“Zero Dark Thirty” Takes Off At the Box-Office Amid Controversy


“Opening on Wednesday in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, the film was No. 1 in all five locations by late afternoon, pacing ahead of films including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.[THR]

If you’re an avid moviegoer in New York or Los Angeles, chances are you’ll be standing in line at some point over the next few days to see Kathryn Bigelow’s acclaimed (by film critics) and maligned (by politicians) Zero Dark Thirty. The early reports on the film’s box office performance have been quite impressive, with the film ranking in the top spot at all the theaters where it premiered on Wednesday.

While many have praised the film for its direction and narrative power, prominent voices in Washington and across the media have lashed out at Bigelow for making a film that they claim says torture works, and that it produced invaluable information that led to the capture of Osama bin Laden. Some are even calling on Bigelow to come out and say that the film is purely fictional and should not be treated as having anything to do with the historical events that took down the world’s most wanted man. Others have even gone so far as to say that it is promoting harmful lies about the CIA and torture claims that have been a hotbed issue since the start of the Afghan and Iraq wars.

Tell us if you will be seeing the movie, and if any of the controversy has turned you off to Bigelow’s brand of high stakes political moviemaking. (For the record, I saw it, and found it well-made but deeply troubling at the level of reality).