Even though Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper hasn’t even gone into wide release, the film has already managed to gross $3.1 million from just the four theaters were it is showing. On Thursday, those numbers will increase exponentially on the national stage — making it almost impossible for American Sniper to be anything less than a blockbuster, reported the Wrap.
Despite creating a surefire commercial hit, Clint is still facing a large swarth of American Sniper critics. Many of these attackers haven’t even seen Eastwood’s movie; they’re just familiar with his source material. Chris Kyle’s original memoir, on which American Sniper is based, features a much less sympathetic character than the one pictured in the film. Clint’s hero often said that he thought killing Iraqis was “fun” and something he “loved” to do, previously reported the Inquisitr.
Eastwood’s American Sniper has also become a target for gun regulation advocates. Today, both Fox Nation and the Washington Examiner pointed to a Coalition to End Gun Violence Facebook post where members discussed the impact of the film on efforts to end gun violence. Although the post was quite old, its appearance on Fox and WashingtonExaminer have re-opened the debate — illustrating how deep the divide is in America about American Sniper‘s lead character.
Of course, American Sniper isn’t the first film to deal with these problems. As the Guardian‘s Alex Hess pointed out in an editorial Tuesday, the Iraq War is an extremely delicate topic for filmmakers. Hollywood’s elite are largely against the conflict, even if some more conservative members like Clint push for the story to be told.
Hess notes that the biggest outliers in this failing trend are also not what you’d consider heavy hitters. The Hurt Locker is actually the lowest grossing Best Picture winner of all-time, in real terms. These prior films, however, have attempted to minimize the political nature of the film; Eastwood appears to be exploiting it, says Hess.
“Yet politics and profits seem intrinsically linked. While Eastwood’s film may stay outwardly nonpartisan, the secret to its success may lie in the fact that it is easily pitched at a conservative audience. Its poster promises the story of ‘the most lethal sniper in US history’, the star-spangled banner billows conspicuously in the foreground, while the title evokes ideas of chest-thumping military triumphalism.”
American Sniper might just overcome this controversy to become the highest grossing film about the Iraq War yet. Clint Eastwood’s position in the Oscar race is less sure, especially considering the cycle that happened with Zero Dark Thirty, notes the Intercept. That film, like American Sniper, also fared better upon early release than it did when it went under further political analysis — eventually being derided as pro-torture by many members of the media.
[Image via American Sniper]