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Education reformers embrace Hollywood portrayal to inspire activism, reach Main Street parents

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FILE - This Sept. 23, 2012 file photo released by Starpix shows actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, left, and Viola Davis at the premiere of their film "Won't Back Down," in New York. The movie was a box-office dud, but its creators have more than ticket sales in mind. They hope the classroom drama about two single moms in Pittsburgh trying to save their kids' failing inner-city school also sparks a wave of activism while igniting widespread legal changes giving parents more control over how their children learn. (AP Photo/Starpix, Dave Allocca, File) (The Associated Press)

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.

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