It it with great delight that I relate the news that a trilogy of movies that was made specifically to poke a stick in the eye of Catholics, has been canceled after the first movie. It is with greater delight that I relate the news that the folks involved blame the aforementioned eye-poked Catholics for its demise.
Sam Elliott, the American actor, has accused the Catholic Church of scaring Hollywood producers into shelving the remaining two films in Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.
Co-star Sam Elliott said Hollywood had been cowed into dropping the sequels by the Catholic Church.
He said executives at New Line Cinema had shelved plans for the two films, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, despite the “incredible” commercial success of the first in the trilogy, The Golden Compass.
The film, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green, grossed more than £230 million ($380 million) worldwide following its Christmas 2007 release.
But after a concerted campaign by parts of the Catholic Church in the US it only took a modest £53 million ($85 million) there.
The delightfully and enthusiastically cranky Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said…
…He was “delighted that the boycott worked”.
“I knew if we could hurt the box office receipts here, it might put the brakes on the next movie,” he told the Evening Standard.
“The reason I protested was the deceitful attempt to introduce Christian children to the wonders of atheism in a backdoor fashion at Christmas time.
“Everyone agrees the film version was not anti-Catholic, but that hardly resolves the issue. The fact is that each volume in the trilogy becomes increasingly anti-Catholic.”
As a note to anyone at the Catholic League that may be listening, the greatest aspiration that Matthew and I have is to succeed Bill when he finally decides to retire. We cannot think of a greater job in the world than to mock the inanity of the anti-Catholic left in this country for a living. Back to the movie…
Sam Elliot, who has the greatest ‘stache in Hollywood and also one of the greatest voices is unfortunately missing the mark.
I view it as axiomatic that boycotts do not work. There are exceptions to every rule but this is likely not one of them. The reason the movie didn’t make money is because it was bad. Stinky. A flop. Jerry Lewis movies make money overseas, that doesn’t mean anything. The movie, relative to its production costs, was a disaster.
The moral of the this story is not that anti-Catholicism killed “His Dark Materials” but that anti-Catholicism could not save it. A bad movie is a bad movie.
December 16, 2009 at 6:00 am
December 16, 2009 at 12:49 pm
Isn't his voice awesome! What a shame he would use it to bring others down.
December 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm
I agree. If Chocolat has its sequels (and you don't get a whole lot more anti-Catholic than that) you can bet that if it were profitable so would The Golden Compass. When the scent of money is in the air, Hollywood is not cowed and it is nonsense for anyone to even talk that way–but it is more anti-Catholicism for you.
Thanks for this.
December 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm
Agree. As much as I would love to take credit for the downfall of this flick, it just wasn't that good.
December 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm
I don't quite get Sam Elliott's point… does he think that people shouldn't choose to NOT spend their money on things they hate? It would explain the Left's tendency to get the government to forcibly take ever-larger hunks of the fruits of our labors to waste on extravagant failures.
Maybe Hollywood should cut to the chase and tax us, to spare them the trouble of asking us to voluntarily buy tickets. Think of what they'd save on advertising! Heck, nationalize the film industry! I'm sure that these hotshot big-salary stars wouldn't mind getting their salaries capped like the bank/investment/auto executives. Movies would be cheaper and more affordable per person with all of these changes.
Call it Pelosiwood, where the Public Option means that the public has no option.
December 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm
Ooh…I like nightfly's idea. Let's nationalize Hollywood, cap salaries, seize excessive profits, require environmental impact studies before each scene can be shot, etc. After all, it's "too big to fail"!
December 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Dear Mr. Elliott, Pullman,
It's called democracy and free market – get used to it.
December 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm
Next up, "Avatar."
December 17, 2009 at 2:02 am
Nicole Kidman. Her movies tend to be flops and I don't think she's ever had a blockbuster. I was glad when I heard she'd been cast in the movie, because Hollywood likes her better than audiences do. She so often seems insincere to me, and she's been miscast in a lot of parts that aren't suited to her perky looks and high, breathy voice. There must be so many actresses who would have been more intriguing as the sleek, elegant, dangerous Mrs. Coulter.
December 17, 2009 at 2:06 am
Forgot to mention there's also a serious problem with the book itself, a problem that translates to the movie: there's no heart, no real emotion, except perhaps for a few fleeting moments. I read the book without knowing that the author explicitly intended the trilogy to undermine Christianity, so I wasn't biased against it at all– I expected to like it. But I just didn't care about the main characters. In fact, I downright disliked Lyra. Pullman didn't give me anything human about her to like.
December 22, 2009 at 3:11 am
if the sequel to "The Golden Compass" was shelved due to low box office sales (ostensibly caused by the RCC), then HOW do these people explain the fact that the Dragonball liveaction movie, which grossed less than half what GC did, IS getting a sequel??
The money must be irrelevant, or at *least* not as relevant as they're making it out to be. There must be something else, and since the only thing Hollywood is afraid of is Islam, there's now way they could be "cowed" by the RCC.