Bomb City: The Legend of 2012


2012 is long gone now, and despite it being an amazing year for cinema, there were some duds and some thuds. SO get out your suds and wash off the stink of these 2012 box office disasters!

Where would we be if the world didn’t have The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure? Probably with plenty of lunar colonies. Even though Oogieloves came out in August, it retroactively set mankind back decades. The brainchild of a marketing genius who decided to give the world a movie where 1 year olds could interact with the screen while their parents paid attention to their iPhones, the concept failed to catch on as any child older than 3 instantly got bored, and all children younger got bored after 30 minutes or so. It flopped hard, making just $445,000 in its opening weekend. Oogieloves beat out Delgo as the record setting worst box office performance for a film opening in over 2000 theaters. Oogieloves finished with just over $1 million gross, costing $20 million and spending $40 on marketing.

2012 saw the unfortunate trend of more right wing documentary propaganda at the theater, with 2016: Obama’s America tearing up the box office and a plethora of bandwagon documentaries and awful 1/3rd novel adaptations following in the footsteps: Occupy Unmasked, Atlas Shrugged Part 2, Hating Breitbart, and Runaway Slave. We detailed this mess with it’s own post filled with all the horrible details

Reprehensible garbage Won’t Back Down was pure anti-teacher union propaganda from Walden Media and Philip Anschutz, and thankfully crashed and burned. It had the worst opening for a film released at 2,500+ theaters with $2.6 million, and barely made double that by the end of its run.

Nickelodeon’s odd tween flick Fun Size became a trick and not a treat when it crashed at the box office, the third worst opening for a film with 3000+ theaters in history. The $4.1 million is still shockingly high for a film that couldn’t deicde if it was a kids movie or an adults movie.

Chasing Mavericks is another 2012 flick with a terrible opening. I knew it would bomb from the increasingly desperate invites to free screenings I was getting. It finished 11th worst for 2000+ theaters, with $2.6 million. Gerald Butler almost died making this film. Just think about what his legacy would have been.

Now let’s go to the lowest of the lows. The Ghastly Love of Johnny X earned just $117 during it’s one week run, making it the lowest grossing movie of the year. Of course, the press declared Playback starring Christian Slater the lowest grossing film of the year, but it make a whole $264. But The Ghastly Love of Johnny X has no former big names to rag on in the press, and spending ten seconds checking facts is hard, so the Playback story got copy/pasted on movies sites throughout the web. Thanks for showing just why web movie reporting is awful, guys!

What about John Carter? That legendary bomb that cost Disney $200 million still made a respectable $73 million in the US and $209 million more worldwide, which in any other world would be a hit. Think about how much money it would have made had it been advertised at all and still called John Carter of Mars (dammit!)

The TV movie homefront saw Home Alone 5 and Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime’s Liz & Dick.

Probably the worst thing that appeared in 2012 was the animation abomination Foodfight!, which got a European DVD release and soon was on YouTube giving Americans an aversion to food. After 11 years (and a do-over after a hero stole the original film!) the best they could come up with was one of the worst things ever made.

Will 2013 continue 2012’s proud tradition of shattering records? We shall see…we shall see..

Invasion of the Right Wing Nuthouse movies!

Atlas Shrugged

2016: Obama’s America has made over $33 million, making it the second highest grossing political documentary of all time (behind Fahrenheit 9/11’s $119 million), and that’s making right wing nutjobs have dollar signs spring from their eyes like some sort of cartoon. So you can now expect a title wave of similar films coming to a theater near you!

2016: Obama’s America expanded from a single screen to hundreds thanks to the work of Movie To Movement‘s “theater captains”, approximately 1200 volunteers who acted as a street team, calling, emailing, and social networking conservative Christians. MJM Entertainment and distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures made sure their film was mentioned and advertised on many conservative hangouts and radio shows. In fact, they’re even still making headlines, complaining about “dirty tricks” to stop 2016 and other ridiculous conspiracy theories.

The first to cash in was Occupy Unmasked, the latest film from writer-director Stephen K. Bannon (the guy who made the pro-Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated last year.) Occupy Unmasked features the late Andrew Breitbart and also David Horowitz, who provides 2 of the 3 Press Quotes about the film featured on the website (they are essentially the same quote, one has his name misspelled, and the other “press” is Sarah Palin!) Despite already being available on DVD and VOD, it got a release via Magnet Releasing.

Next up this Friday, October 12th, will be Atlas Shrugged: Part II. Atlas Shrugged: Part II follows in the heals of producer Harmon Kaslow’s mega-successful Atlas Shrugged Part I. Mega-successful = Mega-bomb. Part I made $1.7 million on 300 screen, expanded to around 465 screens, and saw business sharply drop off for a total take of under $5 million on a $20 million budget. The DVD release also made headlines when the cover jackets were all recalled because the package said “Ayn Rand’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice.” Despite the Free Market speaking, Part II continued with production, anyway.

Part I marketed heavily through astroturf Teabagger groups like Freedomworks. Part II is getting a more heavy media blitz, with radio ads attempting to tie it into the election (“Will it influence the election?” asks the ad I hear daily. No, no it won’t.) Oddly enough, none of the ads mention this is Part II of Atlas Shrugged. This is part of a $5 million media blitz to advertise the film, which is scheduled to open on 850 screens.

Hating Breitbart is a documentary about the enemies of Andrew Breitbart made by Andrew Marcus, and they’re also using Movie To Movement to promote the film. Rocky Mountain Pictures is doing the distribution, they also did 2016, Atlas Shrugged Part I, the anti-evolution movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and the anti-ACLU flick Last Ounce of Courage. It was shown at the RNC convention. Hating Breitbart was also supposed to open October 12th, but the producers got into a spat with the MPAA because Breitbart uses “fuck” like a bajillion times in the film. They’ve edited it down to only four fucks, and are fighting to keep them because they’re essential to the plot or something. So fucking look out for Hating Breitbart on October 19th, fuckers!

They hype is even causing former bombs to come back to life. Runaway Slave (another Rocky Mountain Pictures distribution) bombed in theaters, but was resurrected for another 2 dozen or so theaters.

Of course, not every Right Wing Nuthouse film will be a hit. Won’t Back Down was an anti-teacher union film from Walden Media (who also released the 2010 anti-teacher union documentary Waiting for “Superman”) as propaganda for the parent-trigger option laws to create privately run charter schools (which are then immune to said laws no matter how bad they are!) Walden Media CEO Philip Anschutz is behind both films, and Won’t Back Down was gifted over $2 million in publicity via right wing groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Thankfully, the public wasn’t buying it, and Won’t Back Down became the biggest box office bomb for the first weekend of a film opening in over 2500 screens.

But with money on the line, you can be sure that there will be more Right Wing Nuthouse films coming to a theater near you, all playing to a specific audience of true believers and all designed to suck out all of their money.

Atlas Shrugged 2

I hope they keep the part where Ayn Rand died poor and on government assistance!