The Trouble With the Truth

There are several problems with the movie Truth. The first is that, notwithstanding its title, it is a pack of lies. The second is that a large segment of the public knows that Truth is a lie, and has no desire to see it for that reason. The third is that apparently–I haven’t seen the film, and won’t–Truth is a crashing bore.

So it’s no surprise that Truth is a bomb. It has now been in theaters for five weeks, and Box Office Mojo tells the tale of woe: Truth ranked 34th in receipts last weekend, down from 22 the weekend before. It pulled in a paltry $151,138, for a grand total of $2,283,575 so far. And the film is quietly closing up shop and disappearing; it played in just 157 theaters last weekend, down from 594 the weekend before. Click to enlarge:

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Someone is going to lose a lot of money. I’m not sure who thought a fictionalized story about a disgraceful but mostly-forgotten episode of journalistic fraud was a blockbuster idea; maybe the answer is that no one was that foolish, but the film was made for ideological reasons. Sadly, the fact that Truth is a bomb doesn’t mean that no one has seen, or will see it. Like Oliver Stone’s JFK, Truth‘s lies will be around for a long time. For years to come, people here and there will see it on Netflix, or in a hotel room, or in endless cable rerun, and will assume that the movie represents reality. Hollywood mendacity doesn’t always succeed, but it never fails completely.

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