“Poor Shia,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore. “That opening could be in the Guinness World Records or something.”
The film played in one location, Reel Cinema in Burnley. It was simultaneously released digitally on demand, making the theatrical release something of an afterthought. It launches on DVD and Blu-ray next month, according to the Guardian.
After scoring in big studio blockbusters such as “Transformers” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” LaBeouf has focused on more indie projects with mixed success. He earned strong reviews for last year’s “American Honey,” but other work, such as “The Company You Keep” and “Charlie Countryman” have barely registered with critics or audiences. Instead, the media has focused on LaBeouf’s off-screen behavior, such several alcohol-related arrests (he got sober), and performance art that recently saw the actor participate in an art installation protesting Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Man Down” reunited LaBeouf with Dito Montiel. The two previously worked together on 2006’s “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.” The film screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals to negative reviews. It did better in the United States than it did across the pond, grossing $454,490.
Other stars in indie projects have seen similarly dismal results. Emma Watson got a wave of negative publicity last summer when her direct-to-video film “The Colony” only opened to £47 in the U.K., while Richard Gere’s “The Benefactor” kicked off to a dismal £25 in spring of 2016.
All the attention about the small grosses may have a side benefit. It could raise attention for the low-profile project.
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