Many movie fans and would-be box office pundits often keep their sights on the biggest movies of the year. The landmarks of success and failure for studio blockbusters certainly varies from project to project, but in the end they all have a pretty clear place where they need to "hit" to be considered a success. Sometimes films fly so far under the radar, and fail so spectacularly, not only do fans not notice them crash and burn, but neither did audiences. The latest major flop of 2019 has officially arrived, and you may not have realized it was here, let alone that it was the biggest flop of the year.
Playmobil: The Movie made its debut in US theaters last weekend to the tune of $656,500; for reference, WB's Joker made over $350,000 more in the same weekend despite being in its tenth weekend of release. In a new report on THR, the outlet reveals that Playmobil had "the third-worst debut of all time" for a movie that was released in movie than 2,000 theaters. The two movies that Playmobil was able to best are the infamous Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure and Delgo, but this is not company that anyone would strive to be in. THR reports that STX only spent $3 million marketing the movie. Internationally the film has brought in over $12 million, though this film's theatrical run can still be summarized as disastrous.
To make matters even worse for the picture, there was even an attempt to give Playmobil an advantage over the other movies being screened. Many exhibitors engaged in "variable pricing" by only charging $5 a ticket for the film no matter the time of day. This method of pricing has been a sticking point for some distributors who have been eager to see it tested on smaller movies to give them a competitive advantage over larger movies that will be drawing more eyes as a given (think Avengers: Endgame).
The crashing and burning of Playmobil, while bad news all around, isn't the end of the world for distributor STXfilms, who picked up domestic distribution rights last year. STX wasn't the company responsible for the $75 million production price tag, coming into the fold for the movie much later in the process. This isn't the first thing STX has released this year that has failed to find an audience though. In fact, this is the second major flop for STX after the animated UglyDolls movie ended its theatrical run with $20 million domestic from a $45 million production budget. STX has had tremendous success stories this year as well though with both The Upside and Hustlers bringing in over $100 million in the US alone.
It might surprise fans to see the talent involved in Playmobil: The Movie as well following news of its trajectory. Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe lent his voice to the feature as well as Anya Taylor-Joy, comedians Jim Gaffigan and Kenan Thompson, and singers Adam Lambert and Meghan Trainor.
Should your morbid curiosity push you toward seeing Playmobil: The Movie, hurry before it disappears from screens forever.