Won’t Back Down, the $25 million-budgeted controversial drama film from 20th Century Fox failed miserably at the box office over the weekend.
Directed by Daniel Barnz, Won’t Back Down stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis and Holly Hunter (Hunter’s first film appearance in 7 years since The Incredibles and The Big White) and centers on two determined mothers, a bartender (Gyllenhaal) and a teacher (Davis), who look to transform their children’s failing inner city school.
Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy and corruption from the teacher’s union president (Hunter) and the school’s principal (Bill Nunn), they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
The film is loosely based on the events surrounding the use of the parent trigger law in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles, California in 2010, where several groups of parents attempted to take over several failing public schools.
Won’t Back Down had one of the worst nationwide openings in years, raking in an extremely dismal $2.7 million in its opening 3-day weekend. And that’s even with the film showing in 2,500+ theaters. Ouch! According to Box Office Mojo, that’s the second-worst opening ever for a movie in 2,500+ locations — The Rocker holds the record at $2.64 million.
According to Wikipedia.org, critics have contended that the film is an ideological vehicle of conservative activist Philip Anschutz and that the film is slanted to promote the parent trigger movement. Michelle Rhee presented the film at separate events near both the Republican and Democratic 2012 national conventions several weeks before its theatrical release.