As bad as some box office flops are, they at least attract a small but present audience. Some notable box office bombs from last year, such as the Ghostbusters reboot and Gods Of Egypt, still made enough money on their respective opening weekends, even if they cost their respective studios tens of millions of dollars. Simply put, people paid to see these movies bomb on the big screen.
The same cannot be said for one of the more recent movies starring #ShiaLaBeouf, which managed to attract just one guy when it opened in the United Kingdom.
Actual Record Holder, Shia LaBeouf
The movie in question is Man Down, a dramatic thriller that served as a reunion for director Dito Montiel and lead actor LaBeouf, having worked together on the '80s-era crime thriller A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints back in 2006.
#ManDown initially premiered in 2015, followed by a limited release in the US and in few other countries, including just one screening location in the United Kingdom — specifically, the Reel Cinema in Burnley, where it earned £7 (an estimated $8.70).
The record low box office turnout equates to a single person's ticket, complete with all of the surplus fees that establishments usually charge along with the price of admission. As Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore put it:
“Poor Shia. That opening could be in the Guinness World Records or something.”
For comparison's sake, Man Down had an astronomically stronger opening in its domestic market, despite being considered a flop. After premiering at such prestigious film festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival, Man Down went on to earn $454,000 in the US following its wider #Lionsgate distribution.
The low turnout could be blamed on several factors inclding a delayed release and the movie's lack of availability on digital formats, but nothing can cover up a box office total that translates to a single, solitary audience member watching the movie on opening night.
So What's It About Then?
Man Down follows former U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer as he desperately searches for his missing son upon returning from a tour of Afghanistan. Helping him is his best friend, fellow Marine Devin Roberts (Jai Courtney), with the two journeying into the wasteland that was once the United States. The film also stars Kate Mara and Gary Oldman.
Watch the trailer below.
Critically panned, reviews for the film range from tepid to terrible. Currently it holds an abysmal rating of just 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics bashed it for being melodramatic at best, exploitative at worst. However, many critics also agreed that LaBeouf gives a riveting performance.
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As A True Thespian, This Won't Slow Shia Down
After making his mark in Hollywood as a child actor before going on to star in box office successes like the early #Transformers movies and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, LaBeouf left mainstream movies to try his luck with independent productions.
Never shy of controversy, LaBeouf has famously had issues with alcohol abuse, plagiarism, and arrests for assault — which may or may not have played a part in movie studios' decisions to back away from casting him in major franchises. Also a budding artist, LaBeouf also headlined widely publicized performance art exhibits, some of which attracted a mixture of confusion and ridicule.
Over the past few years, LaBeouf has worked with notable directors including David Ayer (Fury) and Lars von Tier (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I and II). Man Down marks LaBeouf's latest venture into indie cinema and his continued evolution as an actor. Undoubtedly the record-low losses of the resolute performer's turn as a troubled military veteran won't stop him from doing what he does.
Since Man Down, LaBeouf has been keeping busy with diverse projects, including narrating the short film Everyday Performance Artists and starring in the critically lauded American Honey. He'll next be seen in the upcoming biopic Borg/McEnroe, which chronicles the legendary rivalry of tennis legends Björn Borgand and John McEnroe during the '80s.
Watch the trailer for American Honey below.
No matter what new controversy LaBeouf lands in or headline greets him, he remains unstoppable. LaBeouf has evolved from Even Stevens to a living legend of sorts, and whatever he does next will surely be something worth watching.
Will you be seeing Man Down? Whether acting, performance art or tantrum, what's your favorite Shia scene? Sound off in the comments section below.