Dec. 31, 2012 at 9:26 AM ET
Hollywood may be going gangbusters with a record-setting year at the box office, but not every film can be a "Hobbit," "Dark Knight Rises" or "Skyfall." Some film's going to have to be at the bottom of that barrel.
And it appears, based on data from The Numbers and Box Office Mojo, that "Playback," starring Christian Slater, is that last-place finisher for 2012. The film, which reportedly cost $7.5 million to make, took in $252 on opening night, plus another $12 later that week, according to Movieline, for a grand total of $264.
That makes it the lowest-grossing film of the year -- but bear in mind it was just in one theater, for one week. Perhaps more embarrassing are wider-released movies that still tanked, such as "The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure," which now holds the record as the lowest-grossing wide release of all time, according to The Huffington Post. "Oogieloves" earned $1.1 million gross, says The Numbers, averaging just $207 per theater (it opened in 2,160 theaters originally).
And "Playback's" box office return is exponentially bigger than what is largely considered the lowest-grossing American film release; in 2006, the Katherine Heigl-starring "Zyzzyx Road" showed in one theater in Texas for seven days. The $750,000 budgeted film took in $30, according to Entertainment Weekly.
In the case of "Zyzzyx," the release was always meant to be short-term -- thanks to a Screen Actors Guild agreement, low-budget films can pay their actors less if the film gets released domestically. That made the Dallas, Tex. screening a formality.
There's no indication that was the idea behind "Playback," however.
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