If you happen to follow my ceaseless twitter feed (or this very website), you may know that a new horror film called Creature opened last Friday. A few weeks back I was goofily aghast at how prevalently the Creature ads were splattered all across the indispensable IMDb (see photo). I noted that the production company was "The Bubble Factory" and that the distributor was, well, "The Bubble Factory." I wondered how such a plainly chintzy horror flick (see trailer below) would warrant a wide theatrical release, but nobody on twitter really cared so I forgot about it.
Then I reviewed the film over at FEARnet, and forgot all about it again ... until yesterday, as I was perusing the (always excellent) Box Office Mojo. I credit all the following data to the BOM gurus -- but get a load of this: Not only did Bubble Factory spend some hefty cash to advertise this movie all across the movie-net, and not only did they release this C-grade and thoroughly dreary low-budget horror flick onto 1,507(!) screens -- but they also got just about $327,000 out of their opening weekend.
$327,000 from 1,507 screens equals (wait for it!) less than six ticket-buyers per screening. Creature now holds the all-time record for "lowest opening weekend (1,500+ screens)." Not to kick a movie when it's down but, wow. (But if we were kicking, I'd point you to the flick's Rotten Tomatoes page.) I exclaimed my incredulity to the winds of twitter, but the most frequent response I got was "What the hell is Creature? Not that '80s one that used to be called Titan Find, dude." (I have some serious movie geeks on my feed.)
So who the heck is "Bubble Factory?" I checked. Their IMDb page lists massive winners like Flipper, The Pest, McHale's Navy, For Richer or Poorer, and the widely-adored Slappy and the Stinkers. And then I pretended I was a real reporter and threw "bubble factory" into Google. One juicy result was this three-page New York Times article (from 1997) that explains how no less a power player than Sid Sheinberg (yes, that Sid Sheinberg!) created "Bubble Factory" with his two sons. Prior to Creature, the Factory's most recent release was 2007's Made in Brooklyn.
But back to flick at hand: over at SheKnows.com, Creature associate producer Anthony Gore had this to say about his flick's record-setting performance (or lack thereof): "Between the first weekend of college football and 9-11, going to the movies wasn't a priority ... We had good production values and technically it looks the way a movie should look." High praise indeed, sir. With all due respect to the fine interviewer, how could you not ask Mr. Gore how they thought this thing would make money on 150 screens let alone 1,500!?!
It must be some sort of contractual obligation or tax loophole thing. Anyone out there have any better theories?
(Here's that trailer I promised. Warning: Sid Haig's mug may be NSFW.)