The Lowest-Grossing Film Of 2012 Made Less Than $300. Wait, What?

121228_Playback2012's lowest-grossing film has been revealed, and people, this one kind of hurts.

[Related: Domestic Box Office Rises In Dollars And Audiences In 2012]

The Christian Slater horror film Playback gathered an astonishing $264.00 – yes, that's two hundred and sixty four – in theaters. Well, theater, to be exact; it only showed for one week in a single cinema. The figure gives Playback the honor as 2012's lowest grossing film of the year. It earned $252.00 on opening night and just 12 dollars more during the following week, after which it was pulled. It has since made its way to VOD via Netflix and Amazon Prime.

That has got to hurt, but when your career includes Gleaming the Cube and Hard Rain, at least you're probably prepared for the emotional toll. Still, it makes me wince, even 20 years later, every time I'm reminded that I once actually liked Christian Slater movies. At least Heathers and True Romance still hold up*!

As 2012 comes to a depressingly apocalypse-free conclusion, it's not surprising that we're seeing the last, painful lists of ignobility slipping out at the last minute. What better way to prepare ourselves for the new year than by embracing obstacles head on.

If yesterday's news of the most pirated movies proves that a bumper crop (cash-wise) for Hollywood doesn't mean there still isn't a problem with pilfered films, today's offers unexpected confirmation that F. Scott Fitzgerald might have been right about there not being any second acts in American lives. At least for formerly successful actors.

So at least we can all take comfort that our English teachers may have been onto something after all.

* Well, True Romance, at least.

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  • Rhodia says:

    ...I totally dig PLAYBACK.., It has a waayy cool, verry dark, and uniquely terrifying storyline. The acting is all solid and consistent..including Mr.Slater, who was a surprise, as I didnt know beforehand he would be in the film, and he only added to it, in the best way. I'm recalling one scene, in particular, that undoubtedly because of his talent and experience, was soulchilling.., which certainly speaks very well of the directing. I cant say anything is really a drawback about this film. I would, and have, shared it with friends. It's definitely underrated. Hey, I am a FULL-ON Horror movie LOVER, and I swear by this movie..I Loved it !!!

  • Vince says:

    I haven't see this movie yet, but I'm planning on seeing it during a family vacation in a month or so. (We rent a cabin by a lake for a week, so we're always looking for creepy movies to watch during our stay.) I came across PLAYBACK a few weeks ago when I was looking for an old Columbo movie with the same name. I have been fascinated with PLAYBACK ever since!

    Not necessarily because of the plot (I'm not exactly sure what it's about) or the trailer (although it looked creepy, I didn't see anything that really separated this trailer from other horror movie trailers I've seen), but instead for the fact that this movie with a $7.5 million budget (not exactly a huge investment for a movie, but not exactly chump-change either) earned an incomprehensible box office "take" (if you can call it that) of $264 ($252 on opening night and another $12 during the week) during its theatrical "run" (if you can call it that). Wha....How...What?!? I was shocked by this information and my brain experienced question overload!

    What was the marketing plan for this movie? How were its investors planning on not only recouping the $7.5 million cost but making a profit on it? (I can only imagine that it was released in a theater in the Grand Rapids, MI area (where it was filmed) in hopes that the local population might want to see the locally filmed movie out of curiosity and then have them create a buzz about the movie through word of mouth so that the movie would become a sleeper hit not only throughout Michigan but nationwide. I'm just guessing here, but I'd be really interested in finding out whether or not this was the case.) What were the attendance figures for each of the movie's showings? It sounds like 33 tickets were sold for the movie, so does that mean 31 people "packed" themselves into the theater on opening night and two more people saw it the next night (at $6 a ticket) and nobody attended the next dozen or so showings until it was pulled from the theater? Or maybe 30 people saw it opening night, and another three people attended the next day's matinee showing (at $4 a ticket) and nobody attended any of the other showings until the movie was pulled? Or maybe 29 people saw it opening night and four senior citizens attended the next day's matinee showing (at $3 a ticket with the matinee price and senior's discount) and nobody attended the rest of its showings until it was pulled...I want to know! (I think it would be really interesting to see each showings attendance figures not only to see how many people attended each showing, but to see how many times it was shown to an empty theater. I also would like to hear from the 33 people who saw the movie in the theater and what it feels like to be a part of this very exclusive group. Someone may have even seen this movie in the theater TWICE!)

    Was there any "pomp and circumstance" surrounding this movie's opening night showing, with possibly Alessandra Torresani, Ambyr Childers, Johnny Pacar and, of course, Christian Slater showing up in a limo to the 1/4 full theater on opening night and then all four leaving town the next night wearing wigs and dark glasses? What are the reactions of the director, producers and actors to their involvement in this historically poor box office performing movie? I want to know!

    I may never find the answers to these questions, but I am planning on soon fulfilling my quest of being one of the few who can actually say they've seen Playback--the movie!

    • kristina says:

      @ vincint wow weirdo much who cares if 20 people saw it on day 1 and ten day 2 and 3 day 3. I got this movie off the internet torrents its alrite just anither horror flick dont get all creepy weirdo now.