You gotta love “The Hollywood Reporter’s” opening sentence:
You can’t blame director James Bobin for being slightly giddy these days. The Muppets is one of the best reviewed movies of the year (“We have a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes,” he says proudly), will likely be an Oscar contender in multiple categories and even managed to upset Fox Business News in the process.
Yeah, “slightly giddy”because, uhm, except for the box office.
Spin, THR, spin!
In week three, “The Muppets” is expected to take in only a measly $7M, making its total take a disappointing $65M. If you look at the best apples-to-apples comparison Box Office Mojo could come up with, “The Muppets” is presently behind the pace of two films that barely squeaked past $100M: “Bolt” and “The Princess and the Frog.” There’s even talk now that this under-performance has killed any franchise hopes for our furry friends.
So what went so horribly wrong? After all, everyone who’s seen the new Muppet movie has loved it. The reviews are splendid. Simply put, the reboot of a decades-old cultural institution that enjoys generations of goodwill couldn’t have gone smoother.
Certainly, Hollywood is currently suffering from larger, existential problems. No doubt about that. Other than our political and media class, Tinseltown is one of the most loathed and divisive institutions in America today. But if you look at what’s happened over the past week or so, it’s not unreasonable to lay some of the blame for “The Muppets” box office failure at the feet of the outrageously out-of-touch entertainment media.
Believe it or not, MSM, snarky headlines like this might crack you up, but they’re not at all helpful to the film:
“‘Muppets’ Director James Bobin Addresses Fox Business Network’s Communist Allegation.”
And this is where I feel bad for James Bobin and all those involved with “The Muppets.” Hell, even though they’re not real, I feel bad for the Muppets. I love the Muppets. Who doesn’t love the Muppets?
Unfortunately, though, while media leftists have been having a grand ole’ time mocking a three-minute Fox Business segment, what they can’t see from their precious little bubbles is the damage they’ve done to the film in the process. For no reason other than the irrational need for elites to feel superior through the mocking of Fox neanderthals, these same elites have turned what was a throwaway Fox Business segment into a national feeding frenzy.
The entertainment media is so crippled by their inability to relate to anyone who doesn’t sip white wine and listen to NPR, that they never once stopped to think about how flooding the media zone with their conformist, cool-kid mockery might be interpreted by, you know, the large majority of Americans who read them but don’t share their values.
What could be worse for a children’s film than controversy? Parents don’t want to subject their kids to controversy, especially with the price of a movie ticket these days. But who’s responsible for creating this controversy?
Well, it wasn’t Fox Business, that’s for sure. Even I didn’t see the now notorious clip until the media fired up its mockery machine. Furthermore, as much as I’d like for Big Hollywood to take some of the credit for all of this, we didn’t cover the controversy until the left-wing media turned it into one. In fact, our “Muppets” review was glowing and only mentioned the “oil baron” in passing as a plot point.
No, ’twas the wildly out-of-touch entertainment media that helped to kill Kermit and company. While they were having their elitist fun in their elitist bubbles under the false impression that their oh-so clever mockery would help to undermine that evil Rupert Murdoch, throughout the rest of America, parents everywhere weren’t laughing.
They were making plans to avoid the controversy.