If you’re an adult, you probably haven’t yet heard of the Oogieloves — a Teletubbie-esque troupe of creature-things that star in a movie that opened in over 2,100 theaters yesterday. And if you hadn’t clicked onto this blog post, you probably never would have, either.
The total opening day box office for “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” was just $102,000, or about $47 per theater. That means on average, seven or eight people showed up all day at each theater where the movie showed.
That’s easily the worst opening ever for a movie released on this many screens, dethroning the animated film “Delgo,” which scored a similarly paltry $127,000 for a per-theater-average of $59.
While the 2008 film “Proud American” (which was filmed at this author’s very own former middle school) still holds the title for worst opening day on 750+ screens ($34,000; $45 per theater), there is no doubting that “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” is the greater disaster because it cost more money.
And by that, I mean, a lot more money. Variety reported earlier in the week that production and marketing on the film cost a whopping $55 million, including an eight-figure television ad buy. That’s not good news for producer Kenn Viselman, who financed and self-distributed the film.
One has to wonder if “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” was significantly less fun than intended for the few moviegoers who did show up, because it’s centered around a “one-of-a-kind interactive experience” in which kid audiences get up and sing and dance along with the characters in the aisles.
My take: It’s time for Viselman to completely shift the focus of the promotional campaign. Right now, the movie isn’t playing after 6:30 p.m. in most areas. Open up 10 p.m. and Midnight showings in theaters close to medical marijuana dispensaries and let the cash start to flow!
Then, and only then, will the film come even close to the $5-6 million opening weekend that the aforementioned Variety article cited as possible. Oogie!