      Ah, hindsight. It always has 20/20 vision.

      • Mary Sue

        Well, "conservative" content doesn't appear to be scaring away audiences, at least.

        • slider 96

          It's not gaining any audiences either . The movie is made well or it isn't . The conclusions reached by Shapiro are ridiculous . People dont give a dang about whether a movie is "conservative or not " .
          Shapiro needs to keep his day job and get his thoughts straightened out . He's begnning to sound like a dang muslim . " is this film islamic " ?? Sounds just as stupid .

  • clarespark

    Here is a movie that straddles both Left and Right, and perhaps rises to the level of literature: A Face in the Crowd. We need more subtle analyses of films, for some that are "conservative" may be populist or may be romanticizing poverty or may subtly reinforce notions of the femme fatale and be antimodern. I tried to be "balanced" here: http://clarespark.com/2012/07/03/andy-griffiths-g….

  • Dwee

    I saw Hobbit and was amazed that it is really the story of the children of Israel. It must have been intentional, though I suppose there is a chance it wasn't…. The head of the dwarves looks stereotypical Jewish. He leads a band of 12 different men, (12 tribes), they are after the return of their lost homeland, and also to reclaim the mountain of *gold* on which it sits…talk about Jewish stereotypes. This gold is also what led to their defeat at the hands of a powerful evil dragon, that came into their privileged lives and slaughtered them mercilessly.

    The *dwarves* had been chased out of all lands, so had nowhere to go but to reclaim their lost homeland, against all odds. They get assistance from others, but it is the strength and dignity of their leader, despite his foolhardy courage, that propels them. Then there is the implied help from a "higher source", without which they couldn't have survived so many ordeals, though it is never mentioned.

    Check it out, you will be amazed. I have not told the ending, nor given out details that would spoil the movie btw. If anti-Semites see this movie and realize the story behind it, they will not be able to see Jews the same way again.

    • frt

      I figure that the writers could have also meant Palestinians. I suspect that some Palestinians will see it that way. Do the Dwarves look stereotypically Semitic like Arabs also do?

      When they inserted the language of Homeland, I wondered if the writers meant Palestininan Homeland?

      On a brighter note Jordan will take over the West bank & end the whole Palestinian farce. That may happen. It may go wrong if the Hashemite King falls. If Morsi over reaches, then the King may survive & the MB be defeated.

    • RonL

      JRR Tolkein was a serious Catholic who drew inspiration from many sources. He was a linguist, who was part of the collaborative effort behind the Catholic Jerusalem Bible.

    • tns777

      I had the same idea while I was watching the movie, but it's entirely Jackson's manipulation of the story. The book had nothing about returning to a homeland. The dwarves were driven by greed and the desire for glory. They weren't as noble as Jackson makes them out to be and (fortunately) they weren't described as even remotely Jewish. Plus, Tolkien was one of the rare authors who respected the Jewish people, so he'd never portray them in a negative, stereotypical light. Jackson on the other hand.. not sure what he was going for with all those changes he made.

  • Dwee

    I tried to see it that way, and some may, but the gold, the slaughtering of so many to take the gold, the 12 tribes, the rather piggish love of food! — i.e., some not always positive associations…many things imply Israel/Jews.

  • Thomas Wells

    Read a book. Let Hollowood drop dead.

    • Questions

      I do both. I read books and I see movies. It's done me a world of good, actually.

  • JCS

    The Dark Knight Rises featured a demented world that would be chillingly similar to the Brave New World the Occupy Wall Street morons would create. Fortunately Batman escapes prison in time to destroy that horrible nightmarish world. And some stupid liberal critics thought the villian Bane was a reference to Romney's Bain Capital. Not a bit.

    • JayB

      Totally agree – in fact, after the movie I was wondering who our Dark Night will be and when he will come and save us…sure hope it actually happens!

  • Ghostwriter

    Hopefully,Hollywood will come around someday. Maybe.

    • Questions

      It already has. If you saw a few movies instead of nodding your head to histrionic editorials, you'd realize as much.

  • slider 96

    Oh man , just shut-up and enjoy the movie . Keep your extra baggage at home .

  • Jim_C

    So where do "Django Unchained" and "Texas Chainsaw 3D" fit into this embarrassingly specious argument?

  • Cesar

    If you have to find political meanings in movies then you really need to get a life. Movies are there to be enjoyed.

  • Alex79818

    Ridiculous!! A good-vs-evil dichotomy is not indicative of a conservative ideological slant, liberal ideology is replete with and in many cases driven by a good-vs-evil dichotomy (where, of course, different characters are evil ones). Conservatism doesn’t hold a monopoly on such dualist worldviews, and the Hobbit is no more conservative than any of the other Lord of the Rings films.

    Les Miserables even less so, given that the one character who’s worldview is openly repudiated happens to be Javert, easily the most conservative character in the film. Further, Valjean’s openly violating his parole – with a Priest’s assitance no less – is certainly an open attack on conservative social institutions. Victor Hugo in this way detaches the traditional roles of conservative social institutions from the Judeo-Christian moral code which supposedly gives rise to them and justifies their brutality. If anything, Les Miserables is an extremely effective, scathing attack on many pillars of conservative ideology, chiefly amongst these an intransigent and dominant law enforcement practice and free-market economics bolstering oppressive work conditions, prostitution, and forced prisoner labor.

    And Dark Knight Rises? Bane isn’t communist, he’s anarchist! Hardly a conservative outlook, more like you’ve got your “isms” mixed up there. Twilight, Spiderman, Hunger Games? Associating any of those 3 films with conservative ideology is so asinine it doesn’t even merit a reply. If Hollywood won’t make a Batman movie based around fracking, it’s because Gotham is a city and not a natural gas field. Skyfall I will concede, but it’s a cheap shot – all Bond works are at their core, conservative pro-British stories…

    …and for every 10 Bond movies that do ok, there’s 1 “Avatar” that outperforms them.

    Americans are not fundamentally conservative, not in the majority anymore, anyways. A black man was elected and re-elected to the white house. Marijuana decriminalization is both in effect and on the ballot in numerous states. Ditto with gay marriage movements, yes, even in Texas. The GOP has managed to gerrymander a large number of congressional districts, where they hold sway with highly localized conservative electorates – and even the demographics of those districts are changing. The majority of conservatives in the US today are older folks…and just like all old people, eventually they all die. And, thanks to blockbuster hit movies like Avatar, conservative ideology is exposed to the masses as the hypocrisy it really is, and it therefore appeals to less and less young people as time goes by. You’re not replenishing your ranks.

    Don’t kid yourselves – you’re on the way out, and steps away from irrelevance.

  • MIchael D. Hurley

    as a movie theatre owner: this is about the dumbest and stupidest opinion on movie grossing and its’ relationship to either the political bent of those who make, distribute, or show movies I’ve ever seen.