Low Budget 'Creature' Sets Low Box Office Record

The independently distributed horror movie has a per-screen average audience of just six paying customers.

A box office record was set over the weekend, though not the good kind. The low budget horror movie Creature opened on 1,507 screens and grossed only $331,000. That makes it the lowest grossing opening weekend on record for a single movie opening on more than 1,500 screens.

As Box Office Mojo calculated it, each screening had an average attendance of six paying customers. By comparison, its fellow weekend box office dud, Bucky Larson had a per screen average of just over eight people. Only one other film, Proud American, from 2008 had a worse per screen average.

Creature, about a swamp creature on the loose in backwoods Louisiana, is the work of first time writer-director Fred Andrews. But it's most notable credit is that of former MCA President Sid Sheinberg, who has been a producer with his own company, The Bubble Factory, since 1995.

Sheinberg is widely credited as the movie executive who "discovered" Steven Spielberg.

The film received just 11 percent fresh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, beating Bucky Larson's dreaded 0 percent fresh rating.

According to the New York Times the 76-year-old producer, who also spends time as vice chairman of the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, decided to release the film himself when he failed to get studio distribution. In an attempt to outdo the big studios, Sheinberg opted to pursue a guerilla marketing campaign through websites and the movie ticketing service Fandango and ignore traditional print and TV ads.