Angelina Jolie's 'Salt': Will real-life Russian spy story help its box-office fortunes?

Sometimes, bad real-world news can be a film’s best friend. In 1979, 12 days after The China Syndrome was released in theaters, the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island narrowly averted disaster. In 1987, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street came out less than a month after Black Monday, the largest one-day percentage drop in stock-market history. Both cautionary tales - which coincidentally starred Michael Douglas–benefited in buzz and box-office as a result of their newfound relevance. So it will be interesting to see how the current news cycle about the FBI arrest of 10 people who they believe to be Russian sleeper agents - and today’s swap of said prisoners on a Vienna airport tarmac for four men accused of espionage by Russia - will impact Sony’s release of Salt.

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