web
counter


This Weekend, A Film You've Never Heard of Involving Incest and Monster Rape Had One of the Worst Openings of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | September 11, 2011 | Comments ()


img_455_creature-2011-new-hd-movie-trailer.jpg

On Friday night, after having watched both Contagion and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (one of the the most depressing, humorless double-header matinees I've ever experienced), I hung around and saw a movie called Creature. It was a strange, low-budget slasher flick that morphed into a skin flick (every woman in the film appeared topless) that morphed into a monster movie. There was incest and monster rape, and it starred someone I recognized as the dead rape victim in the back of a trunk in Red White and Blue, one of the women from the show "Breakout Kings," and Mehcad Brooks from "Necessary Roughness." The "Creature" itself -- an alligator-man, the product of a grieving backwoods hick eating the gator that ate his bride, who was also his sister -- was seen only in dark shadows because it had been created with a budget of what looked like less than $100. The film, despite the details above, was mostly dull, contained almost no scares, and didn't even have the budget for proper gore. It was a humorless R-Rated SyFy knock-off that isn't worth reviewing other than to say: Don't bother. Honestly.

What is notable about Creature is this: It opened on over 1,500 screens. For comparison's sake, that's more screens than Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star and nearly as many as Warrior (1,867). It's not a super wide opening, but if you have a two-movie theater town, there's a great chance that Creature played in one of them. And despite it's wide opening, how many of you have heard of Creature? How many saw a trailer or a billboard or even a movie poster? I cover movies for a living, and it wasn't until Thursday -- when it appeared on my local movie listings -- that I'd ever heard of Creature. No name actors, no marketing, and a director -- Fred Andrews -- who I understand has a small cult following, a very small one, as he's got less than 600 Twitter followers and is only vaguely familiar as the director of the Direct-to-DVD sequel, The Crow: Wicked Prayer.

Indeed, the movie wasn't even listed on BoxOfficeMojo until Thursday, and yet it opened on over 1500 screens. I've searched the Internet for an explanation, but have come up empty. How does a movie with no stars and no marketing and no release date until last week get released on 1500 screens? I am honestly baffled by this. Creature was distributed by The Bubble Factor, and this is the first film it's ever distributed. And 1500 theaters allowed it to take up screen space on a weekend when three other movies were released. Did the exhibitors not watch Creature before it approved the movie? Was there something political going on? Bribery? An exchange of sexual favors? Why is no one questioning this? What the hell is going on?

And in case you were wondering, the box-office results were about what you might have expected for a movie with no marketing. On Friday morning, in fact, I predicted that Creature would take the record for lowest per screen average of all time for a film opening on more than 1500 theaters. I was right about that: It averaged $220 per location. That means, less than 6 people at each location saw Creature. Of films that have opened on at least 600 theaters, Creature holds the number two spot for worst per screen average, behind only the right-wing propaganda flick, Proud American.

The reason I'm so frustrated with the release is that, each week, a half a dozen more other independent films are released, typically on anywhere between 2 and 10 screens. Some of them are even great films, like Attack the Block, which peaked at 66 screens or The Guard, which peaked at 203 screens, and yet they have to earn their way to wider releases.

Honestly, that's the way it should be: A film should have to earn more screens. Given the limited number of screens in the United States, shouldn't they go to the best films and not the ones that persuade exhibitors -- through money or politics -- to screen their films? Films like Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star shouldn't be allowed to open on 1500 screens. Exhibitors should've known that film would fail the second it saw the trailer. Shouldn't there be a means test before a film opens wide? A determination of either its quality or its box-office prospects? It would've been great if Higher Ground or Senna or Love Crime were available in my city, instead of two theaters showing Apollo 18 or Shark Night 3D or Bucky Larson.

It's bad business is what it is. But maybe that's why this weekend was the worst box-office weekend of the year. In fact, it's been a helluva bad year for box-office bombs. Remember a few weeks ago, when I ran the list for The 25 Worst Openings of All Time for films opening in over 3,000 theaters? Two movies released that weekend qualfied: Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian. If we lower that bar to the Worst Wide Openings of All Time for films opening on over 600 screens we get an entirely different list, and Creature -- which also holds the worst per-screen average of all time -- comes in as the 5th Worst Opening of All Time.

Incest and monster rape just don't sell tickets like they used to.

Having just watched the trailer, I think I understand now why it didn't make the rounds.




Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Because every time you do an angel does the Paul Rudd dance

Around the Web


5 Shows After Dark: 9/11/11 | Congratulations, Bucky Larson: You've Just Entered the IMDb Bottom 100





Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


blog comments powered by Disqus





Follow Us





Viral Hits
Celebrity Facts

The Best TV & Movie Quotes

The Walking Dead

How I Met Your Mother

True Detective

Parks and Recreation

Cosmos

Hannibal

30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Children

25 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Twins