Did any of you catch Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure last weekend? Probably not. If you did though, then you are a member of a very exclusive club. The film made a startling achievement in its first three days in movie theatres; it had one of the lowest grossing opening weekends for any movie ever.
The trippy-looking kids movie made a total of $443,901 over the entire weekend. That doesn’t sound too bad at first, right? When you take into account that the movie was showing at over 2,000 locations though, you discover that the film only made $200 per theatre. Over a three day period.
Basically, that just means that the people who went to see this movie had a lot of seats to choose from.
Oogieloves … isn’t alone. There are pleanty of movies that have made a tiny amount of money at the box office, for a variety of reasons. Let’s run through some of them. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of many of them, neither have a lot of people. That’s why they are on the list.
The movie that is often thought of as the biggest box office bomb of all time is Cutthroat Island. The film, starring Geena Davis and Matthew Modine as pirates, was made on a budget of almost $100m in 1995. It’s total international gross was $18m. If you do some complicated subtraction, you discover that Cutthroat Island didn’t do very well. In fact, this film, along with Showgirls, is credited with the downfall of production company Carolco Pictures. If any good came out of the whole situation, it was discovering that pirates and strippers have something in common: nobody wants to see a shitty movie about them. Pirate strippers, on the other hand …
A more recent box office bomb comes from Robert Zemeckis’ movie studio. You know Robert Zemeckis, he made that horror movie, The Polar Express? Well, it’s technically not a horror film, but have you seen the animated kids in that movie? Fucking terrifying. And Tom Hanks’ train conductor will forever haunt my dreams.
Anyway, I digress. The film in question is Mars Needs Moms. The movie features a boy, Milo, who has to rescue his mother from Martians. His mother is taken because, during an argument, Milo said that he didn’t need a mother anymore. As an admitted mommy’s boy, this movie would probably cause a primal reaction in me that would make me cry for several days, and possibly trigger another nervous breakdown. It just sounds a bit depressing for a kids movie. Maybe that has something to do with it only earning $38m off its $150m budget.
This next one makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because, like most people, I feel that Katherine Heigl needs to be taken down a few notches. She is just insufferable. Being a successful actor doesn’t give you permission to be an asshole, Kathy!
Back in 2006, Heigl starred in a low-budget thriller called Zyzzyx Road with Tom Sizemore. The film holds the title of the lowest grossing movie of all time. It was released in one theatre for only a week, and managed to make $20. That’s right, twenty dollars. That roughly translates to four people. What an embarrassment. Bet you don’t feel so high and mighty now, do you Katherine?
The movie world often confuses me. Some movies have fairly okay premises (Mars Needs Moms), but for some reason don’t make any money. Others however, manage to be completely shit in every way (Michael Bay, I’m looking at you) and still make heaps of cash. It’s an injustice, and one that I will correct when I eventually control a vast media empire.