Worst Weekend Ever? ‘Bucky Larson’ Earns 0% on Rotten Tomatoes; ‘Creature’ Breaks Records with Poor Box Office Performance
Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 by Angie Han
Whenever something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop grosses $31 million in its opening weekend despite the disapproval of critics, a slew of articles and blog posts come out wondering whether movie writers are out of touch with the general public. But this weekend, at least, the average filmgoer and the average critic seemed united in their near-universal disdain for both the porn “comedy” Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star and the indie horror Creature.
Bucky Larson earned an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and averaged just over eight moviegoers per showing. Meanwhile, Creature, which received just 2 positive reviews out of the 18 counted on Rotten Tomatoes, managed to achieve the worst-ever opening for a film showing on more than 1,500 screens. Read more after the jump.
To be fair to both Bucky Larson and Creature, the first weekend after Labor Day tends to be one of the lowest-grossing in any given year. Still, it’s tough to imagine that either film would’ve done much better had it opened on any other weekend of the year. And regardless of the timing, it’s a pretty special weekend that can yield one of the biggest commercial failures of all time and one of the most critically reviled movies of all time.
Bucky Larson opened in 15th place this weekend, one slot behind The Smurfs in its seventh weekend. Its total gross was $1,450,000 on 1,500 screens, which Film Drunk points out averages out to about eight people per screening. But perhaps more notable is the fact that it got literally zero positive reviews out of 21 on Rotten Tomatoes. That number puts Bucky Larson in the same rarefied class as Big Mamma’s Boy and Fred: The Movie. To offer some perspective, Disaster Movie, Norbit, and Jonah Hex are among the films that have managed to score above 0% on Rotten Tomatoes in recent years.
By comparison, Creature‘s 11% looks downright rosy. (Look, double digits!) However, its slight critical edge did not translate to better numbers at the box office. Creature opened in 26th place this past weekend and earned just $331,000 — which translates to an average of less than six people per showing.
The difference between Bucky Larson and Creature is that the former was marketed endlessly (and obnoxiously) and featured recognizable stars and a $10 million budget. Creature was a low-budget indie with few recognizable stars and practically no marketing. (If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t even know this movie existed until I started reading stories about how badly it did, and it’s my job to know about the existence of movies.) In that light, Bucky Larson seems like the more spectacular failure.
If there’s a silver lining to be found, it’s that the awfulness of these films have made for some very entertaining film writing — I strongly recommend clicking through the reviews collected on Bucky Larson‘s Rotten Tomatoes page. Here’s my favorite quote, from A.O. Scott of The New York Times:
Let me put the matter another way: this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that. If you dare, go on Netflix and test the hypothesis.
Discuss: Have any of you actually seen either of these movies? Why? How many people were in your theater?