John Nolte, Breitbart, January 12, 2015
Don’t buy the hype you might be reading at places like Grantland about “Selma’s” wide release debut at the box office this weekend. The news was not good. Far from it. Especially when compared to other apples, like “The Butler,” “J. Edgar,” and “W.”
In a distant second place, Selma expanded to nearly 2,200 locations and earned an estimated $11.2 million. Compare that to Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which dealt with similar issues during a similar time period in U.S. history and earned over twice as much in its first weekend ($24.6 million). Selma instead wound up opening in line with disappointing political dramas J. Edgar ($11.2 million) and W. ($10.5 million).
Both are considered costly flops.
If there’s a perfect storm during Oscar Season, Box Office Mojo sees “Selma’s” best case box office scenario as $50 million. Yet, with an estimated $40 million budget, “Selma” will have to at least crack $80 to $90 million just to break even.
“Selma” is undoubtedly suffering a backlash created by its own historically inaccurate smearing of Lyndon Johnson combined with a country that’s been thoroughly exhausted by race-race-race-race and lies-lies-lies-lies over the last couple of years.