Stephen Bannon, the writer/director of Sarah Palin’s The Undefeated, has announced his next documentary project: Custer’s Victory – The inspirational saga of a brave general whose tiny band of soldiers tossed King Tut’s tea into San Francisco Bay. But seriously…..
The Undefeated is having as difficult a time living up to its name as its subject does. After pretending the opening was a massive success, the film’s defenders tried to make excuses for its obvious failure by whining about how little promotion it had. To the contrary, it was promoted heavily to its target audience. It had a screening at the RightOnline Conference hosted by Andrew Breitbart. It’s official premiere was in Iowa with Sarah Palin in attendance. The Fox News television and Internet PR machine was hyping it non-stop.
Now, after its second weekend in theaters, the film has sunk to even more embarrassing lows. Despite promises that it would roll out nationally, it added only four new theaters. The total boxoffice for the weekend was just $24,000, a 63% decline from last weekend. And perhaps most emblematic of a cinematic fiasco, the producers just announced that the movie is going straight to video – after less than two weeks in theatrical release. The press release from the distributor is a hilarious feast of hallucinatory grandeur. It reads like an announcement of triumph:
“Victory Film Group and ARC Entertainment, the distributor of ‘The Undefeated,’ the film about Gov. Sarah Palin’s rise from obscurity to national prominence, jointly announced today that beginning on September 1st the film will be available to 75 million homes via Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View access through national and regional cable and satellite operators.”
Translation: Our movie sucked so bad in theaters that we’re desperately trying to salvage our investment and reputation by jumping immediately to television in the hopes that we can con some addled-brained Tea Baggers out of a few more bucks.
The press release went to say that “a ‘Special Edition’ DVD will contain additional new content and will only be sold in Walmart stores.” Now that’s an affirmation of achievement if there ever was one. The CEO of ARC Entertainment remarked that the company has been “inundated with requests from people wanting the film to be made available in their market.” Just not in their theaters. He continued by expressing how excited he is “about having this film made available to the entire country earlier than expected.” The producers of Harry Potter must be mortified that their movie will be stuck in cinemas for another six months and won’t be “available to the entire country” for a year or more.
These entertainment geniuses are attempting to argue that the empty theaters are a sign of “overwhelming demand” from the public who are just so darned anxious to see the picture in their own homes. Despite this hankering for the film, the producers assert that they will still have to embark on a multimillion dollar campaign to promote the TV offering. It’s a good thing that that’s a load of BS, because otherwise they would be losing even more money on this turkey.
This pathetic display of disinterest in the Palin crockumentary that was heralded as the true story of the half-term governor, and that would polish her image and reveal her greatness, cannot portend well for her presidential ambitions, if she really has any. If the people who would be her most ardent supporters won’t go to see her vanity bio-pic, then we shouldn’t expect voters to go out of their way either. America views Palin as a quitter, a loser, and a washed up reality star. At this point Khloe Kardashian would probably out-poll Palin.