'Delgo': Animated movie scores worst box office opening ever

The all-time roster of bad box office performers is much longer than that of blockbusters, so we rarely have the opportunity to see a movie break a negative financial record. This past weekend, however, offered such a sad instance, when the animated flick Delgo garnered honors as the worst wide opener in box office history. How bad did it do? Well, the film opened in 2,160 theaters and grossed just $511,920, for a per-venue average of $237. Yikes! That’s by far the worst debut ever, besting (er, worsting) the $2.1 mil that P2 grossed in 2,131 locations last year.

Shocking as it is, none of this really surprises me, because, well, I hadn’t even heard of Delgo until I sat down to write this blog post! Of course, I’ve been on vacation for a while, so that’s my excuse. But what about you? Had you heard of this movie? Were you one of the, uh, 75,000-or-so people who actually went to see it? What do you think happened here?


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  • Gretchen

    I just read the story behind the movie…the creator wanted to do it w/o Pixar or any other large animation studio, couldnt sell it to movie studios and borrowed heavily from previous big movies whose plots are known to the majority. So why see it with a bunch of animated, weird looking alien things (confession – I dont know what they really are!)? There was absolutely NO MARKETING behing this movie, so people didnt know about it. If people dont know about it, they wont spend $10+ to see something they have not a single clue about!

  • Chris G

    I had seen a poster for this movie at the movie theater and i could tell it looked just awful. On the poster i saw all the “film festival award praise” like: Official Selection Blah Blah Film Festival. I thought, hmm interesting, an “independent” CG animated film, this will indeed tank. Tank it did.

  • Vicky

    I saw the trailer and it just looked awful. I don’t think people would have seen this movie even if they had known about it.

    • Gary

      Comment 1) 12 people per thetear?It\’s mind-boggling to hear certain films are doing this badly? I vaguely remember hearing something on a celebrity-gossip program (a type of program I\’m not a big fan of, by the way) about a movie in 2001 (starring Denzel Washington, I think) that took $20 million to make, opened in about 1000 theatres …and made $30. My obvious reaction on behalf of that movie\’s producers: Ouch.Comment 2) How bad was the cinemagoer turnout for \”Pinocchio\” in 1940?Comment 3) When I rented a \”Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian\” DVD, I saw for the first time the advertising for the Platinum Edition of \”Pinocchio\”.Never before has a trailer for a DVD captured my surprise and attention so completely. The color-coordination, in particular, in the montage of scenes from the film is almost completely different from the same scenes I saw as as a kid in the 1993 VHS tape. Jiminy Cricket, for example, is now grey instead of bluish-green, and the shot animated by Charles Nichols where Gideon smashes Honest John out of his hat with the mallet is less yellow and more red and blue.Is this the most attention Disney has ever paid to the restoration of their animation? They must value \”Pinocchio\” more than life itself, after all these years of its moderate performance in rereleases, VHS and DVD.

  • Anne

    I have kids and had not even heard of this movie until I was looking to see what was in the theaters. This dis not look appealing to me or my 8 year olds.

  • Marie

    Yeah…I didnt see one commercial for this movie. So now when I ask “why are they shoving this movie down my throat?” when I see the 5000th commercial for some blockbluster, I guess I know the answer.

  • Mike

    Um, what about Zyzzyx Rd.?

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20011268,00.html

  • Mike

    Um, what about Zyzzyx Rd.?

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20011268,00.html

  • ladyli1

    Zyzzyx Rd was never released wide.

  • rerrer

    It looks dreadful. The animation is incredibly unappealing, the title is awful, and what are those things anyhow? No one will even watch this junk on free television late at night. This one gets the big “HUH?” Award. (as in: What was anyone connected with this thinking?)

  • Nick

    I too consider myself pretty plugged in, and I had never heard of it until I went to see Bolt. Then I saw this horrible trailer that I figured was some for some obnoxious computer game. Poor Ann Bancroft! She’s pulled an Orson Wells in Transformers: The Movie (though I actually like that one)

  • Trisha

    I went to see it this weekend with my friend and her 5 year old son. I had never heard of it before then. There were six people in the whole theatre – including the three of us. We left within an hour since it was so bad and her son fell asleep. What a waste of $10.

  • Dan

    I remember randomly coming across this movie about a year and a half ago on IMDB. It had been shelved for a while up to that point, which was clearly reflected in the PlayStation CG. Unfortunate.

  • Walter

    I love animated movies so I went to see it though I didn’t know anything about it. The animation was OK but the plot was cliched, the “acting” believed in the “over-react” method to show emotion, the dialogue was stupid, and it had a stupid, stupid side kick. I hate stupid sidekicks.

  • brandon

    my silly friend showed me delgo’s trailer a couple weeks ago…. I nearly threw my computer at him. this film was justly received…as a bad joke of cinema. I told my friend I would kill him if he went. in this day and age of disney pixar’s awe-inspiring miracles (anyone see Wall-E? how about ratatouille?) this film is an outrage! thank the good lord for geniuses like john lasseter and andrew stanton!

  • Ceballos

    Despite the fact that I’d barely heard about this, the low numbers for its opening weekend are still SHOCKINGLY low.
    My favorite tidbit was a Yahoo.com breakdown that basically calculated that for the take to be that low on opening weekend, “Delgo” would have to average TWO people per theatre, per showing. Ouch!

    http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/delgo-worst-opening-ever.html

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