‘Act of Valor’ #1 At The Box Office

Posted by on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hollywood insiders claim you can’t make a movie about American troops in which you portray them as heroic figures unburdened by some sort of social ill.

Well, Act of Valor just blasted that meme all to hell. It grossed close to $25 million on this it’s opening weekend. I was curious to see how that would rank against all of the anti-war, paint the GI’s as social misfits stream of movies that Hollywood has deemed to grace us with. I was pleasantly surprised. Now don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize some of the movies on this list, judging by the numbers not too many people bothered to go see them.

Green Zone – Budget $100,000,000 Opening Weekend $14 million

Body of Lies – Budget $70,000,000 Opening Weekend $12 million

Lions for Lambs – Budget $35,000,000 Opening Weekend $6 million

In the Valley of Elah – Budget UNK Opening Weekend $133,000

Rendition – Budget $27,500,000 Opening Weekend $4 million

For comparison, Act of Valor cost $12 million to make.

Of  all the reviews that came out ahead of the movie, most of which in general panned the movie for not being some sort of Lifetime channel feature full of angst and troubled characters, this is my favorite from a USA Today writer:

Employing Navy troops as stars is a clever idea for an action thriller. But the soldiers’ awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story.

It isn’t because she panned the acting but for her inability to distinguish the differences between the services. Something those who have served take great pride in. Let me help her out. Marines are gonna be pissed, though, you see ‘Navy troops’ are Marines. Technically. Soldiers are members of the Army. SEAL’s are members of the Special Forces community from the Navy and Green Berets are part of the Special Forces community from the Army.

Soldiers are not sailors, and not even I would dare to call Marines ‘Navy troops’. Marines are a part of the Navy and can therefore be SEAL’s. Soldiers cannot be SEAL’s but they can be Green Berets or Delta.

UPDATE: In which I eat a little crow. Hey I was Army. Apparently Marines can not go through SEAL training unless they officially switch services to the Navy. The Marines have their own component within the Special Forces community and never the twain shall meet. My apologies to any Marines/Navy folks that I may have inadvertently offended. Thanks to the commentators who keep me honest.

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33 Responses to “‘Act of Valor’ #1 At The Box Office”

  1. Patrick Carroll on 26/26/12 at 9:33 pm

    I went and saw the movie at the very first showing on Saturday at the theater around the corner from where I live.

    I have to confess, I thought the acting was a bit wooden, then I remembered what briefings were like when I was in the USAF. Military missions are executed by professionals who leave very little to chance (let’s not forget that the bad guys do get to vote on your plan). The bottom line being that military briefings sound wooden *by comparison with the unrealistic pap we’ve been fed by Hollywood*. When you’re in the military, you’re working in a place where you don’t need to say all that much: everyone has a common core of experiences and expectations, so all that really needs saying is time on target.

    OK, I’ve nattered on for too long. The movie itself was AWESOME!!! Any movie where multiple bad guys get taken out with M-134s and head shots from, what?, M-24s? is a movie to relish.

    I’ll go back and see it again next weekend. Awesome movie.

  2. memomachine on 26/26/12 at 9:44 pm

    Technically Marines aren’t “Navy troops” anymore in any case. Marines are no longer used for a number of security purposes and have generally become a nearly completely separate service. This is why the Navy is actually recruiting, training and deploying actual Navy ground forces.


    “Thus, over the last five years, the new U.S. Navy has built a new ground combat force, staffed by 40,000 sailors. This is NECC (Navy Expeditionary Combat Command), which is capable of operating along the coast and up rivers, as well as further inland.”

  3. Diggs on 26/26/12 at 9:49 pm

    When I see how much money was lost on those movies made by the “hate American first” crowd, I just gotta laugh. That’s Obama’s crowd. If they knew anything at all about making money, they’d probably be dangerous.

  4. Danube of Thought on 26/26/12 at 9:49 pm

    I don’t think Marines can become SEALs. In fact, Captain Duncan Smith, USN, the SEAL who originally conceived of this movie five years ago, dropped out of a USMC program because he wanted to be a SEAL and could not unless he was USN.

  5. chipsterNGA on 26/26/12 at 9:53 pm

    Saw the movie today. Very realistic. I love the sound of miniguns. It was a great shoot-em-up, no moralizing, and no apologies to filthy barbarians or their “religions”.

  6. Judith on 26/26/12 at 10:07 pm

    I saw the movie this weekend and thought it was terrific. I also freely acknowledge hat the character development isn’t great and the acting by the SEALs doesn’t add to the film’s quality – but – it’s an action film. It’s a Tom Clancy novel on the screen. The action is realistic, exciting and it’s a suspenseful story line. I was on the edge of my seat during the action climax and had a lump in my throat at the end of the film. Inspiring, moving.

    (And, it’s not like there’s a shortage of H’weird movies with crappy character development.)

  7. Steve Brown, Tinsel Town on 26/26/12 at 10:18 pm

    When I see how much money was lost on those movies made by the “hate American first” crowd, I just gotta laugh. That’s Obama’s crowd. If they knew anything at all about making money, they’d probably be dangerous
    The money behind these Hollywood anti-military productions is well aware that they will lose big at the box office. This is essentially an unregulated investment in propaganda for the Socialist left, for which they are repaid by the DNC with zero regulatory oversight, outrageous tax advantages, SOPA, etc.
    They are not stupid, and they know all about making money. A more interesting question would be which investors actually get stuck with the losses, as opposed to which actually gain in the political deal making…

  8. Brian G. on 26/26/12 at 10:31 pm

    This was the most disgraceful right wing propaganda ever put out for the public view. The movies was full of lies, distortions, and the worst acting ever. I would never waste my time or money on this garbage. I am sure the audience was full of people calling Oabam every racial slur in the book on their way.

  9. Buzz on 26/26/12 at 10:56 pm

    C’mon, I didn’t see a single review panning the movie because it wasn’t full of angst-ridden figures burdened by some social ill. Every review I read praised real-life SEALs but panned this movie because of the poor writing, poorer character development, and the bad acting.

    That’s no slam on the SEALs. Time to get off you high horse.

    I saw the movie and enjoyed it, although most of the criticisms are true. I have the advantage of spending a lot of time around SEALs both in CONUS and downrange, and trust me, I’ve never met a one who talks like the guys in the movie do.

  10. newscaper on 26/26/12 at 10:57 pm

    Interesting, a big budget good Iraq movie will be coming out in the next year, Thunder Run, based on the non-fiction excellent book about the dash into Baghdad that ended the invasion phase.

    Director was a producer on Blackhawk Down, stars Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington, etc.

    Funny how all the conspiratorial anti- flicks got fast-tracked, but one that is fact-based and positive couldn’t get green lighted until Bush was out of office.

    House to House, a book about the 2nd (final) Battle of Fallujah is another one cryingout for a film treatment.

  11. Ashen on 26/26/12 at 11:15 pm

    Anyone can go try out for BUDS. You can transfer services to navy/marine if you want, if you are army or airforce. Awesome movie.

  12. Brett_McS on 26/26/12 at 11:38 pm

    The acting was a bit wooden? Sly-Stallone wooden or just not silky smooth? Blackhawk Down probably had the better approach – use actors but train them in a boot camp – but that would be to quibble. Now I’ll have to see when it releases in Oz.

  13. tree hugging sister on 27/27/12 at 12:16 am

    FANTASTIC to see the movie doing so well. I was hoping against hope it would blow the doors off the box office at least the first weekend, just cause it COULD.

    Um, but. Where on earth did you get the idea that MARINES would be SEALS?

    Ah, no. That’s a Navy thing. Nor would most Marines want to be since we already have our own Recon and Force Recon Marines for those who choose to push themselves above and beyond their MOS’s. They do joint things now, but they’re Marines and stay that way.

  14. ChestyPuller on 27/27/12 at 1:39 am

    I am second generation Marine, in a three generation Marine family. Navy SEALs are top notch. Marines have always had Recon. But they now also have their own Special Forces contingent, MAR Special Operations Command. MARSOC. While still Marines, they report to Special Operations Command. Same people SEALs and Green Beret report to. My son, a veteran MARSOC Marine, attended several SEAL schools. Also Army Special Ops. That is because Marines keep their budget’s tight.

  15. Eric R. on 27/27/12 at 5:05 am

    I saw the movie Saturday afternoon, and of course, the action scenes were phenomenal, but JWF, to be fair, the critic was correct about their reading of lines – whatever service she attributed them to.

    Of course, I would have gone if they were all reading in straight monotone, just to do my part to say F-U to the leftists who run Hollywood.

    However, I am actually disappointed with the box office. $25 million translates to perhaps 3 million tickets. I would have hoped more than 1% of the population would have come out to support the troops.

  16. Patrick Carroll on 27/27/12 at 9:42 am

    One sour note: what’s with having a Jew using Muslim Filipinos to attack America?

  17. David on 27/27/12 at 11:43 am

    “This was the most disgraceful right wing propaganda ever put out for the public view. The movies was full of lies, distortions, and the worst acting ever. I would never waste my time or money on this garbage. I am sure the audience was full of people calling Oabam every racial slur in the book on their way.” – Brian G

    @Brian G – you have got to be a fucking moron because how would you know if the movie was disgraceful and full of lies and distortions if you would never waste your time or money on that “garbage?” Either you saw the movie and thus made yourself look like an idiot by saying you wouldn’t waste your money or time on it or you didn’t see it and have no fucking idea what you are talking about.

  18. Dennis Morehouse on 27/27/12 at 11:44 am

    There is one exception to the requirement that SEALs be Navy; members of the Coast Guard can also apply!

    And so far, exactly ONE has managed to complete the course. 2-3 years ago, if my memory serves, (which is no guarantee of anything.)

    I don’t believe that he serves AS a SEAL, though; not really sure how that’s working out.

  19. Larry J on 27/27/12 at 11:47 am

    One sour note: what’s with having a Jew using Muslim Filipinos to attack America?

    Like many, you’re confusing the two bad guys in the movie. The first bad guy is a Russian born drug smuggler who calls himself “Christo.” He doesn’t like America but likes living the good life. He was schoolmates with a Chechen who goes hard core Islamic terrorist. That’s the guy who’s trying to use Filipino Muslins (the southern PI is heavily Muslim) to attack America. Christo is letting the Islamist use his smuggling network to get the terrorists and their explosive vests into America. The fact that Christo is Jewish was only mentioned briefly in one scene of the movie and is a minor point.

  20. J.D. Wilcox on 27/27/12 at 1:56 pm

    I saw this movie once on Friday, and brought friends back on Saturday.

    Every man in America should see this film.

    Yes – The seals are not “great actors”

    No – It does not affect your enjoyment of the movie one bit.

    If you are patriotic, see this movie and strike back aqgainst left wing hollywood.

    I know all about hollywood bashing the military. have spent the last 5 years making a documentary about the left-wing media’s crusade against our troops. You can check it out here:

    Remember – “Look Harder.”

  21. J.D. Wilcox on 27/27/12 at 2:06 pm

    No offense, but the line about a Christo being jewish was very important.

    It was not a throw-away line.

    It was a metaphor for hollywood assisting in their/our destruction.

    There were many metaphors in the movie.

    The holes in the hands and feet of the CIA operative after she was tortured, for instance.

    Don’t be misled by the propaganda campaign against A.O.V.

    This is a complex movie.

    Only left-wing zealots from hollywood (who are scared shitless by this movie) want you to think otherwise.

  22. Patrick Carroll on 27/27/12 at 2:55 pm

    @LarryJ: Christo sponsors Chechen Islamists and makes the point to the Chief that he’s part of a hammer-and-anvil attack on the US.

    I found that a sour note.

  23. Immolate on 27/27/12 at 3:28 pm

    My wife and I saw the movie on Saturday. The Seals were not polished actors, but they weren’t bad either. The action was refreshingly free of cliche and included such novel concepts as uncertainty, confusion and the need to replace empty ammunition clips with full ammunition clips after a burst of full-auto suppression fire. Hollywood likes to handwave away the inconvenient mundane details that characterize so much of what happens in between trigger pulls, but to me that is what makes it interesting. Well, that and the complete lack of angst and introspection the fellas went through after sending various thugs of various thuggish nationalities (and one thuggish religion) to their makers. Kind of a threat to meat conversion process.

  24. Brad on 6/06/12 at 11:53 pm

    As a USAF vet I enjoyed this movie very much. I thought it was very realistic and hope it does well at the Box Office. Nice to see the Military shown in a positive light for a change.