Michael Bay's first foray into historical cinema since 2001's "Pearl Harbor" didn't bomb quite as badly, but "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" only earned $19 million over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, and unlike his "Transformers" movies, it's not likely to find a robust overseas market to make back the $31 million it will require to break even.
But don't call the film a historical fraud or financial failure on Fox News, which spared no time-slot in its attempt to convince its audience to support the film on Monday. In the afternoon, Juan Williams was attacked on "The Five" for daring to note that a CIA spokesperson declared the film's depiction of the stand-down order to be a gross "distortion."
"That's just not true," co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle shot back. "You're making things up!" Even acknowledging that the movie appealed to "the 16-year-old boy in you [who] wants to see somebody get bombed" wasn't enough to appease his co-hosts, including Dana Perino, who said that the film's true appeal is to those who are "mad at the incompetence of the government."
Monday evening, "The Kelly File" devoted three segments directly to the film -- one in which the "real-life heroes" tell all, one in which they "open up" about the film, and one in which they explain why it's not about politics -- and a final segment in which Megyn Kelly spoke to Howie Kurtz and Chris Stirewalt about how the film is all about politics.
"You sit there, white-knuckled, and a tear comes to your, unless you're not human," Kelly began this particular segment.
Stirewalt claimed the film's power isn't in that it reveals anything new or truthful about what happened in Benghazi, but that it corroborates the conservative narrative about it. He predicted the film would have a wide audience -- which, of course, it already proved not to have by the time this conversation took place -- and provide Republicans with an excuse to bring up the subject on the campaign trail.
Kurtz agreed, saying that Bay's staging of the events -- with his familiar explosions and gratuitous use of cuts and pans and anything else that distracts audience from his inability to tell a straight story -- will make the Benghazi attack come to life in a human way that traditional journalism, with its lack of explosions, cannot.
Watch Kurtz and Stirewalt's conversation with Kelly below via Fox News.