After its second full weekend of national release it is clear that the new gun control movie, Miss Sloane, will soon be yanked from most of the theaters showing it. The movie has so far made $3.2 million, but its budget was reported $13 million. In addition, they spent $15.9 million on television advertising.
Those are pretty bad numbers, but exactly how empty were the movie theaters this past weekend? During its second weekend, it averaged just $102 per movie theater per day. With a ticket price of $10.30 per adult, that indicates just 9.9 people saw the movie in any given theater during the entire day. Given that the movie was being shown more than once per day, you get an idea of how empty any showing was. In addition, you have to figure that those who showed up were still pretty sympathetic to the gun control message, yet Rotten Tomatoes gave it an audience rating of just 56%.
Here is some information on the big advertising push for the movie.
It is interesting to see where the ads for the movie were placed (more detailed data here). As to networks: 185 on MSNBC, 176 on Bravo, and 150 on TNT. Regarding shows, the top ones were: 95 on Law & Order SUV, 59 on Bones, 46 on Morning Joe, and 41 on Law & Order. To get an idea of how much money was spent on advertising this movie, we looked at other movies that Box Office Mojo ranked between 101 and 200 in box office sales during 2016 (advertising spending wasn’t listed for many movies, which may mean that their promotional efforts didn’t involve advertising). Miss Sloane currently ranks at 170th on that list. Of those that did advertise, Miss Sloane did by far the worst in terms of revenue per dollar spent on advertising, bringing in just 21 cents per dollar on advertising. The next worst movie was Collateral Beauty, which 53 cents per dollar on advertising. Then there was Hands of Stone, with 59 cents per dollar on advertising. The average ratio for 37 movies between 101 and 200 that had advertising was $3.70 per dollar spent on advertising. One better hope that this ratio is well above one or you won’t be covering any of your production costs. Only one movie between 101 and 200 in sales had more television advertising. That number goes up to ten movies for the top 200, though only three movies spent more than 20 percent more on television advertising.
Of course, all these numbers miss the important fact that Miss Sloane received all sorts of often fawning praise from the news media before its national release on December 9th, but even that couldn’t save the movie from bombing. The movie even had an almost 6 minute clip on the Today Show.
But despite this being a flop and not being well received by the public, Jessica Chasten, the lead in the movie, has landed a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination. The award is given out by Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Back in January 2014, Harvey Weinstein promised a gun control movie that would make the NRA “wish they weren’t alive.” Meryl Streep was scheduled to star in the movie (“The Senator’s Wife”), but almost three years later it is still listed as “in-development.” Miss Sloane will make the release of the Weinstein movie even less likely to see the light of day.
Unfortunately, these pushes for gun control in movies and television aren’t alone.
gun control groups point to NetFlix’s House of Cards and CBS’ The Good Wife. Everytown worked with House of Cards to push gun control during season four of the series, and “the Brady Campaign consulted on an episode of The Good Wife” for a gun control campaign, as well.