A film more than tripling its box-office take over a few days is usually cause for celebration — except perhaps when you're talking about the so-far dismal U.K. run of Shia LaBeouf's Man Down.
The American drama, starring LaBeouf as a marine returning from Afghanistan suffering from PTSD, gained international notoriety earlier this week after earning a jaw-droppingly low opening weekend haul of about $11.71.
A single, student-priced ticket was sold for the movie, which had been showing at just one British cinema (the Reel Cinema in Burnley, U.K.) over the weekend — sparking countlessstoriesabout thedubious feat.
Though director Dito Montile's indie project earned $454,490 US during its limited theatrical run in North America in December, after having previously screened at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, Man Down is unlikely to match that figure in Britain, despite a slight pickup in audience since the weekend.
"I think we've sold three tickets in total," the Burnley cinema's manager told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, adding that Man Down would conclude its weeklong run on Thursday.
The film could also see a boost in Britain after being picked up for SSVC Forces Cinemas, an eight-theatre specialty chain providing films for military personnel and their families in the U.K. and overseas.
Extremely low box office results have become a more regular occurrence in the U.K., which has seen a trend of indie films given a tiny, token theatrical release — to garner print reviews — ahead of a bigger marketing push towards video-on-demand, digital or streaming services. Man Down, for instance, debuted in theatre and simultaneously on digital platforms in the U.K.
Here's a look at three other recent, underwhelming box office debuts.
2016's Colonia (The Colony)
Beauty and the Beast this wasn't. Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl and Michael Nyqvist appear in this historical romance thriller tale that took in just $78.63 Cdn during its U.K. opening weekend last July. Incidentally, the international co-production shared the same U.K. distributor (Signature) as Man Down.
2016's The Benefactor
Big names like Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning did nothing for this poorly reviewed drama, which brought in $41.83 from its late February opening weekend at two U.K. theatres.
A graphic and violent thriller littered with implausible plot twists and starring Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo, Pet premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. It opened in just a single American theatre last September and made $70 US, earning the dubious crown of lowest grossing North American theatrical release of 2016.