Keller @ Large: What Does ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Tell Us About Public’s Mood?
BOSTON (CBS) – These have been hard times for the movie industry. What they’ve been selling hasn’t been enough to get big audiences to shell out serious bucks and brave the latest ice storm.
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But this weekend, a couple of new movies broke that losing streak, including the action picture “Olympus Has Fallen,” one of only two movies this year to sell more than $30 million in tickets on opening weekend.
What is it about “Olympus Has Fallen” that is so appealing, and what does it tell us about the public’s mood right now?
Even the critics who liked it say it’s essentially a stale “Die Hard” ripoff with an underwhelming plot that essentially involves an attack by terrorists who kidnap the president, and their subsequent eradication by a former Secret Service agent, with famous Washington landmarks laid waste in the process.
And the critics who didn’t like “Olympus Has Fallen” really hated it. The New York Times called it “a dose of bloated, moronic pseudo-patriotism.”
I’m not sure why cheering on the defeat of criminals who’ve kidnapped the president is “pseudo-patriotism,” or even what that really means.
But according to the experts at Boxofficemojo.com, there’s a market for that among adult men and women, and audience ratings for the movie have been high.
Maybe folks don’t like terrorists, do like to see the good guys win one, and get a perverse kick out of seeing the capital in chaos, just like real life.
Or maybe the nation was just in the mood for a loud, campy action movie.
As Boxofficemojo.com puts it: “It remains to be seen if it can hold up against “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” next weekend.”
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