The resistance doesn’t pay what it used to.
You may have seen posters for Amsterdam, a big screen push from unhinged hack David O. Russell attacking Republicans. With a star-studded cast that includes Christian Bale, Chris Rock, Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift, entire streets have been draped with the ads for it.
The New Yorker review hailed it as “an Exemplary Work of Resistance Cinema” as part of a “subgenre of movies that has cropped up in response to the authoritarian and hate-filled deeds and rhetoric of the Trump era”. Specifically, the movie digs up the so-called Business Plot invented by the FDR administration as part of its campaign to silence political opponents. The whole thing was a creepy Stalinist exercise that ultimately went nowhere, but is highly redolent of the current media chatter about “disinformation”, “coups” and “threats to democracy”.
Anyway, the next part shouldn’t surprise you too much.
‘Amsterdam’ Stands To Lose Nearly $100 Million – Deadline
The crazy part isn’t that no one went to see a bad movie whose main theme is that America is racist (a pretty common movie theme now), but with a mostly white cast and stars Christian Bale, already a bad actor, mugging so hard at the camera that serious injuries are likely.
The crazy part is how much money was put up on the assumption that this would be a blockbuster.
“Nowhere was this more true than with David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, which rivals believed had a shot at opening to $12 million-$15 million this past weekend”
How insane did they have to be to think that would happen? This is an artsy film, as Russell’s films usually are, not some crowd-pleasing black nationalist garbage from Jordan Peele or Marvel.
Amsterdam, fully financed by New Regency per its deal with Disney/20th Century Studios, was twice as much at a reported $80M, that being the pic’s most piercing nail in its coffin.
Yes, even by pre-pandemic standards, this 1930s-set comedy was expensive, so how did this come to be? Based on a projected global gross of $35M, an estimated $70M global P&A spend — which I’m told is the bare minimum for a big pic like this — backstopped by Regency, Amsterdam after all home ancillaries will lose around $100M ($97M to be exact).
A well-deserved loss.
It’s incredible that after Top Gun 2 turned out to be a money machine, the industry will still throw its full weight behind artsy anti-American garbage. It reminds me of the hundreds of millions burned on anti-war movies during the Iraq War, not one of which was a hit, while American Sniper cashed in. But politics still trumps both art and profits.