Back in 2006, low-budget thriller “Zyzzyx Road” made movie history — and not in a good way — by producing the lowest box office gross in film history, taking in a measly $30 when it opened in a single theatre on Mar. 31.
It looks like that dubious record could be challenged thanks to Shia LaBeouf and his latest movie, “Man Down”, which opened in one British theatre with a total U.K. gross of £7 — or $8.70 in U.S. dollars.
According to ComScore, which measures brands and consumer behaviour (via Variety), the laughably low number is the equivalent of selling just one ticket when it played at Reel Cinema in Burnley, England. The news as not so bad (although certainly not good) in the U.S., where “Man Down” took in $454,490.
“Poor Shia,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore. “That opening could be in the Guinness World Records or something.”
A large part of why the film performed so poorly has to do with the fact that it was simultaneously released digitally on demand on the same day as its U.K. release (it’s slated to be released on DVD next month), while another factor could be that people are becoming tired of LaBeouf’s strange shenanigans, such as his controversial anti-Trump art installation.
Of course, it didn’t help that critics trashed the movie, in which LaBeouf stars as a soldier returning from combat and dealing with PTSD. Reviewers described the film in such not-so-glowing terms as “a sloppy and manipulative take on veterans with PTSD,” “muddled and overwrought,” “a misbegotten genre mashup” and “irreconcilably phony.”
However, Dergarabedian believes all the press that “Man Down” is getting about its ridiculously low gross could actually prove beneficial by making people aware of a film that would have otherwise flown under their radar.
“There could be a silver lining to those seven pounds,” he added.