Feature

Why ‘Body of Lies’ lost to ‘Chihuahua’

Are moviegoers sick of DiCaprio and Crowe? Terrorism films? Or both?

Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies, starring Leonard DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, opened third at the box office over the weekend, said Stuart Heritage in Heckler Spray, while Beverly Hills Chihuahua took No. 1 for the second week in a row. How did a movie about a “funny dog” beat a “taut, relevant thriller” with huge stars? Could it be that “movie audiences are dumb”?

It means that filmmakers “don’t seem capable of understanding” one “simple rule,” said Ben Child in the Guardian online. “If you want your movie to be a U.S. box office success, don't set it in Iraq.” Now more than ever, American audiences are sick of films about terrorism.

Maybe they’re just sick of DiCaprio and Crowe, said Mark Caro in the Chicago Tribune online. Or it could be that “Hollywood makes so few family-friendly comedies,” Beverly Hills Chihuahua “was bound to stand out.”

Whatever the reason, said Brooks Barnes in The New York Times, “escapism definitely ruled” again. And that “should ring alarm bells for almost all the Hollywood studios as they prepare to flood the market with somber awards-driven pictures.”

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