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There are good movies and great movies. There are bad movies and terrible movies. Occasionally, there are movies that are so bad that they’re still entertaining. Then, there’s Misconduct. This movie, which co-stars Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins is, by all accounts, absolutely terrible. It’s so bad that when it opened in Britain this past weekend almost nobody saw it. Like almost literally nobody. The movie only grossed $141 in three days. No, I didn’t leave out any zeroes.
It’s hard to imagine how something like that can even happen. You’d think that any movie that has both Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins in it would draw a few dozen people per theater at least. Not so much. In the film’s defense, according to Variety, it only opened in five theaters in the country, but that still only translates to about one viewer per theater per day over the course of three days. Not per screening, per day. If the movie showed more than once per day, then most theaters were empty while the movie played. If only teenagers looking for a place to make out had known, the move could have doubled its take and sold at least two tickets per showing. Marketing firms, take note.
The film, which stars Josh Duhamel as a lawyer who takes on a pharmaceutical company, has an 8% score on Rotten Tomatoes with 25 reviews. Anthony Hopkins plays the head of the drug company while Al Pacino plays a senior partner at the law firm.
It’s amazing that a movie with big names like this could be so under the radar. Yet, somehow it happened, as Misconduct was already released in the US back in February, but you almost certainly didn’t notice. The movie only grossed $24,000 in its entire run. Variety doesn’t tell us how many theaters that was in, but unless the answer is one, it’s not a good number. It’s not all bad news, however. South Korea apparently loved the movie, as it took in $900,000. Still, with a reported production budget of $11 million, Misconduct has a lot of ground to make up. Maybe they’ll love it in Italy, it’s being released there next week.
The studio math for a terrible movie is a tough balancing act. When a studio knows they have a movie that isn’t great they have to make choices. Marketing the film more will increase ticket sales to some degree, regardless of how bad a movie is, but marketing costs money, which puts the studio deeper in the hole. Most of the time, the decision is made to simply cut bait and recoup whatever they can without spending another penny. Writing it off as a loss is essentially guaranteed at that point.
If you’ve actually seen Misconduct we’d love to hear your review in the comments. Is it really that bad? Should we ignore it entirely, or should we rent it with a bunch of friends and large quantities of alcohol?