James Franco’s new movie ‘Zeroville’ is one of the year’s biggest box office failures


James Franco’s new movie Zeroville has the dubious honours of being one of 2019’s biggest flops, earning a paltry $8,897 across the US last weekend.

The film, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Steve Erickson, sees Franco direct and star alongside the likes of Megan Fox, Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen.

Franco plays an “almost autistic” architecture student who gets an image of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor tattooed onto the back of his head, and travels to Hollywood to try and make it in the film industry.


The film was poorly received by critics, and holds an approval rating of 27% on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The site’s consensus describes the movie as “a fundamentally misguided — and descriptively titled — passion project for its director and star.”

Zeroville‘s production was plagued with issues. After first being announced in 2011, it did not begin filming until 2014. Its original 2015 release was cancelled after distribution company Alchemy went bankrupt.

The film’s takings average $111 per screen, and is the lowest of any film Franco has directed. The only outlier is 2017’s well-received The Disaster Artist, for which Franco received a Golden Globe.

Ironically, as Screenrant notes, Zeroville‘s Rotten Tomatoes rating is only a percent better than Tommy Wiseau’s infamously bad movie The Room, on which The Disaster Artist was based.