The film industry is a risky business. For every billion dollar movie like ‘Avengers Assemble’ or ‘Avatar’ there are dozens of movies that hit cinema screens, only to lose a ton of cash.
We’re not interested in the Hollywood blockbusters that maybe didn’t quite make their budget back though. Instead it’s the epic flops that have a special place in our hearts. The films that made less money than most of us have in our bank accounts. For this, they’ve earned a special kind of rubbish notoriety.
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First up, the grim follow-up to ‘The Human Centipede’ opened to a dismal £942 from 10 screens at the box office. We reckon that’s a couple of punters per showing, which is disastrous considering how much free publicity ‘The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence’ got when the British Board Of Film Classification (BBFC) banned it, then un-banned it. Perhaps obese serial killers and child murder aren’t the box office draws producers thought.
Watch our interview with the disappointed director and actor from 'The Human Centipede: Full Sequence'
Everyone’s favourite fake football hooligan Danny Dyer was forced to wolf down humble pie when his movie ‘Pimp’ bombed at the British box office in 2010. A mockumentary drama about a Soho pimp, it made a mere £205 on its opening weekend. The film was apparently released the same week Dyer was sacked for his infamous Zoo article, when he suggested a heartbroken fella should “cut” his ex-girlfriend’s face, “then no one will want her”. This can’t have helped that box office total.
Gordon Ramsey proved he sure can make a turkey, starring as himself in this flop about an up-and-coming chef (Dougray Scott) who opens up a gastro pub. ‘Love’s Kitchen’ was mauled by the critics with a poultry… we mean paltry 19 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film took a dismal £121 in its opening weekend, meaning that only 17 people went to see this movie.
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2012’s tongue-in-cheek werewolf movie ‘Strippers Vs Werewolves’ was never expected to set the box office alight. With a cast of ex-‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Hollyoaks’ actors playing silver-wielding werewolf hunters the plot (and marketing) was wafer thin. Still, the movie should have made more than £38.
By rights, Uma Thurman should have been booted out of Hollywood after ‘Batman and Robin’. She made a triumphant return in ‘Kill Bill’ but subsequently hit rock-bottom again when 2009 flick ‘Motherhood’ made just £88 at the box office. Admittedly it was only shown on one screen (a PR stunt that went wrong), but it still took just £9 on its opening Sunday. That’s ONE PERSON buying a ticket. Not great for a £3.2 million movie…
The producer of ‘Motherhood’, Jana Edelbaum, blamed UK distributor Metrodrome for the failure. Upon hearing the appalling reception for the movie she said: "You're kidding… We must have broken a new record for grosses."
Well, luckily for her, not quite. The biggest box office failure in Britain is the little-known Polish documentary ‘My Nikifor’. This indie movie follows the last eight years of life of Nikifor Krynicki, the famous ‘naive artist’ who made over 40,000 paintings using sheets of paper, cigarette cartons and even scraps of paper glued together as his canvases. The film proved a bit high-brow for the UK audience and only managed a meager £7 in its first weekend.
As always though, our cousins across the pond have outshone us. The US holds the title for lowest grossing opening weekend. A sole punter went to see the aptly titled ‘The Worst Movie Ever!’, setting them back £6.80.