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Wed 4 Apr 2007 03:06 PM

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'300' breaks UAE box office records

The film took top spot at theatres despite plenty of controversy over its historical accuracy.

The epic action film ‘300' scored number one at the box office in its opening week in the UAE, breaking records for the biggest opening weekend in the emirates this year.

The Warner Bros. Pictures film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller sold 129,000 tickets in its first 10 days, and is securing its place at the top in theatres for a second weekend.

The historical fantasy film is a fictional account of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where King Leonidas of Sparta and 300 Spartan soldiers fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes and his army of over a million soldiers.

‘300' also broke box office records in the U.S., where it grossed $28,106,731 (over AED103 million) on its opening day and ended its North American opening weekend with $70,885,301 (about AED260 million).

As of April 1, ‘300' was projected to make $308 million worldwide box office (including $180 million from the North America).

However, critics have been divided over the film's look and style, as well as over its depiction of the ancient world.

Various critics, experts, journalists, and officials of the Iranian government including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have denounced the film because of its savage depiction of their ancestors.

The film has especially attracted controversy in Iran over its portrayal of the ancient Persians. According to a
Time

report last month, Tehranis were "outraged" following the film's release, possibly because it coincided with the eve of Persian New Year, "a time when Iranians typically gather in proud celebration...It is not a particularly welcome season to be portrayed as pillaging, deranged savages," Azadeh Moaveni writes.

Iranians also see the Achaemenid Empire - whose kings wrote the world's earliest recorded human rights declaration, now displayed in the United Nations headquarters in New York - as "a particularly noble page in their history."

A Warner Bros. spokesman quoted in
Variety

last month said: "The film ‘300' is a work of fiction inspired by the Frank Miller graphic novel and loosely based on a historical event. The studio developed this film purely as a fictional work with the sole purpose of entertaining audiences; it is not meant to disparage an ethnicity or culture or make any sort of political statement."

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Vincent Mendes 13 years ago

The commercial success of this movie is, frankly, an affront to good taste. Peel away the political overtones and 300 is just an empty shell of technical wizardry, with butch WWF type alpha-males endorsing gut-bucket violence and xenophobia. Speaking of the political controversy, I read an interesting opinion piece from a Dubai based Iranian commentator: http://wearethemovies.com/ak/300-from-a-persian-perspective/

Mohammad Omran 13 years ago

A movie is something that entertains you, which is what 300 has brilliantly done. Its a fine example of how 'finesse' a movie can be! Its a wonderful piece of work!  Its just a movie for God sake ! "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denounced the film because of its savage depiction of ..."  WHAT ??!!??!   Please spend your time in office NOT commenting on MOVIES for GOD SAKE !!!! Do something useful !!!

sha1970 13 years ago

o omran , what if i make a film tomorrow depicting your anscestors as goat hearders & peral divers living in shanties made of rice sacks , will you accept it ????? if its a fictious film there is no need to point a finger the persians , it could have been any fictional name , maybe my first sentence hurted your feelings , so also to Mr President after all he is also human .

Renegade 13 years ago

Dont you think in this day and age that people are taking themselves and things in general a little too seriously? Learn to laugh at yourselves and try not to make such a big hue and cry at every supposed/alleged slight.  No one likes a cry baby!  300 is a brilliant film, with great graphics and a story that makes you care about the outcome and actors that make you care about them. Historical accuracy doesnt play a part so will everyone just chill out.   The English didnt go making a fuss when Braveheart was released, even though they were portrayed as ugly and evil while the Scots were all handsome/beautiful and speaking French!!  So yes... relax a little and enjoy life.... and the movie! :)

Moussa 13 years ago

Wallahi ya jama3a I agree with renegade and I think we should all shill out. whether our ancestors were pearl divers, goat herders or savages, we still carry their genes, and we still owe them our personal and social foundations. instead of being ashamed, be proud, and hail the rock you stepped on to become what you are today. I udertsand that my friends the iranians are upset because of what WB has done, but notice, people are paying money for it.  Mr. Ahmadinajad, why dont you sponsor a movie that depicts those who've insulted your ancestors? I'll pay money to see it, Iran will have a new source of income, and you'll prove the point in a more assertive way.  cool, no?