The United States of ‘Borat’

Haven’t yet seen ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’?

Well, you’re the only one, it seems. The painfully funny road movie starring America’s favorite sexist anti-Semite has parked itself at number one in movie grosses for two weeks now, and places like Santa Cruz are what’s bringing home the bacon for Borat.

I talked to a local moviehouse manager who’s playing “Borat” and he was floored by the popularity of this film. “‘Borat’ is like ‘Star Wars,'” he said. “It’s sell-out show after sell-out show after sell-out show.”

This, after 20th Century Fox scaled back the film’s original release. Whether Fox was a bit apprehensive about Borat’s appeal and was frightened of backlash (idiots!) or executing a shrewd marketing campaign leaving viewers in a frenzy to see the movie when it opened wider (geniuses!) is up for question.

In college towns like Santa Cruz, “Borat” is a phenomenon. The second weekend of “Borat” was, according to my friend at the local moviehouse, “was busier than the Thanksgiving weekend last year, and that was our busiest time of the year.”



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