FIFA's UNITED PASSIONS movie officially the lowest grossing film in US history

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Thanks to the almost ridiculous success of Jurassic World, we’ve seen quite a few box office records broken this week. But that wasn’t the only movie about dinosaurs that entered the history books. And unfortunately for recently resigned head Sepp Blatter and the rest of his decrepit cabal at FIFA, their movie is going down in history for all the wrong reasons.

According to a report from THR, United Passions now officially holds the unflattering honour of being the lowest grossing film in US history, after making just $918 – yes, nine hundred and eighteen dollars! – from 10 cinemas in its opening weekend, before being yanked off the circuit by its distributors for its horrible performance. The film cost £17 milllion (or $27 million) to make, most of which was financed by FIFA themselves. So yeah, bomb is not even the word.

Directed and co-written by Frederic Auburtin, United Passions is a biopic that sees Tim Roth – who admits he only took the role to get out of a financial bind, and has never even seen the movie – playing a young Sepp Blatter, as he inherits the mantle of the head of FIFA from his two predecessors. The film sees him tracing the history of his organization, culminating with Blatter awarding South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup. With FIFA recently making major international headlines amid the arrests of several of their top people in connection with corruption charges, many thought that releasing the film now would be a mistake. And clearly they were right.

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The only reason it even showed at Cannes was apparently because Gerard Depardieu – who plays ex-FIFA head Jules Rimet in the movie – put pressure on film festival president Thierry Frémaux to screen it. He eventually acquiesced, but ended up showing it on the beach instead of in their normal swanky venues. Unfortunately the sunny French Riviera setting didn’t do anything to dull the critics’ tongues who have shred the movie to pieces, describing it as just all-around terrible.

A sentiment that the director himself actually agrees with, as Auburtin told THR last week that the film’s production was a constant battle between FIFA and the director, resulting in a movie that he considers a “disaster”, and says that he regrets having his name “all over [this mess]”.

Unfortunately for Auburtin – who also revealed that FIFA initially wanted the movie go by the pretentious titles of Men of Legend or The Dreammakers – his name will now forever be linked to this bit of movie infamy. Here’s the trailer for the movie in case you were intrigued, because you’re probably not going to pay to see this in the cinema.

Last Updated: June 19, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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