Harrison Ford (left) and Asa Butterfield in a scene from “Ender’s Game.”Photo:
LOS ANGELES — Despite calls for a nationwide boycott due to the anti-gay views of the author on whose novel the film was based, “Ender’s Game” scored the No. 1 slot at the weekend box office, earning $28 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Ender’s Game,” starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford as intergalactic soldiers, is based on the 1985 best-selling novel by Orson Scott Card.
The Lionsgate adaptation earned an additional $2 million in five international territories, and met the studio’s pre-weekend expectations.
The New York-based group “Geeks OUT” has been the catalyst behind the “Skip Ender’s Game” campaign launched back in July, asking moviegoers to boycott the film in response to Card’s anti-gay activism.
Card, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, having served on the board of the National Organization For Marriage (NOM) in 2009, has publicly declared his disapproval of homosexuality, calling it a “deviant behavior” and saying “gay rights is a collective delusion.”
In his anti-gay activism, Card has called for laws that criminalize gay sex to “remain on the books… to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society”.
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Geeks OUT said that by pledging to “Skip Ender’s Game,” the LGBT community could “send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.”
The group notes that as a Producer on the film, Card stands to profit from ticket sales and royalties on promotional items and DVDs.
While the film did meet opening weekend expectations, ticket sales didn’t come close to the opening weekends of other young-adult adaptations such as “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.”