FIFA’s $29 million feature film has $607 box-office take
It’s probably safe to say no one is going to investigate why FIFA’s first foray into feature film making bombed at the box office this weekend.
Just three days after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation amid an ongoing corruption investigation by U.S. and Swiss authorities, the FIFA-financed Blatter biopic “United Passions” made its U.S. debut -- well, sort of. It was released in 10 theaters nationwide and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it made $607 on Friday and Saturday.
That’s not millions or thousands, just $607.
It raked in $319 on Friday and $288 on Saturday, the Hollywood Reporter said. A large chunk of that came from a theater in North Hollywood, which took in $164 over the two days, according to the website.
Full weekend figures are expected to be released Monday and video-on-demand figures for the film have not been announced. Prior to its U.S. release, it made $178,000 worldwide over the past year, according to Bloomberg.
The $607 figure is especially abysmal when considering it cost FIFA an estimated $29 million to produce the film.
Tim Roth plays Blatter in the movie and Sam Neill has a role as Blatter’s FIFA predecessor. The actors didn’t bother to show up for its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story misidentified actor Sam Neill as Sam O’Neill.
The film has received some tough reviews. Some have called it FIFA propaganda and others say it’s chock-full of unintentional campiness. The Times’ Michael Rechtshaffen wrote the movie “comes across as a squirm-inducing heap of propaganda at its most self-congratulatory.” The New York Times wrote: “‘United Passions’ is one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs.”
Ouch. Perhaps FIFA should just make a sequel to “Kicking & Screaming” the next time it wants to dabble in movies.
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