After a controversial leaked video, will there be a box-office backlash over A Dog's Purpose?
The Dennis Quaid film, based on a book of the same name, is now the target of protests on its opening day Friday — after a clip of a disturbing clip of a seemingly terrified German shepherd named Hercules during the filming of a scene appeared on TMZ.
The protests, organized by PETA, kicked off Friday around the country as the flick hits theaters. Demonstrations were taking place in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Winnipeg, Canada, where the film was shot.
"No amount of spin from Hollywood will change the fact that being forced to do a terrifying stunt is not a dog’s purpose,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange told Variety. “PETA is calling on kind people to boycott this film and send the message that animals should be treated humanely, not exploited as movie props."
Before the video surfaced, it was estimated that the movie would make $25 million on its opening weekend.
The movie is produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. In a statement the company said there were several days of rehearsal to make sure the dog, named Hercules, was comfortable.
"On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt so the ambling production team did not proceed with filming that shot." They added: "Hercules is happy and healthy."