2011′s Biggest Box Office Flops, When Calculated On A Per-Screen Basis

There’s probably no ideal way to calculate the year’s biggest flops without adding on some more qualifiers. Being a “flop” is just too vague a concept.

The following list is made of entirely different films to our last turkey roster, and it’s all because we’re slicing the cake in a different way. Last time we were looking at difference between production budget and box office gross; this time, we’re looking at the worst opening weekends on a “theater average” or cinema-by-cinema basis.

So, if a film makes $100k dollars at 100 cinemas, say, that’s a worse performance than for a film that made only $10k, if it did so at just 5 cinemas.

Here are the top five flops when calculated per screen on their opening weekend – those three whole days when a film stands some kind of chance of making a mark on the charts. And each film on the list will be accompanied by its trailer, just so you can ow kick yourself for missing out.

5. The Mighty Macs – $963,221 from 975 cinemas = $988 average

Even with the combined perv appeal of Carla Gugino and David Boreanaz, not to mention a whole team of Catholic school girls in basketball uniforms, couldn’t draw in the punters for this one. Perhaps it is still safe to walk the streets at night.

4. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star – $1,415,023 from 1500 cinemas = $943 average

Co-written by Adam Sandler, this comedy vehicle for Nick Swardson (no, really) is about a Midwest boy heading off to Hollywood to seek his fame and fortune in the porn industry. We’ve already thrown a few stones at this one.

3. My Week With Marilyn – $561,097 from 602 cinemas = $932 average

Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh gave it their all as Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier. In return, audiences gave it… not a lot. A shame, really, because it’s a fun film, and beautifully shot. “Opening Weekend Without Marilyn, more like…”

2. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night – $754,779 from 875 cinemas = $863 average

In short, casting Brandon Routh as a comic book character always seems to result in disappointing box office. Adapting comics that are popular in Europe but not the US is proving to be a bit of a bad idea too.

1. Creature – $327,000 from 1507 cinemas = $217 average

We pointed and laughed at this one already. Creature may only have managed the second lowest opening screen average in history (behind something called Proud American from 2008) but no other film released on over 1,500 screens have ever fared so poorly.

Now, I don’t know if that’s a fairer way to single out films for ridicule or not, but changing the criteria up like this at least led to some variety.

Time to start looking at some success stories, I think. I’ll get working on a more celebratory box office story…