In what is one of the worst weekend film debuts in US cinema history, the FIFA funded/pretty much propaganda film, United Passions, about the history of FIFA and the history of outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter, earned a total of $607 in Friday and Saturday box office earnings. They probably shouldn’t have released the movie on the same weekend as the Entourage movie.
To put that in perspective, let’s say the average price of a ticket to go see a movie is $10. That means, only 60 people in the United States went to see this movie. It may have only been in a total of 10 theaters but that’s still sad.
People stayed away from this movie in droves because A) it was clearly a FIFA propaganda film and B) the propaganda lost any and all effectiveness when high ranking FIFA members are being indicted left and right over the past couple weeks.
The reviews for United Passions, not surprisingly, were also horrible. We at 32 Flags gave our review/synopsis of United Passions back in November last year. And before you think that no one in America went to see United Passions because it’s America and Americans “don’t care about soccer,” we also chronicled the struggles of getting people in other, “more soccer loving” nations to pay money to see this. Highlights of other reviews include,
“Even without the cloud of the recent disturbing developments, United Passions is a cringeworthy, self-aggrandizing affair that mainly benefits from its unintentional camp value.” -Frank Schenk, Hollywood Reporter
“Bankrolled by FIFA for an estimated $29 million, the bloated, talky epic starring Gerard Depardieu, Sam Neill and Tim Roth comes across as a squirm-inducing heap of propaganda at its most self-congratulatory.” -Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times
“During a series of resolutely non-scintillating scenes including a marketing seminar and a sponsorship negotiation, Blatter is portrayed as the noble protector of a flawed institution. At one point, he warns his Fifa colleagues: “The slightest breach of ethics will be severely punished.” The film-makers at least had the good grace to include a title card informing audiences that United Passions is “a work of dramatic fiction.”” -Tim Walker, The Independent
“Clumsily spanning the group’s start in 1904 and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, “United Passions” alternates between awful, self-congratulatory dialogue (“A world championship? He’s mad!” “No, he’s a visionary!”), too-short clips of actual games (considering FIFA owns the rights) and dull sequences of advertising deals and in-house elections. Still, it’s likely to get attention because of the wonderfully ironic real-world coda, so who knows? Maybe it’ll find fame as “The Room” of sports movies.” -Sara Stewart, New York Post
“Other lines seem scripted by a legal defense team: One staffer tells Mr. Blatter, “You’ve been betrayed by the people you’ve put in power.” Another asks, “When are you going to do something to defend yourself?” Mr. Auburtin and some of the actors, who surely knew better, have made noises about being hamstrung by FIFA’s financing. Not so fast. If cynicism were a crime, they’d be taking a sheet-covered perp walk of their own.” -Daniel M. Gold, New York Times
The movie ranking site Rotten Tomatoes currently lists United Passions at a 0% rating. It takes a very special form of lousiness to have a 0% rating. For instance, I looked up some movies that are regarded as some of the worst movies ever, in addition to see what their rating is. The following movies are better than United Passions.
Disaster Movie (with Kim Kardashian): 1%
Baby Geniuses: 2%
The Hottie & the Nottie (with Paris Hilton): 4%
Gigli (with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck): 6%
Who’s Your Caddy (with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton of Outkast): 6%
Glitter (with Mariah Carey): 7%
From Justin to Kelly (with Kelly Clarkson): 10%
Selected Adam Sandler movies:
Jack and Jill: 3%
Grown Ups 2: 7%
Grown Ups: 10%
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry: 14%
Just Go With It: 19%
That’s My Boy: 20%
Yeah, so in other words, congratulations to FIFA for making one of the worst movies of all time.