Blood Is a Dud, but Trade Gets Flayed

Blood Diamond had a lot more action on screen than at the box office, but its premiere led to an avalanche of often unfavorable media coverage about conflict diamonds. The NGO-endorsed action-adventure film premiered at a disappointing No. 5 its first week and slipped to No. 7 its second. At press time, four weeks after its premiere, it had earned just over $40 million—below expectations for a film with a $100 million production budget and an estimated $30 million advertising and promotional cost. Promotional events included cast appearances on The Tonight Show and Oprah (see sidebar). But the movie received mixed reviews from critics, with most singling out the performances of Leonardo DiCaprio—who received a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination for the film—and second-billed Djimon Hounsou. Audience reaction seemed a little more positive, and it seemed to maintain a good percen
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