Democratic socialist darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been generating headlines since the moment left-wing mega-donors first started pouring their funds into her AstroTurf political career.
Unfortunately for the makers of the climate change documentary “To the End,” which features the New York congresswoman, however, her star power does not appear to be enough to generate box office success.
The film was released on Friday and ran for four days in 120 theaters. It’s hard to imagine there was a packed house at any of those venues, as the film grossed a scant $9,667, according to Box Office Mojo, averaging earnings of $17 per theater on Sunday.
The figures get even more painful as they go on.
$9,667 across 120 theaters is an average of $81 per theater, which we can imagine would be about eight viewers per theater if we’re being really, really generous. That makes for roughly 960 viewers total, everywhere.
“Stopping the climate crisis is a question of political courage, and the clock is ticking,” the film’s description on Box Office Mojo reads. “Over three years of turbulence and crisis, four young women fight for a Green New Deal, and ignite a historic shift in U.S. climate politics.”
The film centers on Ocasio-Cortez and three other climate activists who, as The Wrap’s Elizabeth Weitzman described it, “bring evident passion to their endeavors.”
Here is the preview:
As you can see, “To the End” looks simply riveting. I can’t believe no one showed up to watch it.
Although the film also features activists Varshini Prakash, Alexandra Rojas and Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Weitzman gushed that “none quite centers the screen as Ocasio-Cortez can, which leaves us with a diffuse and familiar narrative about advocacy in general.”
Hey, say what you will about everyone’s favorite easily triggered congresswoman, I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that she brings “evident passion” to her climate activism and has left everyone who has ever heard her talk with a “diffuse and familiar narrative” about her favorite political talking points.
This is so like AOC’s presence in the national conversation in general: She loves to throw around terms like “moral” and “activism” with no anchor in any kind of inherent truth. Her entire schtick is to feign the moral high ground simply by claiming something is oppressive, just like the broader progressive worldview she adheres to.
Neither having a “diffuse and familiar narrative” nor portraying “evident passion” are themselves inherently good. Nor do they bolster the legitimacy of Ocasio-Cortez’s wildly far-fetched aspirations for climate legislation.
But she is bringing evident passion into spreading these diffuse and familiar narratives — we can absolutely give her that.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, for all the diffusion and familiarity of her narrative, none of it appears to have been quite enough to draw viewers to theaters, rendering the film, for all its glowing praise from critics, a classic box office flop.
Now, you would think that with the prevalence of such voices as AOC and her fellow “squad” members in the House — not to mention all the performative gluing and soup-flinging that some particularly zealous climate activists have been doing lately — this is the kind of film that would resonate with the millions of Americans who are just clamoring for electric vehicles, bug burgers and reusable straws.
I guess not — begging the question as to whether AOC’s narratives are really so diffuse after all.
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