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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s behind the title change for ‘Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang’ for North American audiences?

This past Easter, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang opened big in U.K. cinemas. Not just really, really wide — on more than 500 screens, which is as big as a movie release gets in the U.K. — but also earning a hearty £2.59 million. The film is still clinging to a few screens in the U.K., even though it’s now available on Region 2 DVD, and has earned a tidy £16.5 million over its theatrical run.

Now, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is set to open in the U.S. and Canada… though its title has mysterious changed to the considerably less charming Nanny McPhee Returns:

Universal tells me that it’s merely a matter of the new title being considered better for a domestic audience. But that doesn’t ring true to me. Nanny McPhee Returns is pretty blah. What could be wrong with Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang?

What’s behind the title change for Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang for North American audiences?

The only thing I can think of — and it sounds ridiculous, but these days, ridiculous has replaced rationality for an awful lot of people — is that “the Big Bang” has connotations of, you know, sciencey stuff that contradicts the Bible. Did Universal anticipate Christian fundamentalist outrage over a film that would indoctrinate kids into believing that the universe is more than 6,000 years old (even though Nanny McPhee 2 goes nowhere near any such subject matter)?

What do you think?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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