Uma Thurman's new film seen by just one person on opening day
Uma Thurman’s latest film is set to be one of the biggest box office flops ever after just one ticket was sold for the movie in the UK on its opening day.
Over its opening weekend at the beginning of March, only around a dozen people went to see Motherhood, a semi-autobiographical account of parenting in New York written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann.
The film took just £88 at the British box office on its opening weekend.
On its debut Sunday, takings at the box office were just £9 - the price of a ticket for one person.
Only one British cinema was given permission to launch the film earlier this month, with the film’s producers hoping that exclusivity would generate a buzz and lead to box office success by word of mouth.
Instead, cinema goers stayed away from the Apollo West End in record numbers in a move that will be embarrassing for Thurman, the star of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill who divides her time between London and New York.
Motherhood, which also stars Jodie Foster and Minnie Driver, is thought to have made only €44,000 when it opened in America last year, despite costing around €3.8m to make.
The spectacular failure of the film to find an audience has resulted in a row between producers and Metronome, the company responsible for marketing the film in the UK.
When Jana Edelbaum, one of the producers, was told how badly it had fared at the British box office, she said: “You’re kidding? We must have broken a new record for grosses.”
But she defended the film, insisting that Metronome was to blame and that she would demand a full explanation.
She said: “Think how much crap succeeds at the cinema. Motherhood is not bad. I’ve seen movies that are not half as good.”
Barry Norman, the film critic, said: “I have never heard of anything like this before. This is not some small, independent movie. It’s astonishing that only about 11 people could be bothered to go and see Uma Thurman.
“The reviews were very poor indeed, but that alone isn’t enough to explain this. It’s a reasonable assumption that there was a marketing and advertising catastrophe, and people didn’t know it was showing.
“But Apollo cinemas aren’t in tucked-away places. They’re all prominently located.”
The Apollo chain has put on further screenings for the film in Burnley, Fareham, Redditch, Stroud and Altringham.
A spokesman for Metronome, said: “Over the course of the week leading up to Mother’s Day we also released the film on DVD, video on demand and pay per view so customers could choose how to watch the film.
“Inevitably some films will work better on some platforms than others. In this case, the DVD was stronger than the theatrical result.”