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School choice goes Hollywood to reach Main Street

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February 16, 2013 12:42 PM EST | AP


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Maggie Gyllenhaal movie "Won't Back Down" was a box office failure, earning $5.3 million and disappearing from theaters soon after its fall 2012 release.

But the film's creators and admirers have more than ticket sales in mind. They hope the classroom drama about two single moms trying to save their kids' failing inner-city school also sparks activism and ignites widespread legal changes to give parents more control over how their children learn.

The movie is the centerpiece of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce tour of major cities and state capitals, including Indianapolis, Phoenix and San Diego. The tour is entitled "Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity."

The film is produced by Walden Media, the studio that also made "Waiting for Superman," a 2010 documentary education reformers hoped would spark change.