by WorldTribune Staff, April 7, 2019
While major media film critics mainly wrote it off as anti-abortion “propaganda,” other reporters have acknowledged the success of the pro-life film “Unplanned”.
Unplanned made $6.1 million in its first week, finishing fourth in the box office standings. As of April 6, the film remained No. 4 at the box office and had brought in more than $8.6 million.
Unplanned was produced on a budget of $6 million. Given its distribution footprint, the film’s performance looks even more impressive, the Hollywood Reporter noted:
“Generally, theaters in New York City and Los Angeles populate the list of a film’s top 20 grossing theaters. In this case, there were none. Instead, the top theater was the AMC Northpark 15 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, followed by cinemas in St. Louis; Detroit; Wichita, Kansas; Temecula in Southern California’s Riverside County; Salt Lake City; Orange County, California; Kansas City; Odessa, Texas; and Nashville.”
Writing for Forbes, Scott Mendelson noted that the opening weekend for Unplanned was nearly supernatural. “… A smaller-scale and overtly religious drama from a small studio opening as well as Unplanned did, with or without help from churches, almost qualifies as, well, a miracle.”
When it came to reviewing the film, however, Forbes’ Luke Thompson followed the MSM’s lead in trashing it.
“This movie was not made for me,” Thompson wrote. “I have utilized Planned Parenthood for emergency birth control in the past, and fully believe their portrayal here as a company whose employees mostly genuinely enjoy having lots of abortions happen is nasty propaganda.”
Variety noted that Unplanned “doubled expectations” in its opening weekend.
Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman parroted the “propaganda” angle of so many other MSM critics. “ ‘Unplanned’ isn’t a good movie, but it’s effective propaganda – or, at least, it is if you belong to the group it’s targeting: those who believe that abortion in America, though a legal right, is really a crime.”
Gleiberman objected to what he called the film’s portrayal of Planned Parenthood as “as profit-driven as Standard Oil.”
“Planned Parenthood is as imperfect as any bureaucracy, but the idea that the agonizing decision to have an abortion, for tens of thousands of women, is being secretly guided by the profit motive is a distorted and arguably paranoid view,” he wrote. “But it plays into the current flavor of right-wing rage, which co-opts the anti-establishment tropes of the ’60s, resulting in the kind of faux-rebel fever that allowed Donald Trump to ascend by running against big government and big business.”
Writing for The Washington Post, Marc Thiessen, a former speech writer for President George W. Bush, dismissed accusations that Unplanned is a propaganda film, pointing to its negative portrayals of some pro-lifers and sympathy for heroine Abby Johnson’s earlier compassion-based pro-abortion stance.
“But the movie also shows us what really takes place inside a Planned Parenthood clinic,” Thiessen wrote.
“The passcode to get into the clinic is “2-2-2-9” (a wicked joke; it spells ‘baby’),” he continued. “At one point, Cheryl invites Abby to chat with her in the ‘P.O.C.’ room. When a nurse asks if Abby knows what ‘P.O.C.’ stands for, she replies ‘products of conception.’ No, her colleague says, it means ‘pieces of children.’ Every aborted child must be reconstructed so that they can be sure no parts were left inside the womb.”
Some observers say the mostly negative reviews are indicative of the divide between the MSM and American society. The film review site Rotten Tomatoes seems to back up that assertion.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews of MSM critics were in a 50-50 “Fresh/Rotten” split, while 93 percent of voting audience members liked the film.
By April 6, the @UnplannedMovie Twitter account had 348,698 followers; that’s more than Planned Parenthood, which has slightly over 260,000 Twitter followers.