Have Your Say: What the Hell Happened Here, OOGIELOVES?

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: What the Hell Happened Here, OOGIELOVES?
Know that I am not writing this article with any sort of glee in mind, nor do I hate the film or the people involved. How could I? I haven't seen it yet.
Until today I had never even heard about oogieloves or their movie "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure". There is no escaping social media these days however, so this morning I was quickly confronted by tweets and posts concerning what might just be the most spectacular box-office bomb of, well... maybe the decade?

I'm going to quote Box-Office Mojo because even if their numerical example is perhaps too extreme, you can build in all the buffers you like and STILL end up with a jawdroppingly awful revenue. Read this:

"The movie earned an estimated $445,000 from 2,160 locations this weekend; that tops 2008's Delgo ($511,920) for the worst debut ever for a movie in more than 2,000 theaters. It also had the second-worst per-theater average for a movie in nationwide release at just $206. To put that in perspective, if each location played Oogieloves five times a day on one screen at an average ticket price of $7, that would translate to fewer than two people per showing."

OUCH!!! And this for a film which allegedly cost over 60 million dollars in production and marketing. Right now a lot of people are probably wondering why this was premiered so wide instead of starting with a limited release.

The film is marketed and described as a cross between the Teletubbies (which this shares a producer with, by the way) and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", meaning kids are encouraged to sing along with the film and dance in the cinema. You know the drill: one of the characters has trousers which drop at select moments and then everyone is supposed to sing a song to get them back up again.
But both the Teletubbies and Rocky Horror were shows which each in their own way went what we now call "viral": they transcended any normal measure of good and bad and got an avid gang of fanatical followers. Thing is, it's lovely when your product goes viral but it's damn hard to have it happen on purpose...

The box-office drew my attention but so did the cast list. Believe it or not, this thing has some major names attached: Christopher Lloyd, Chazz Palminteri, Jaimie Pressly, Cary Elwes, Cloris Leachman... hell, even Tony Braxton has a role and though all these people have duds on their resume├ęs there is no arguing they all have done plenty of good things too. Director is Matthew Diamond who has been nominated for Oscar, Emmy and DGA awards. He even won an Emmy for "Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series" once...

So what went wrong here? And not just a bit wrong, but ultra-mega-oogie-doogyliscously catastrophically wrong?

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Matthew DiamondAlex GreeneScott StabileCarol SweeneyKenn ViselmanCloris LeachmanJaime PresslyCary ElwesChristopher LloydAdventureFamilyFantasy
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