Last week, the conservative blame-unions-for-everything mantra was given an apparent boost from a new movie, Won’t Back Down. It depicts a mother and teacher taking advantage of a parent trigger law to save their children from the clutches of a nasty teacher’s union.
Joining in the right’s revelry was EAGNews’ Victor Skinner: “The new blockbuster movie Won’t Back Down, which focuses on Parent Trigger education reform laws, is already peaking the interest of families frustrated with their public school options. ”
…created by charter school operator Steve Barr, who founded the Green Dot charter school chain. Parent Revolution has a $1 million annual budget and 10 full-time staff members. Its funders include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
And Won’t Back Down has similar backing: as a Michigan school district website points out:
Won’t Back Down was produced by Rupert Murdoch and funded by Walden Media, a company owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz – an ultra-conservative businessman described as “a right wing leader”. Mr. Anschutz is a proponent of school “choice”, however his choices are less about parent choice and helping students, and much more about his corporation choosing to build a for-profit empire out of public tax dollars.
So the right’s campaign to convert public schools to non-union for-profit operations marches on with EAG’s enthusiastic assistance. But a blockbuster?
Wont’ Back Down was released in what is called a “saturated” release, which is more theaters (+2,500) than a “wide” release. It’s opening last weekend is the second worse all time opening, among saturated releases. That is, if you measure by total box office. The worst all-time (well since 1982 when they started tracking this stuff) saturated opening, was 2008’s The Rocker, starring The Office’s Rainn Wilson.
If you adjust for the change in ticket prices since 2008, Won’t Back Down qualifies as having the worse opening week ever.