“Unplanned” reached #4 at the domestic Box Office this past weekend —all this despite, and this is a curious controversy, the film’s official Twitter Handle (@UnplannedMovie) inexplicably being suspended on late Saturday morning. According to numerous sources, once the suspension stopped, the film’s Twitter account went from having thousands of followers to barely any, more specifically a scant 180.
Nobody is really sure, but this controversy grew in conservative social media circles to the point where the film ended up racking 250,000+ followers by Saturday, when the glitch was fixed, if it was a glitch at all. On Friday, trailer views for the film were at around 250,000 views. That stat ballooned to 1.7 million views by Saturday morning.
According to Twitter, the suspension wasn’t directly in response to the film’s official twitter account, but due to another account linked to it. In other words, they are blaming it on algorithms. According to the spokeswoman, “We (at Twitter) enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation”.
Film critics have trashed the film, I personally haven’t seen it due to it not being screened for press. Having sparked new conversations about whether social media companies are discriminating against people with whom they disagree with, the film ended up bringing audiences in droves this past weekend with an astounding $6M debut. Unheard of for such a low-budgeted and completely not marketed movie. It expands to an additional 1700 theaters next weekend.
I remember Hollywood reacting to complete bewilderment when “The Passion of the Christ” ended up making a ton of money in 2004. They are completely out of touch with the parts of rural America. That’s why whenever a film directed by Peter Berg, Clint Eastwood, and Gibson is released, it is usually met with that same bewilderment when it does well at the box-office.
Take for example, Berg's films (“Patriots Day,” Deepwater Horizon,” “Lone Survivor”) which have been, just like Clint Eastwood’s, very much attuned to the conservative part of America. Blue-collar, middle class heroes on duty, to serve and protect the nation. They’ve all been hits at the box-office. Eastwood’s "American Sniper" is another perfect example. I dug that film quite a bit, but there was a whole Left vs Right debate in the media about the heroic merits of its title character. Adhering to conservative audiences, in my books, should not a problem and, in fact, is very welcome. There is a clear market that has yet have been untackled, or not tackled enough, by Hollywood.
Fox has this to say about “Unplanned”:
“The film's producers, who unsuccessfully fought to overturn the pic's R-rating, note that Unplanned didn't have an easy road to the big screen. A number of TV networks declined to play ads for the movie, while the film's Twitter account was briefly suspended Saturday morning.”
The film recounts the true story of Abby Johnson, who became the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood before a “life-changing experience” turned her into an anti-abortion activist.