This article from Gannett owned The Detroit Free Press is typical:
It looks like it's going to be an oogly opening at the box office for the made-in-Michigan "Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure."
The indie children's movie, shot in 2009 in Farmington Hills and the city of Holland, opened in 17th place this week, earning just over $102,000 at 2,160 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. That averaged out to a mere $47 per theater.
That's less than the $150,000 donation that the film gave to Henry Ford Health System at a preview screening in Royal Oak in early August.
The price tag for the G-rated movie produced by Teletubbies marketing whiz Kenn Viselman was $60 million or about $20 million to produce and roughly $40 million to market and distribute, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The movie has two executive producers from metro Detroit, Michael Chirco and Scot Moceri of MJC Companies of Macomb Township.
"Oogieloves" was approved for $4 million in Michigan film incentives on a projected $11.3 million in in-state spending. Subsequent applications for two more "Oogieloves" movies that were asking for roughly $13 million total in incentives were denied.
Viselman, who used his promotional skills to help make the Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine huge phenomenons in America, had gambled on distributing the film independently, without a studio.
A news release on its opening day touted the size of the movie's distribution, saying "Oogieloves" would be one of the widest-released G-rated independent family films of all time.
But now box office watchers are waiting to see if it will set a record for the worst opening weekend for a movie on more than 2,000 screens. Entertainment Weekly's website speculates that the movie "has a solid shot at out-failing the misguided animated film 'Delgo,' which grossed a record-low $511,920 from 2,160 theaters in 2008."
Our partners at The Denver Post say this film, like the big balloon in the title itself, should be allowed to quietly float away.
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