Last weekend, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children opened in wide release to poor reviews and lackluster ticket sales. In fact, after earning only $306, 367 on its opening weekend, the film now holds the distinction of being the fifth-worst opening movie from 1982 to the present, according to Box Office Mojo.
It’s an unfortunate turn for Reitman, a talented director who seems to be in a bit of a rut (see also: his previous film, Labor Day). But what about the four indie flicks that performed even worse than Men, Women & Children—did they get what was coming to them, or were their box-office takes lower than they should have been? Let’s take a look:
#4: The Virginity Hit (2010)[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KXsRpakErU]
A found-footage teen sex comedy that looks like that one scene in American Pie stretched out to feature length, The Virginity Hit garnered poor reviews from both users and critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Fortunately for writer/director duo Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland, they would release the much more successful horror film The Last Exorcism that same year.
#3: Transylmania (2009)[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGqYpl0DiWc]
This movie made $263, 941 on its opening weekend. It is $263, 941 too much.
#2: The Passion Recut (2005)
A year after the film’s theatrical debut, Mel Gibson re-released The Passion of the Christ with five minutes of its most grisly scenes removed in an effort to make the film more palatable for some audiences. But Gibson’s new edit—titled The Passion Recut— wasn’t enough to land a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, and the film was released without a rating. It opened at a slight $223, 789—a pittance compared to the original run, which still holds the record for the highest-grossing R-rated film.
#1: Proud American (2008)[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1GO-Jlfa58]
An IMAX feature-length tribute to Our Great Country produced by some of the greatest American institutions: the Coca-Cola Company, MasterCard, and Wal-Mart, Proud American is also the proud record holder for the worst box office opening we have on record. $96, 076 made across 750 theaters.
At the very least, Men Women and Children is perhaps the most watchable of the lot. Better luck next time, Mr. Reitman.