Let's talk about the fake baby!
Well maybe only for a second, because it is worth mentioning. Social media was blowing up with American Sniper’s big faux pas to use a fake baby for one it’s most intimate scenes between Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. It was noticeable not only to movie experts, but also to movie lovers. Just show again how important every little detail is, and that you cannot sell the audience for a fool. The filmmakers scrambled to explain and find a good excuse, but no explanation can ever make it go away. It’s there on the screen forever more.
But let’s be honest, the fake baby is not the most noteworthy thing to discuss about American Sniper. Let’s talk about what makes this film really interesting. It is the sociological aspect that this film brings to light. The fact is that it shows us a true picture of America’s population and it’s tastes and views. Hollywood and the box office crunch numbers most often only account for the big cities on the opposite coast, but forget the vast country in between, which contains a huge audience.
When Hollywood estimated the box office earnings for American Sniper, it made just this mistake. It did not take into account the big middle, which this movie is made for. And so it was extremely surprised when this movie did so exponentially well. The film broke January box office records with over 90 Million for an opening weekend, bringing out people, who would normally never go to a theater. But let’s be honest, is it really that surprising for a film about the armed forces, a national hero, and protecting our nation, that it would not do well in Middle America. And Warner Bros./Village Roadshow knew who they were targeting with a brilliant marketing strategy of pre-screening the film all over American military basis and so getting the buzz going in the right areas of the population. Smart! That is what infiltrated Middle America.
I wonder, now that Hollywood has sniffed blood outside its normal territories, if it will set it’s bets on scavenging for audiences and box earnings with bait that brings this overlooked demographic out to the movies. I don’t think that is a terrible idea - I think Clint Eastwood is not only a good director, but also a smart and business savvy producer. It only becomes a bad idea, if it ends in Hollywood trying to reproduce American Sniper in a multitude versions of the same film. But then again, it is most likely what Hollywood will do.