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Cynthia Tornquist reports

Windows Media: 28k or 56k
Real: 28k or 56k

Video stores scramble to meet 'Wag the Dog' demand

Web posted on: Monday, August 24, 1998 5:27:32 PM

NEW YORK (CNN) -- From Blockbuster Video to mom-and-pop shops, video stores are scrambling to meet the skyrocketing demand for the 1997 film "Wag the Dog."

When the movie was released eight months ago, it grossed $43 million at the box office. Today, it is among the top 10 video rentals, pulling in revenues of more than $20 million so far.

Why the sudden trouble keeping copies of the political film on the rental shelf? Viewers started checking out the movie en masse last week, just after President Clinton announced that the United States had fired cruise missiles on suspected terrorist targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. The strike came three days after Clinton testified before a grand jury about his sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Many have found the plot of the movie eerily similar to current events. In it, campaign officials for the U.S. president fake a war to divert attention from a sex scandal in the Oval Office. Robert DeNiro plays a spin doctor who hires Dustin Hoffman (as a Hollywood producer) to oversee the charade.

Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist reports on the relationship between a movie and real-life events.

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