Saturday, September 01, 2012

Still The Last Best Hope?

It's easy at times to lose faith in the collective common sense and wisdom of the American people, especially when we all too willingly embrace much of the trash churned out as part of our modern popular entertainment culture. So it's always encouraging when you see signs that we still have our limits when it comes to being force fed garbage.

'Oogieloves' Film Flirts With Box-Office Low:

"The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" made a staggeringly weak box-office debut Wednesday, averaging $47 a screen in its first day in theaters and taking in a total of just $102,564 from 2,160 screens.

If the independently produced and distributed family film maintains its anemic pace, it will capture the dubious record for the worst opening-weekend average per theater for a wide release, according to

To put some perspective on just how weak this opening was, you also need to consider what it cost to make this monstrosity:

The Oogieloves, a trio of giggling, brightly colored puppetlike characters played by human actors in costumes, were to become the cornerstone of a franchise including two more films, merchandising, a stage show and television programming.

The movie follows the three Oogieloves, who resemble giant Cabbage Patch dolls but with jelly bean-colored faces, as they search for five magical balloons in their hometown of Lovelyloveville.

It co-stars singer Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman and Christopher Lloyd, who play regular human characters.

The $20 million film was a risky project from the start.

A twenty-million stake to take in $100K on your opening day seems like a pretty poor ROI.

If you're like me, when you hear this story you probably were thinking "what the hell is an Oogielove?". But when I mentioned it to my wife, she was all too well aware that they were out there. Because the people behind this movie also ponied up a bit of cash to promote it.

The poor audience turnout came despite a promotional push that cost roughly $40 million, including ads on billboards and in newspapers and movie theaters nationwide.

Movie reviewers have been merciless in their reaction to the film, ridiculing its characters, story line and tone.

Twenty million to make and an additional forty mil to try to get us to buy this junk? And still no one went to see it? I'm proud to be an American.