George Clooney is the perfect male movie star on paper.
He’s handsome, charming and has an Oscar on his mantle. He can write and direct, and routinely makes women swoon via his red carpet ensembles. And, at 56, he certainly doesn’t look his age.
He still can’t open a movie.
His 2015 dud “Tomorrowland” reminded us of that. So did “Leatherheads,” “Money Monster” and “The Monuments Men.” All underperformed or became outright flops.
Clooney might be inadvertently sinking his next film project in a way neither Hanks nor Smith would likely do.
Clooney directs “Suburbicon,” a dark comedy written by the Coen brothers. Matt Damon and Julianne Moore star in a tale revealing the underbelly of ‘50s era America. The Oct. 27 release is Oscar Bait Theater given all the names involved.
Critics may adore “Suburbicon.” And a good number of movie patrons may take a pass on it. Clooney is giving them two strong reasons to do just that.
“There are no two sides to bigotry and hate,” Clooney said in a statement, ignoring the violence flowing from far-left protesters in recent weeks.
The SPLC allegedly fights hate groups. Yet the organization has labeled some Christian organizations as “hate” groups while ignoring the toxic Antifa brigade. It also calls an outfit attacking radical Islamic terrorism “haters,” too.
Do you think Christians will take kindly to Clooney’s generous donation? Might they see his name on the marquee and pick another film knowing how the SPLC flexes its might?
Muslim Reformer Maajid Nawaz Joins Christian Ministries in Suing the SPLC for ‘Hate’ Defamation https://t.co/AfKMcQ8cWM
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) August 29, 2017
That’s hardly the actor’s only potential problem. More recently, Clooney attacked President Donald Trump and, indirectly, modern America.
“It becomes increasingly clear how in over his head and incapable this man is of being president of the United States,” said Clooney. “The good news is that our other institutions — meaning press, finally, and judges and senators — have proven that the country works. There is a check and balance.”
Trump voters watch movies, too. They have plenty of options beyond a new George Clooney film.
Clooney also told the AP his new film speaks directly to the Age of Trump. He suggested “Suburbicon’s” dark themes – including fearing the “other” and outright racism – connect with 21st century America.
Who wants to get lectured about their racism at the cineplex?
We’ve already seen box office figures plummet since President Trump took the oath of office.
By the time Labor Day weekend wraps, summer box-office revenue in North America will end up being down nearly 16 percent over last year, the steepest decline in modern times and eclipsing the 14.6 percent dip in 2014. It will also be the first time since 2006 that summer didn’t clear $4 billion.
That collapse coincides with some awful summer releases (“Baywatch,” “Transformers: The Last Knight”), a crush of great streaming options and a public battered by politically aggressive stars insulting their choices.
(Amy Schumer called Trump voters KKK members before it became chic.)
Cause and effect? Hard to pinpoint. Difficult to deny. Maybe Clooney doesn’t care about the box office tally for “Suburbicon,” though.
“The main idea of the film was to pick some fights and I always like picking fights.”
Consumers can always fight back. They may have started already.