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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    “Green Zone” in the Red

    By kyle | March 14, 2010

    “Green Zone” is a flop. It opened with an abysmal $14 million weekend and is likely to plummet in its second weekend due to word of mouth, for a final gross of maybe $35 million. It’s a $100 million movie that will wind up many millions in red ink.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | 20 Comments »

    20 Responses to ““Green Zone” in the Red”

    1. K Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 4:01 pm


    2. JohnFNWayne Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      With $35 million, lets hope Greegrass can afford a reliable and steady tripod.

    3. Hunter Tremayne Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Terrific movie. Intelligent, extremely well-directed and genuinely exciting.

    4. JimmyC Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Who could have guessed this would have flopped? If only there had been a dozen or so anti-war movies released in the last few years that had flopped too, we could have anticipated this. 😉

    5. Christian Toto Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      So what’s next? Any other like-minded films in the pipeline? Any insulting interviews to come from either Greengrass or Damon saying the public isn’t bright enough to ‘get’ their truths?

    6. J. Says:
      March 14th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      Truth to power!!!

    7. K Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 12:13 am

      An interesting and likely important story some enterprising reporter should look into is why investors who front the bucks for these serial flops continue to do so.

      Is it some type of tax scam? Is it some George Soros clone who can afford to lose it out of petty cash? The Film Actors Guild’s political slush fund? What?

    8. Kevin W. Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Absolutely delighted to hear this.

    9. Robert P. Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 11:52 am

      RE: JimmyC

      It’s so true. The United States has declared in a loud and clear voice that they are not interested in any film having to do with Iraq and the Middle East, no matter the subject matter or the stars involved.

      We’ve seen Leonardo DiCaprio fail to deliver money (Body of Lies), Matt Damon (Green Zone), Tom Cruise (Lions for Lambs) and the 2010 Best Picture winner (Hurt Locker).

      And countless others.

    10. kishke Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      they are not interested in any film having to do with Iraq and the Middle East, no matter the subject matter or the stars involved.

      Not really. “The Kingdom” did well as I recall. Maybe because it correctly identified the enemy.

    11. Robert P. Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      RE: Kishke

      Sorry Kishke, but that isn’t correct.

      The Kingdom cost $80 million to make and made back $47 million.

    12. Hunter Tremayne Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      No American war movie is going to make any money unless the war is an honourable one that was fought for the right reasons. This is why Inglourious Basterds was a hit and The Hurt Locker and The Green Zone were not, even though they are both excellent pictures.

    13. kishke Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      @Robert P.

      From wikipedia:

      The film grossed $17.1 million in 2,733 theaters in the United States and Canada on its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office.[23] It also grossed £919,537 in the United Kingdom,[11] about $1.9 million.[24] As of December 15, 2007, the film has grossed an estimated $47,536,778 in the United States and $39,042,352 at the foreign box office with a worldwide gross of $86,579,130.[25]

      The film has been extremely successful in the rental market, grossing $77.4 million in the United States as of April 13 2008.

      So so far it’s made about $80 million (assuming your $80 million quote for the cost is correct).

    14. Kyle Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Although of all the films named, “The Kingdom” came the closest to breaking even. With the exception of “The Hurt Locker,” which only cost $15 mil and which I suppose will make a small profit from home video.

    15. kishke Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      Kyle, the numbers (if correct) show that The Kingdom did much, much more than break even.

    16. Hunter Tremayne Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      Not that it made any money either, but in my opinion the best movie made in recent years centering around war in the middle east is the director’s cut of Ridley Scott’s Crusaders picture KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (don’t bother watching the theatrical cut). Come to think of it, it’s probably my favourite movie of any kind made in the last ten years.

    17. Kyle Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      @Kishke, I don’t pretend to understand Hollywood economics but from what I’ve read a movie like The Kingdom would break down like this.
      Cost: $80 mil. (If published cost is accurate, and I think it probably understates the true cost by 10 or 20 percent.)
      Domestic prints and ads: $30 mil
      Foreign prints and ads: $30 mil.

      Total cost: $140 mil.
      Box office: $86 mil. Studio takes half, other half goes to theater.
      home vid: $77 mil domestic. Maybe $70 mil overseas. Studio takes half of all this.
      Total gross: $233, studio taking half or $117. Studio is $23 mill in the hole before domestic and foreign pay-TV and regular TV rights, which might be a few million more. Maybe the movie lost a few mill, maybe it broke even. It certainly didn’t make a large profit as there were no action-figure or Happy Meal sales.

    18. JohnFNWayne Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      Shaky cam, cliche-ridden trailers, CIA bad guy, mystery to be solved, man against the system – at least Avatar offered busty smurfs in 3D, something new. Matt Damon sleepwalking playing a soldier, of all things, sleepwalking through a boilerplate action “thriller” wasn’t going to do it.

      Nevermind the politics, which 50-percent of the public finds noxious. A much better idea in the VIP of the Viper Room than on paper.

    19. JohnFNWayne Says:
      March 15th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Avatar at least offered sexy 3D smurfs, that beats Matt Damon and his cliche-ridden, insomnia-curing trailers that gave enough political cues to send 50-percent of the public running.

    20. Alex D Says:
      March 23rd, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Good movies flop. The majority of the audience is dumbed down these days.