Animated ‘Delgo’ Has Worst Wide Release Opening Ever

Don’t feel too left out if you missed seeing the animated adventure movie “Delgo” this past weekend. No one did. In fact, the movie broke a record for having the worst opening ever for a film in wide release. “Delgo” earned a measly $511,920 this weekend on 2,160 screens, not even breaking the top ten. That’s an average of $237 per screen for the three days. If you figure there were five screenings a day, and assume ticket prices are about $8, that comes out to two people in the theater per showing. By comparison, the Golden Globe-nominated drama “Doubt” earned roughly the same amount of money, but it was only in 15 theaters.

This is all too bad because the story of the making of “Delgo” has the makings of a great Hollywood underdog story. 36-year-old entrepreneur Marc Adler decided he wanted to direct and produce a $40 million computer animated kids’ flick completely independent of Tinseltown behemoths like Disney and Dreamworks.

Starting in 2001, Adler and his small Atlanta-based animation company Fathom Studios toiled for years on a tight budget. They lined up an impressive, if eclectic, cast of voice actors including Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer, Malcolm McDowell, Kelly Ripa, and Anne Bancroft in her final role (she died in 2005). And when Adler couldn’t get a Hollywood studio interested in his movie, he raised eyebrows by releasing it himself through distributor-for-hire Freestyle Releasing. It was a huge risk; one that ultimately didn’t pay off. There wasn’t the sort of marketing budget needed to make a film stand out in the already crowded holiday movie season.

Another problem was the quality of the movie. Or lack thereof. The story — star-crossed lovers squaring off against an evil queen on a fanciful world divided between a reptilian people who can move rocks with their minds and a sprite-like folk who like dragons — borrows liberally from “Star Wars,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Dark Crystal,” just without the charm and intelligence. The script required the efforts of six, count ’em, six screenwriters, including Adler. The critics trashed it, giving it a dreadful D average on Yahoo!, which proved to be lethal.

“Delgo” is not the only major wide release bomb of the year. Three of the ten worst openings for films in over 2000 locations came out this year. The raunchy teen sex comedy “College” and the thriller “Deception,” starring Hugh Jackson and Ewan MacGregor, both tanked, garnering the sixth and ninth worst openings ever respectively. In both of those cases, the studios dumped the movies with little fanfare rather than spend millions on marketing a stinker.

0 Responses to “Animated ‘Delgo’ Has Worst Wide Release Opening Ever”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

December 2008

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 29,093 hits

%d bloggers like this: