The film “Won’t Back Down,” which publicizes the idea that parents should seize control of their public school and turn it over to a charter operator, has been heavily promoted. The movie was shown at both national political conventions by Michelle Rhee; it had a glamorous opening in New York City and extensive publicity as part of NBC’s Education Nation, and full-page ads in major newspapers, as well as expensive ads on network television.
But opening weekend for WBD was a disaster. According to industry sources, WBD had the worst opening weekend of any film in wide distribution (more than 2,500 screens) in 30 years. That’s quite a record.
Pundits can ponder why. Maybe in the midst of a terrible economy, the prospect of seeing a movie in which the union is the villain isn’t all that appealing. Maybe it is time for a movie about heroic teachers in Chicago who stand up to the powerful elites in their city and fight to make sure that their students get small classes, art teachers, social workers, and textbooks on the first day of school. The leading figure could be a brilliant woman who is a chemistry teacher with 20 years of teaching experience. She is articulate; she is unintimidated by the rich and powerful men who try to silence her.
Do you think?