Our crystal ball is known to break down occasionally, but rarely does a movie undercut our box-office guesses by more than 60%. And then came Delgo, whose implosion last weekend is truly, historically unprecedented.
Delgo's $916,000 gross is the lowest ever by a film that opened on more than 2,000 screens — 2,160 to be exact. Its $424 per-theater average means that some showings of the animated sci-fi fantasy in more competitive markets likely played to audiences of fewer than five people at a time. Last Friday's Defamer Attractions column foresaw $3.2 million for the movie, based on general tracking data and the probability that distributor Freestyle Releasing could at least break seven figures with a voice cast including Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer, Burt Reynolds, Malcolm McDowell, Chris Kattan, Kelly Ripa, Michael Clarke Duncan, and even posthumous work by Anne Bancroft.
But one cannot attribute a bomb of this magnitude to marketing and promotional failures alone. What really happened? Your theories are more than welcome below, but we think we may have traced the source to this uniquely unappetizing publicity still that will nevertheless look great on the Flopz™ Web site. Anyone got a better idea?