There are movies that bomb, and then there are movies that bomb hard. The Brothers Grimsby is one of the latter. Not only did it finish in eighth place in its opening weekend, but it actually had one of the worst opening weekends in the history of the industry. For films that have seen a release in at least 2,000 theaters The Brothers Grimsby is now number 36 on the list of worst openings ever.
Box Office Mojo keeps track of all the current and historical box office business and it has all the numbers for the worst opening weekends dating back to 1982. While The Brothers Grimsby looks like an absolute blockbuster compared to last year’s Jem and the Holograms, which currently sits at number four on the same list, it opened with just over $3 million total, at an average of $1,409 per screen. What’s worse is that these numbers are not adjusted for inflation, which makes you realize that even some of the films that did "worse" may have actually sold more tickets, just at a lower price. Would the American Idol abomination From Justin to Kelly actually have done over $3 million in 2016 dollars? It’s a question we probably shouldn’t ask.
While the opening for The Brothers Grimsby is terrible, it’s not unexpected. Reports have stated that Sony was intentionally holding back on the film’s marketing, primarily due to a scene that involved Donald Trump being infected with HIV. The studio has been worried that Trump would file suit over the scene if he got wind of its existence. Unfortunately, by trying to prevent Trump from becoming aware of the scene, it appears that nobody else became aware of the movie at all.
With only a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s highly unlikely that any word of mouth will save this movie and drive viewers to the theater in the coming weeks. We at least gave The Brothers Grimsby credit for making us laugh, even if we felt bad about it later. Most critics aren’t laughing much at all. While the budget for The Brothers Grimsby is unknown, this will almost certainly be one for the loss column for Sony.
Of course, the rest of the box office didn’t help matters. A second strong week for Zootopia, whose audience was the polar opposite of The Brothers Grimsby, and a strong opening for 10 Cloverfield Lane appear to have taken the bulk of the movie going audience this weekend. The rest of the screens were fighting over scraps.
Were you one of the few that saw The Brothers Grimsby this weekend? Would you recommend that others go see it? Let us know in the comments.