Sunday, January 22, 2006

They must be dropping leaflets while flying over Flyover Country

Last month, I noted with puzzlement Steven Den Beste's strange obsession with Brokeback Mountain* and his great hope that the film tanks at the box office, so that maybe Leftist Hollywood would get the message and stop making those pesky, pro-gay, anti-Christian movies. (Which is a pretty bizarre argument to find originating from an atheist who has long professed to be pro-gay rights, I must admit.) One of SDB's money-quotes back then was this:

Peoria and Nashville and Des Moines just aren't interested in LGBT-themed films.

I guess the idea here is that even if Brokeback Mountain somehow manages to have a respectable showing at the box office, it'll be because of the liberal enclaves on the coasts and not because of Middle America, where people would much rather see explicitly Christian stuff.


This weekend the Focus Features film, which stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as hunky star-crossed lovers, will move to about 1,200 screens (up from 684) and reach even more suburban markets. But don’t necessarily expect Brokeback, which has a fairly explicit sex scene with the two men, to ignite widespread heartland protests. So far it has played relatively well outside the traditional coastal city areas where somber indie hits usually rise and fall. Producer James Schamus explains: "What’s driving the gross now is the gigantic numbers from the small and medium-sized cities, not New York and Los Angeles." He attributes its success to lots of advance, Internet-driven buzz and near-universal critical acclaim.

The article notes the film's enthusiastic reception in such locales as Salt Lake City, UT; Mason City, IA; and Scottsdale, AZ.

Seeing SDB march in lockstep with the Religious Right is fairly disconcerting -- what's next, advocating the teaching of Intelligent Design? -- but it's pretty clear that he's chosen the wrong horse here.

* SDB is currently offline, and before he departed, he sounded pretty non-committal about going back online.

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