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Ten 2013 Theatrical Releases with Recognizable Stars That Made Less than $10,000 at the Box Office

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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It was a lively box-office weekend, with the Evil Dead remake coming in at number one with $26 million, good for the 10th best opening all time among horror movie remakes. Interestingly, Evil Dead's opening weekend actually made more at the box office than the original The Evil Dead, The Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness combined. Will there be a sequel? Almost certainly. There's also talk of Sam Raimi continuing his series, which could mean The Evil Dead 4 could feasibly come out in the same year as Evil Dead 2.

Because everything old is new again, the re-release of 1993's Jurassic Park came in fourth place with $18.2 million, which was more than the Titanic re-issue ($15 million) but less than the re-issue Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace ($22 million).

G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods arrived in second and third place, respectively, with $21 million a piece. The Croods is now the third highest grossing film of 2013, poised to pass Identity Thief next week (but not likely to surpass the year's top film so far, Oz: the Great and Powerful). Olympus Has Fallen came in at number 5. With $71 million so far, it should break $90 million, which isn't bad for a movie that looks that generic.

Meanwhile, in limited release, both Ryan Gosling's The Place Beyond the Pines and Danny Boyle's Trance performed very well and should be expanding soon.

There wasn't much of interest in the top ten to expand into a list, so this week, I looked at the year's worst performers and extracted the worst ten with recognizable stars. A couple of weeks ago, we all had a good laugh at Lindsay Lohan's box-office bomb, InAPPropriate Comedy, which made only $225,000 in 7 days before being removed from theaters. But that's nothing compared to these ten films, all of which made less than what Lindsay Lohan spends on a day's worth of blow.

10. Mental with Toni Collete, Liev Schreiber, and Anthony LaPaglia ($9804)

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9. The End of Love with Michael Cera, Shannyn Sossamon, Amanda Seyfried, and Aubrey Plaza.

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8. A Dark Truth with Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria ($5750)

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7. Inescapable with Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson ($4327)

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6. The Kitchen with Laura Prepon, Dreama Walker, and Bryan Greenburg ($4054)

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5. Welcome to the Punch with James McAvoy, Mark Strong ($3410)

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4. Rubberneck and Red Flag, both with "Girls" Alex Karpovsky ($2075, $2075)

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3. Knife Fight with Rob Lowe, Julie Bowen, and Carrie Anne Moss ($2019)

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2. The Package with "Stone Cold"" Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren ($1469)

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1. Officer Down with Stephen Dorff, James Woods, and David Boreanaz ($1,463)

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Bonus -- The lowest grossing movie of the year was Storage 24 (with Noel Clarke, recognizable only to fans of "Doctor Who"), which made a whopping $72.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Chris

    BUT how many theaters did these "open" in? In other words, how limited was their release? AND what was their budget? $10,000 might be a good tally if the film only played in one theater for a weekend. For instance, I heard about "The End of Love", an emotionally raw and touching indie film if ever there was one, during production and when it was "released" I wanted badly to see it in theaters, BUT it only played at ONE theater in Los Angeles at inconvenient times for me. I wound up renting it on iTunes a few weeks later where it has enjoyed much more success based it's largely positive reviews. And yes, Michael Cera and a decent sized cast of young Hollywood were in it, but more as a favor to the filmmaker who was playing a character who was once a peer before having a child and losing his wife . . . their scenes largely taking place at a house-party that made up a microscopic percentage of the film, so you could hardly call it a "star-driven" flop.

    Look, I'm sure some of these flopped a little harder than the studio's releasing them had hoped, but most of what's on this list look like your indie, art house, or otherwise straight-to-video fare. The studios might give them a short theatrical run solely to make a little extra scratch OR to qualify them for nominations, without that information, this article is pretty uninformed. I realize it's fun to poke fun at other's expense, but some of these should be hailed for their content and not trashed over one persons assumptions and uninformed categorizations.

  • twophrasebark

    This isn't quite the list it seems.

    If you see a film like this with a major star and a box office less than $10,000 the studio simply put it on a screen or two for a weekend so it can say it was a "theatrical release."

    It wasn't as if they intended to roll it out and then realized "Oh this a piece of crap!" They knew these were bombs and just wanted to improve their marketing in ancilliary markets.

  • Simon

    Mental made $4 million in Australia. Not sure where it is now but in its first week Welcome to the Punch was in third at the UK box office with £460,000. I'm not sure if it's being considered a disappointment there but it made some money.

  • John W

    WTF? Did they charge people to see the trailer of Storage 24?

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, so...

    All of these only ran on a screen each for no more than seven days, right? With lots of comp tickets to fill the theaters to about a third?

    Those are some seriously weak-ass numbers for people to have been using these films as investment machines. Unless, of course, they're tax write-offs.

  • Guy

    Of course Evil Dead made more than the other 3 combined. The price of a ticke these days is way higher than it was. I hate those comparisons. We shouldn't look at box office numbers... How about we look at how many physical tickets were sold?

  • AudioSuede

    Aw, I thought the trailer for Storage 24 looked so promising.

    Also, in number 3, is that....TOBY?!

  • Arrggh, there have been posters for Welcome to the Punch all over the London Underground ever since I moved here in January.

  • Mr List

    In fairness here, the most likely scenario for most or probably all of these movies is that they were really going to be direct to DVD/Blu-Ray or VOD but somewhere along the line there was a contractual need for there to be a theatrical release. To meet the contractual obligation it probably played for a week or weekend in one theater with zero marketing to allow anyone to even know about it.

    So, really, all the business they generated was from people that wanted to watch a movie the the theaters but had no preference about what they wanted to see and the poster somehow captivated them enough to see one of these movies.

  • Slash

    Now here's testament to the power of advertising, or the results of lack of advertising. I haven't heard of a single one of these. Nor do I remember seeing ads for them. Not even trailers. And I live in the Dallas area.

  • sean

    Most of these were online long before someone actually put them in some theater somewhere in the middle of nowhere. That certainly didn't help the 4 or 5 people that wanted to actually see these. Also, I actually liked Mental.

  • Erica O.

    So what you're saying is I'll find these on a drunken stroll through my Netflix queue in the near future? Because I'll watch all sorts of dreck from the privacy of my living room.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And yet somehow I would have expected less from "the creator of Kidulthood".

    I'm tired, could someone else please take care of the Dolph Lundgren/Package joke?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Where's my downvote? Hey! Person who downvotes everything I post, you're slacking. And you call yourself a disgruntled-online-equivalent- for-a- derisive-snort-er? Put your back into it. If not, "you embarrass me. You embarrass yourself." That's right! I'm quoting Crash at you. What are you going to do about it, huh?

  • the dude

    whatever happened to poor carrie ann moss. She's still hot so that's not the problem...

  • Captain D

    Good one, Pajiba, but April Fools was last Monday. No one will believe those are real movies!

  • toblerone

    The posters above should be used as examples for how not to market a movie.

    All are S#$@.

  • Drosophila

    Agreed. How the hell would anyone know from looking at the Storage 24 poster that it's a monster movie in the vein of Alien? It's terrible.

  • Ben

    How does a movie only make $72? Fast food employees make more than that in a day.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Some of these stretch the definition of "stars." (Alex Karpovsky?)

    Coincidentally, 80% of these are movies I never even saw advertised. And I do live in a limited-release city.

  • bleujayone

    In most of these movies cases, the problem is rooted in not having a proper tagline. As a public service, we hope to rectify that by offering better taglines in an attempt to hook a few more paying customers....

    Mental- "You'd Have To Be To Trust Her With Your Kids..."
    The End of Love- "Child Method Acting Made Simple"
    Inescapable- "You Shouldn't Have TAKEN His Daughter"
    The Kitchen- "That Sandwich Won't Make Itself, Sweetheart!"
    Welcome To The Punch- "A Pair of Polite Pugilists"
    Knife Fight- "Bring A Gun"
    The Package- "I Said Stop Lookin' at Mine!"
    Officer Down- "Sometimes It Takes A Special Cop"
    Storage 24- "The Real Reason Dave Hester Left..."

  • hasshole

    HA! I've seen Storage 24! It was part of HD NET Movies Sneek Peeks a few months back. Shame they stopped doing the sneak peek since then. It was the only way some of the films were seen. It was an awfule movie by any means. It was a well done genre flick in a bottle setting.

  • Kballs

    Star Wars Episode 1 made $22 million in RE-RELEASE???? The only way I believe this is if enraged fans wanted one more chance to boo the movie for 3 more hours amongst hundreds of kindred spirits.

  • SpongebobSquarepeg

    YEAH! Stoopid other people liking stuff I don't! Boo!

  • Van1968

    Most of these are available as video-on-demand rentals now; and not living in NY or LA, I assumed they didn't get theatrical releases at all. Ironically, most VOD fees are considerably less than the price of a movie ticket (especially if more than one person is going to watch the film), which would suggest a very different revenue model than the traditional multiplex-release strategy. How do the distributors get their money back?

  • Heeee, Welcome to the Punch came out already? I remember seeing a trailer for it...somewhere about a year ago and it didn't look too awful...and then I never heard from it again. It all makes sense now. How sad.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I have heard of only one of these. And I think the only reason I've heard of THE END OF LOVE is that it was reviewed here.

  • denesteak

    I recognize that the recognizable misspelling in the headline is making my eyes recognizably twitch.

    /copy-editor

  • Maguita NYC

    Recognzable is the art of subtle reckoning moments after recognition within the Matrix.

  • I read that Mental was actually pretty good. I love Toni Collette so I was planning to watch it when it comes to Netflix.

  • Maguita NYC

    7. Inescapable with Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson ($4327)

    Correction: "7. Inescapable with ALEXANDER SIDDIG, ALEXANDER SIDDIG!!! ($4327)"

    Ever since Cairo Time, I've been in shy and (im)proper lust with that man.

  • Van1968

    I watched Inescapable at Toronto last fall, solely on the strength of Cairo Time, but it's kind of terrible -- a poor man's Taken that forgets to be exciting.

  • Maguita NYC

    I keep reading this in every review, but would still watch it for Siddig in motion. That long elegant frame of his is hypnotizing.

  • linnyloo

    Word. He had my nerdy heart in his hands starting with the first episode of DS9.

  • cicatricella

    did you know that he's Nina Visitor's babydaddy?

  • 724wd

    What's even worse is I know her name is Nana, not Nina...

  • cicatricella

    oh shit, yeah. My face is red right now. Sorry!

  • BWeaves

    Yes. I'm embarrassed that I know that.

  • ploppysonofploppy

    I really enjoyed Welcome to the Punch.

  • That poster jumped out at me, although I've never heard of it. Did it just not open wide?

  • ExUSA

    It's a UK movie. Don't think it made it over to the US, but it was a decent flick.

  • Maguita NYC

    "G.I. Joe: Reliation and..."

    @Dustin, What is reliation?? And does it have anything to do with Charming Potato's nipples?

  • Afferbeck

    Wow, most of those movies would have cost more in electricity to display than they actually made.

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