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Is the World Ready for Stone's Take on 9/11?

August 9th, 2006

World Trade Center gets a jump on the busy weekend competition, opening tonight in just over 2,800 theatres, but will this be a winning strategy?

There are a number of obstacles this film needs to avoid for it to succeed, not the least of which is Oliver Stone's controversial past. After JFK, his ability to accurately tell the difference between history and historical fiction was cast into doubt. Because of this, any perceived notion of a conspiracy theory could dramatically hurt the film's box office potential. Then again, there are groups organizing boycotts because they feel Oliver Stone, 'bought into the government lie about the planes bringing down the buildings.'

(I would like to point out that the buildings fell exactly the way physics predicts they would after being hit by a plane of that size carrying nearly full fuel reserves. It's another case of, "Back and to the left" mentioned in the August Preview. Real physics doesn't match Hollywood physics, so when people encounter it, they think there must be trickery involved.)

With wounds that are still fresh, the film will have to be nearly perfect to avoid a backlash, and it isn't. Granted, 73% positive is still a great Tomatometer reading and one that most films can't dream of earning. However, it pales when compared to United 93's 90% positive. Even so, this is Oliver Stone and the curiosity factor is high. So look for $6 million tonight, $4 million tomorrow, and $20 million over the weekend.


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Filed under: World Trade Center