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The 25 Worst Opening Weekends of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | September 3, 2012 | Comments ()


If you have a movie opening on over 2,000 screens, and it doesn't make at least $5 million on opening weekend, it's likely as a result of being 1) a terrible movie, and/or 2) with a horrible marketing strategy and/or 3) it has a terrible title. Oogieloves In The BIG Balloon Adventure had a potent combination of all three, and the result was the worst box-office opening weekend of all time. The movie -- which follows some Teletubby-like blobs searching for balloons -- averaged around $206 per theater over the weekend, which translates to about 2 people per showing, an even bigger bomb once you consider that one of those two people -- the parent -- had no desire to be there. Most movies that open on over 2,000 theaters will at least grab a few people in each showing standing in the mall who buy a ticket based solely on the movie title. That wasn't the case here. Only one other movie -- Delgo -- comes even close to the disaster that is the Oogieloves.

Here's the 25 Worst Opening Weekends of All Time (2,000 screens or more).

1. Oogieloves In The BIG Balloon Adventure -- $445,000

2. Delgo -- $511,000

3. P2 -- $2.083 milion

4. Major League: Back to the Minors -- $2.087 million

5. The Real Cancun -- $2.10 million

6. Spider-Man / Men in Black II (Special Double Feature) -- $2.11 million

7. College -- $2.15 million

8. The Adventures of Pluto Nash -- $2.18 million

9. Bandslam -- $2.23 million

10. All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 -- $2.25 million

11. Deception -- $2.3 million

12. I Dreamed of Africa -- $2.41 million

13. Teacher's Pet -- $2.46 million

14. Grind -- $2.5 million

15. The Rocker -- $2.6 million

16. Lucky You -- $2.6 million

17. From Justin to Kelly -- $2.7 million

18. The Last Legion -- $2.74 million

19. Thunderbirds -- $2.77 million

20. Alone in the Dark -- $2.8 million

21. Most Wanted -- $2.83 million

22. Almost Heroes -- $2.83 million

23. What Planet Are You From? -- $3 million

24. Grandma's Boy -- $3.009 million

25. Lost and Found -- $3.02 million


I watch a lot of movies, and besides the Spider-Man/Men in Black II double feature, I think I've only seen four on that list. And oh yeah: Don't expect a review of Oogieloves In The BIG Balloon Adventure. We're cruel to our kids' critic Agent Bedhead, but we're not that cruel.

Elsewhere at the box office, it was a quiet Labor Day weekend, per usual. The Possession ended up claiming the top spot with a strong $21.3 million over the four-day frame. That's actually the second-highest opening weekend ever for a Labor Day movie, behind the Halloween remake's $30 million.

Lawless pulled up into second place with $13 million ($15 million since it opened on Wednesday), which is somewhat disappointed considering a cast that included Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Jessica Chastain, in addition to solid overall reviews.

In third and fourth place were August action film holdovers The Expendables 2 ($11 million, $68 million cumulative) and The Bourne Legacy ($9.3 million, $98 million), and in fifth place, Paranorman brought its overall total to $40 million.

It's also worth noting that The Dark Knight Rises surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide over the weekend, passing The Dark Knight and becoming just the 12th movie ever cross that financial threshold.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Hans

    Yeah. I work at a movie theatre and we had a game of counting how many people showed up to Oogieloves yesterday. It may have been a Wednesday but not a single person showed up to see that film at our theatre, the largest one (and notoriously best for children's films) in one of America's largest cities. I've seen 6 people in the theatre since it came out, and 3 of them came to watch the next film playing in the auditorium and just happened upon the end of the film. They were very confused. The other 3 people I've seen there left early (and included two parents who clearly did not want to be there).

    And I almost cried when I found out Cary Elwes and Christopher Lloyd were in that film.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    No Oogieloves review? Why do you think people come here, man?

  • no one

    I wonder how much of the problem with 'Lawless' is other movie goers like myself that won't see a movie starring Shia LaBeouf that doesn't have robots. It's not even that I think he is a bad actor. I just don't want to see him. I don't know, maybe I blame him too much for the mess that was the last Indiana Jones movie. I liked him just fine in 'Holes'.

  • Monty

    I unabashedly LOVE What Planet Are You From! Everyone should see it.

  • Basement Boy

    I unabashedly LIKE "What Planet", mainly cause I'm Shandling fan... but, yeah, was a little surprised to see it with these flicks...

  • I've got a friend in that Oogielove's abomination, and I'm still not going to see it.
    Though I am willing to admit, I did see Grandma's Boy in theatres. Twice.

  • hapl0

    Is there a reason for the Lawless header pic? *snickers*

  • Captain_Tuttle

    I assumed (or was hoping) that the Oogielove thing was some kind of joke.

  • AudioSuede

    Any word on Sleepwalk With Me's initial opening numbers? I saw it in the middle of the day on Saturday, and it had a healthy audience. I'm just wondering because 1) The way they marketed and distributed the movie based on audience demand is really interesting, and 2) It's really really really good.

  • It's a shame more people didn't see Bandslam. I thought it was actually pretty decent with a great soundtrack, and far superior to its High School Musical counterparts.

  • Maguita NYC

    I definitely agree!

    Didn't see it at the movies, but on TV, and was quite surprised at how well-made, and musical-history inclined it was! The kind of movie that you want today's teenagers to watch and learn about all punk evolution and musical revolution that was born in the 60s and 70s. And as you said, it was far superior to any HSM or any "kid-friendly" musical for that matter.

    Also, having Vanessa Hodg...(sorry can't remember her last name) in that movie did not bother me in the least!

  • I assumed that Oogieloves thing was based on some children's show, like The Wiggles or something, when the commercials began popping up on tv. But it wasn't, and they didn't do much of a marketing campaign, so no wonder it bombed so spectacularly. Why would you take your kids to that when you can still catch movies like "Brave" in some theaters?

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Lawless might just be the most violent movie I've seen this year. It should be a ridiculous statement to make, since the movie is about 25-30% violent, 60% scenic shots and 10-15% actual plot, but I don't think even HBO's "John Adams" had such lingering shots on someone getting tarred and feathered.

  • snapnhiss

    I was curious about The Last Legion, saw the really good cast and grew interested, read the plot synopsis and nearly fell asleep. What a mess.

  • PDamian

    P2 was not too bad -- not exactly deathless cinema, but a somewhat competently directed and acted thriller. Barely mediocre, but not nearly as bad as some movies that have recently opened with bigger grosses (The Apparition springs to mind). I saw it on DVD, and was bemused by the number of featurettes and extras. What for?

    I've heard of all of these but one: What Planet Are You From? I had to Google the thing. It sounds awful.

  • Skyler Durden

    I don't remember The Rocker being that bad...then again, I didn't see it in the theater, so I guess that makes me part of the problem.

  • Green Lantern

    I'm not embarrassed enough to say that I liked "The Rocker".

    And "Grandma's Boy", for that matter.

  • zac

    Grandma's Boy is amazing, it just wasn't really advertised well. It gathered a cult following a few years after release.

  • Hahahha "I dreamed of Africa". I think we started to watch that with my mom, and even SHE was bored half to death not 45 minutes in. Kim Bassinger trying to be Merryl Streep. Gag.

  • Ley

    I Googled that Oogieloves movie and it turns out it "stars" Cary Elwes and Christopher Lloyd as "Bobby Wobbly" and "Lero Sombrero", respectively.

    This really upsets me.

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