Last weekend, Momentum, an action thriller starring Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, grossed just £46 at the UK box office, an average of £4.60 for every one of the ten cinemas in which it was shown. Given cinema tickets cost more than £4.60 that means at least one of those screens showed the film to exactly no people. Momentum joins the list of UK box office mega-flops. So well done everybody. But Momentum is not alone. Here, we look back at some of the worst opening box office takings in UK cinema.
1. Run For Your Wife – £602
Its budget was a fairly small £900,000 but who knows where it went as the Danny Dyer vehicle looks like it cost barely £90. Dyer plays a cab driver with two wives (Denise Van Outen and Sarah off of Girls Aloud), who he’s determined will never find out about each other. Guess what happens. It became one of the most famous flops in British cinema history mostly due to the long list of cameos, which include Tom Conti, Maureen Lipman and Judi Dench. Oh Judi.
2. The Lost City – £260
To be fair, it only opened on one screen, but £260 is still immensely ropey for a film directed by a well-known actor, Andy Garcia, and featuring proper stars like Bill Murray and Dustin Hoffman. Garcia hasn’t directed a movie since.
3. The Reverend – £247
There was a time when any old nonsense that feature vampires had some hope of doing well, but not this catastroflop featuring Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer. On his first day in a new job a priest is bitten by a vampire, sparking a battle for his soul between God and the devil (Hauer).
4. Dark Tide – £97
The absolute nadir of Halle Berry’s dreadful post-Oscar career. Berry plays a shark expert who has been scared of the water ever since a diver was killed on her watch. She’s tempted back into the water when she’s offered big money to take a rich businessman diving. But will she be able to face her greatest fear? Nobody cared. It possesses a rating of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Deviation – £95
Poor old Danny Dyer gets another entry on the list, with a limp thriller about a schizophrenic murderer. On the upside, in comparison to this Run For Your Wife looks like a hit.
6. Motherhood – £88
Uma Thurman had been having a bad time when this came out, with a string of flops behind her. So the massive failure of her staunchly unamusing comedy about a mum who can’t put together a children’s party was splashed all over the press. Unfortunately there haven’t been any great roles since.
7. The Chumscrubber – £36
It had famous people in it – Jamie Bell, Ralph Fiennes, Allison Janney, Carrie-Ann Moss – and while its story about a town coping after a teenage suicide is boring and loaded with some very heavy symbolism, it’s not so bad that you’d expect it to be such a low-earner. That total suggests four people saw it, or as few as three if you’re talking Central London prices.
8. My Nikifor – £7
The dishonour of being the lowest-grossing film in British cinema history goes to a drama about the life of a Polish artist. Seven quid. That’s not even the price of a single cinema ticket in London. It won awards in Poland.