"Oogieloves In the BIG Balloon Adventure" secured its place in infamy over the weekend by scoring the worst ever debut on over 2,000 screens. The surreal children's film was an unmitigated disaster, taking in only $445,000 during its opening weekend, after spending $20 million on production and an enormous sum on an aggressive marketing campaign.
While "Oogieloves" claims the top spot on that dubious list, the rest of the top five have aspects to them that make their grand failures more fascinating than anything.
The former champion, "Delgo," a computer-animated fantasy film, earned just over half a million dollars in 2008, when it opened on 2,160 screens, the exact same number as "Oogieloves." The story, which centers around vaguely reptilian creatures, is pretty typical fantasy fair with warring factions, a tough princess, and an unlikely hero, and the cast featured relatively well-known actors like Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Most analysts attribute a barely-there marketing campaign and too ambitious of a release for the box office failure. "Delgo" finished its domestic run earning a total of $694,000 against a $40 million budget.
In what is likely another case of an overly ambitious release coupled with a limited marketing campaign, this horror film from the makers of the "Hills Have Eyes" remake took in a little over $2 million during its opening weekend, far above both "Delgo" and "Oogieloves." Rachel Nichols and Wes Bentley starred in this contained horror flick about a young woman who is stalked in a parking garage. Unlike the rest of the list, "P2" did find some favor with the critics, even earning a three-star review from Roger Ebert.
"Major League: Back to the Minors"
More along the lines of the kind of movie you'd expect on this list, "Back to the Minors," the third film in the otherwise moderately successful "Major League" series. "Back to the Minors" was the long reigning champion of soft openings, standing at the top of the list for nearly ten years before "P2" came along. Several of the series regulars even returned for the third movie, including Dennis Haysbert.
"The Real Cancun"
A sex-filled "documentary," "The Real Cancun" didn't manage to generate the kind of controversy it hoped to, and instead, ended up with the fifth worst wide release of all time. This doc followed sixteen Americans south of the border as they boozed and partied it up. The film hit theaters just over a month after shooting finished, and the results speak for themselves.