Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Zyzzyx Road — Lowest Grossing Movie In History

posted by Nell Minow

We can all name at least a few of the movies in the top 10 box office winners of all time.  But not many people know that the rec0rd-holder for the lowest ticket revenues of all time is “Zyzzyx Road,” starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore.  The official figure is just $30 from just six patrons, reduced later to $20 after the film-makers refunded two tickets bought by the film’s make-up artist.

YouTube Preview Image

Entertainment Weekly had a sympathetic story.

In truth, nobody was supposed to see Zyzzyx Road at all. The Dallas screening was never meant to be a real theatrical run. Instead, it was set up to fulfill a Screen Actors Guild agreement, which permits low-budget films to pay actors a lower rate as long as the film gets a domestic theatrical release. The Dallas ”opening” was merely a formality. ”I didn’t want an audience,” says Grillo. ”We looked at it and said, What’s the cheapest way we can get out of this mess? We rented the theater for $1,000.”

At most of the screenings, Grillo’s plan worked just fine: Nobody showed up. Even so, the movie had to run. ”We paid to show the movie every day,” says Grillo. ”So legally speaking, we have a screening every single day. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s there, does it make a sound? In the law of physics, the answer’s no, but in the law of SAG, the answer’s yes.”

Grillo decided to pursue foreign sales first and worry about a legitimate domestic release much later, betting on the rise of Heigl’s and Sizemore’s Hollywood profiles (Grey’s Anatomy soon grew into one of TV’s highest-rated shows, and Sizemore landed a VH1 reality show). Regent Entertainment started hawking the foreign DVD rights, eventually selling the film in 23 countries, including Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Portugal. By the end of 2006, it had generated around $368,000.

Want to see it?  You’re in luck.  The Zyzzyx Road DVD was released today. If you see it, let me know what you think!

 



Previous Posts

Now That's Funny: The Paley Center Visits Top TV Comedies
In case you missed the Paley Center special on TV comedy shows, you can watch it online. It is a lot of fun to go behind the scenes to hear the creators of "The Big Bang Theory," "Mom," "Modern Family," "New Girl," "Episodes," "Parks and Recreation," "Key and Peele," and "The Mindy Project" talk ab

posted 9:36:00am Dec. 27, 2014 | read full post »

CONTEST: Divergent DVD/Book
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfgTxS91faA[/youtube] I have a Divergent DVD/Book to give away! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with "Divergent" in the subject line and tell me about the best gift you ever GAVE. Don't forget your address! (US addresses only.) I'll pick a wi

posted 8:00:51am Dec. 27, 2014 | read full post »

The Year's Best Christian Films
The Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury is made up of film critics and cinephiles who wish to recognize and celebrate films that use the medium to explore themes of religion, faith, or spirituality. We particularly seek to enlarge or expand the perception of what is meant by either labeling a film a

posted 3:51:16pm Dec. 26, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: Walter and Margaret Keane and the Big Eyes Paintings
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4WhmP7Agc0[/youtube] The strangest parts of the story of Walter and Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes are true. Perhaps the strangest of all

posted 3:16:11pm Dec. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Kwanzaa Blessings!
[iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0kV-6qVp98Q?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Warm Kwanzaa greetings to all who celebrate. May the blessings of unity, faith, work, cooperation, purpose, creativity and faith be with you all year.

posted 10:11:48am Dec. 26, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.