In the last few weeks, to remarkably little fanfare, a self-congratulatory film produced and financed by FIFA hit theaters in the U.S. It’s called United Passions, and it hit theaters with a big ole’ thud, ranking among the worst sports movies, if not the worst-performing widely released film, in U.S. box office history.
Over the weekend of June 6-7, it pulled in a grand total of $918 in ten theaters. I’m pretty sure that someone earning minimum wage at one of those theatershas earned more than $918 since June 6th.
The Hollywood Reporter has a piece on FIFA’s reaction to the film, but the gist is that it didn’t make any money, and was universally slammed by critics for being terrible in virtually every way imaginable. It’s almost like a corrupt soccer organization doesn’t have a deft hand when it comes to the art of cinema. The film wasn’t even distributed in Brazil or Germany, though it did make $158,000 in Russia.
When sports movies are well done, they can become dramatic or comedic triumphs. However, like all genres of film, successes are the exception. Sports movies are often terrible because producers think that the film can coast on audiences going “Hey! Baseball!” and forking over $15 bucks to see a cat manage a Little League team.
So, in honor of United Passions (what a terrible name), let’s examine the worst sports movies in history.