‘Munich’: Take two

O'seas bow gives thriller a second chance

Every thriller has plot twists, and the team behind Steven Spielberg‘s “Munich” are hopeful that the film will provide a few surprises of its own.

Before the pic opened in the U.S. last month, it was clouded in mystery. In an effort to let the movie speak for itself, the director was doing no interviews.

The film arrived with great expectations, and even before it hit the bigscreen, many critics were ready to save a place for it on their Top 10 lists.

Since then, the clouds parted and Spielberg talked to both Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Universal Pictures switched gears with its publicity campaign when it discovered that tracking was less than stellar.

As of last week, the film had a domestic cume of $33.8 million and finished in 11th place for the frame.

If it stays on track, “Munich” will be one of the director’s lowest-grossing pics in the past few decades, somewhere between 1997’s “Amistad” and 2004’s “The Terminal.”

But some people close to the film have hope for an upswing due to a few key factors.

On Jan. 26, the film rolls out in about three dozen international markets — and Spielberg is a big star overseas. His films always enjoy a strong foreign showing, and “Munich” is likely to be no exception with its international cast and global subject matter.

Unlike the U.S., there is a lot of advance press, as international op-ed pages are already weighing in on the weighty thriller.

There also is the little matter of the Oscar nominations. If the film does snag a best pic nom — announcements will be made Jan. 31 — domestic receipts are likely to go up. Universal is expected to step up its campaign if that happens.

Maybe it’ll be sunny skies for “Munich” after all.

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