The Oscar-nominated American Sniper absolutely demolished box office records last weekend, earning $105.3 million dollars over the holiday weekend. That’s a record for January, a record for director Clint Eastwood, a record for R-rated movies and even a record for the entire drama genre. So how the hell did that happen? Does the success of American Sniper have something to say about American audiences, or is it benefiting from a recent, and very questionable cultural zeitgeist? And success be damned, is the movie any good? Is it propaganda, and if so, is it well made propaganda?
And with this much money being made in January, will Hollywood respond by opening more big movies at the beginning of the year, quashing the traditional concept of the summer blockbuster season forever?
Also, two of the biggest TV shows of the turn of the century may be on their way back to FOX. After 15 years, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appear to be in talks to reprise their roles as paranormal investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in “The X-Files,” under the supervision of series creator Chris Carter (schedules permitting). But has the world changed too much the show’s specific brand of paranoia to still seem relevant? Will the series have to change its paranoid storylines to fit contemporary social anxieties? And will the legacy of the original series’ storylines taint the producers’ ability to bring something new to the series? Why not reboot it instead and leave the first run of the show intact?
And “24” might also return to the airwaves, without Kiefer Sutherland in the role of Jack Bauer. Does “24” work without Jack? Is the question whether story even exists without the classic protagonist, or whether the time has come to move on entirely? What other environments and characters would work in a fast-paced real-time action series?
The answers await you on this week’s Most Craved, which you can watch in the player above. We’ve also launched the official Most Craved Twitter feed and we’d love it if you’d give us a follow!