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Controversy Surrounding January’s Top Grossing Movies

Julianna Simon

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January 2017 was a huge month for movies. With Split at number one and A Dog’s purpose at number two for top grossing films this month, much attention has been lured toward these movies but, with attention always comes criticism. The movies incorporate some controversial topics and much discussion is occurring due to the events during the production of the films and the themes within the plot.

A Dog’s Purpose

Controversy arose when footage was leaked of a trainer supposedly forcing a German Shepard into roaring waters. The video caused a major uproar for all animal lovers and people world wide. The dog ends up in the water and struggles to stay above currents. The public responded to the release of this video by saying that everyone should boycott the movie. However, when actor and main character of the movie, Dennis Quaid responded to the leaked footage, he denied all accusations of abuse on set. “I was there. I never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked. That video that someone took and sold for money and held on to for a year and a half until right before the film’s coming out, does not tell the whole story. First of all, it’s been edited and manipulated. And I think it’s a scam, to tell you the truth.” His point was, the video does not show a continuous loop and has obviously been edited and cut. The video does not show the whole story either. The pool on set had scuba divers under the water to ensure that the dog was safe and there were plenty of trainers in the pool to ensure safety as well. He tells the public that the dog happily jumped into the pool many, many times that day and “was acting like a dog who was kind of tired of taking a bath and was ready to get out.” Despite the release of the leaked video and the uproar on social media, the movie ended up reaching number two in the box office.

Split: 

For much of its runtime, Split fits perfectly into the thriller genre, telling the story of a kidnapping that takes an even darker turn. When three teenage girls are suddenly kidnapped, the soon realize that they are not dealing with what they thought they were. Instead of just dealing with one criminal, they realize they are dealing with 23. Kevin, the main character, struggles with dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder). After the release of the trailer, people responded with their concerns over the depiction of this disorder. The film places mental illness at the forefront of its plot, and not in an enlightened way. Some are concerned that the movie places a dangerous viewpoint on dissociative identify disorder and treats it as a negative thing . Despite the concerns, Split remains on top for highest grossing movie this movie this month and continues to have mostly positive reviews.

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Controversy Surrounding January’s Top Grossing Movies