On November 9th, 2005, 50 cent’s highly anticipated and heavily endorsed semi-autobiographical film made its debut in theaters across the nation.
The film has been creating a buzz for the last two months, especially with all of the controversy surrounding it. Before marketing for the film was even set in motion, there were a few setbacks promotion wise in response to the film’s depiction of violent themes. Many community activists in Los Angeles and Philadelphia successfully petitioned the removal of billboards that advertised the movie from gang ridden areas.
Because of the film’s violent nature and countless explicit scenes, there were plenty of precautions taken to make sure the film’s debut went smooth. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, one of the main reasons why Paramount studios decided to have the film open on a Wednesday, was because some theater owners were extremely worried about having over crowded and violent Friday night openings.
The studio also agreed to pick up the tab for any additional security that may have been needed at some theaters. Despite Paramount’s efforts, “Get Rich or Die Tryin” was pulled from a theater in Philadelphia, where a man was fatally shot, even though officials said they do not know whether the film was a factor in the slaying.
With all of the big publicity and controversy that has surrounded the film, one would probably be expecting big bucks as a result. However that is not the case; according to Box Office MOJO, so far the movie has only raked in 3.6 million and has been met with mostly negative reviews. Not only has the movie been a bore among the critics, but nearly invisible among FAMU students; most whom have not even seen the movie and written it off as the new “8 mile East”.
George Donald, an 18 year old native of Chicago seemed very unenthusiastic about the film.
“Besides the fact that I’m a broke college student, I’m not really a big 50 cent fan,” said the freshman Criminal Justice major.
Kellye Sims, a first year Environmental Science major, has no plans of seeing “Get Rich or Die Tryin” at all in the near future. “I am so sick of seeing ads for that movie. He’s not original, what he’s doing has been done, and no one cares that much about his life anyway,” said the 18 year old native of Gaithersburg, Md.
Christina Wilkerson, a freshman from Miami, Florida is in no rush to see this film anytime soon. “I might see it when it comes out on video, but I don’t care that much to hear his life story, he’s just not that important,” said the 19 year old Political Science major.
For some, the hype was just enough to dodge the spreading of lack of desire and curiosity for the movie, which persuaded some into actually going to see the film or making plans to go see it.
Sierra Campbell, a 19 year old native of Hollywood, Fla., is excited about seeing the film.
“Although I haven’t heard much about the movie, judging by the previews it looks like it will be a pretty good one. I guess I’ve given in to the hype, but I can’t wait to see it,” said the third year Pharmacy major.
Anthony Bivins, a freshman theatre major, saw the movie and was quite impressed. “Although the movie glamorized drugs and thug life, there was a good message in the end and it was an okay movie,” said the native of Jacksonville.
Anthony admits that the only reason he wanted to see the movie, was to check out 50 cent’s acting skills, which turned out to be okay in the midst of a good storyline and ending moral.
Perhaps the series of recurring promos, appearances, computer pop ups and commercials that have flooded nearly every channel of media available for the last two months, have contributed to the overwhelming lack of interest in the film. With 50’s soundtrack for the movie dropping the day before, his video game “Bulletproof” being released on Nov. 22nd, and the endless promotion that goes into G-unit, it is probably easy to empathize with those who grow weary of him and his quest for domination over hip-hop.
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