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[Box Office] ‘Machete Kills’: One of the Worst Openings in History…

Website Box Office Mojo pointed out Sunday morning that Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills had one of the worst starts ever for a movie in over 2,500 theaters.

Open Road was hoping that the jam-packed roster of stars – including Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara, Zoe Saldana, Edward James Olmos, Charlie Sheen, Elise Avellan, Electra Avellan, William Sadler, Lady Gaga, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens and Marko Zaror – would sell the movie. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by both Gravity and Captain Phillips, as well as a hefty amount of negative reviews (30% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Last week I had pointed out that I thought it was bizarre how much stock Open Road was putting into “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara, as if she could sell a movie like Nicole Kidman. Even with a push from Lady Gaga and Mel Gibson the movie failed to gain any traction, proving once again that stars don’t always sell movies – on the polar opposite, Warner Bros.’ Gravity is kicking ass because it’s a good, no, great movie, and word of mouth is hot as hell. Yes, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star, but my personal reaction is that they weren’t used to sell the movie as much as critical acclaim and great footage.

Whatever the case may be, Machete Kills opened to $3.8M, which is the 8th worst opening in history (there’s nothing like being in the company of Firehouse Dog!) for a movie in over 2,500 theaters.

What’s interesting is that Fox’s Machete opened to $11M and went on to $26M, which is great for the low price of an indie production. So what happened? Was it bad marketing (I actually thought the trailers were cool, for what it’s worth)? Bad timing? Or maybe people just hated the first movie (it sucked) and didn’t want to waste their money on the second?

The one question that now has to be asked is can Rodriguez get the third film off the ground, and would anyone even care if he didn’t?




  • WalkingDeadGuy

    Wow, that’s no good. I was a little disappointed by the first film, and even though the sequel looks fun, I am waiting for it to hit DVD shelves. I’m not going to pay $15.00 on a movie ticket and risk being letdown like the first one.

    • Polsdofer

      $15? Where do you live? I thought $8.50 for a night showing was bad.

      • bdwolfe312

        Where do YOU live that a night movie is 8.50? I’m in one of the cheapest areas in the country, and it is $10.00 for a standard movie at night, and $13 for 3D..

        • CTHL

          Hmph, 5$ here (10$ after 6pm)… and 3d is actually cheaper than standard at 8.50 all-day…

          Anyways… movie was good dumb fun, and thought it was better than the first (a movie I didn’t love, despite loving it when it was a faux trailer… it didn’t live up to the stupidity!).

  • haruspex

    Machete kills! Just like Ángel Maturino Reséndiz.

  • DarrelDreadful

    Besides here on the site, I have never seen any promo for this film anywhere. I never seen the first and didn’t plan on seeing this because they just aren’t my cup of tea but this just isn’t surprising. The first didn’t seem to turn into a cult classic, which im guessing they were hoping so, then this sequel came out of nowhere. And if a third follows, that would just be stupid and it would do even worse I bet. Sophia is aggravating btw and probably turned a lot of people off.

  • ThunderDragoon

    There was no advertising for this movie anywhere. Nobody knew about it.

  • haruspex

    I saw ads on tv all the time. At least twice a day the last few days.

  • dabay

    I loved the first yet somehow forgot this came out lol…I’m going to go asap.

  • dr.lamb

    Too bad. I badly wanted to see the announced sequel “Machete kills again… in space”. They should’ve made that one instead of the one we got. Or skip it all and go straight to “Sin City 2”.


      SIN CITY 2 was made, it was called THE SPIRIT and was one of the biggest turds I have watched the first 30 minutes of.

  • SkullBunnie

    I loved Machete Kills. It was taken even less seriously than the first one; and it was essentially the plot from Moonraker, but i Thought it was great.
    Do people remember that the movie is supposed to be bad. its an extension of Grindhouse paying homage to John Carpenteresque movies of the 70s and 80s. this one seemed to pull more from the Roger Moore bond movies, but it was still one of the most entertaining movies i have seen all year.


      There is good bad, like Planet Terror and then there is bad bad like HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.
      I am sure I will enjoy it, but I will enjoy it in my home.

  • ChasingTheGhost

    Sad to hear. I really enjoyed it.

  • Rendrogy

    Machete Kills was fantastic. Whereas the first movie is too political about Mexican awareness, this movie is more action, better villains, and lots of sci-fi! A third film will be made… oh yes… a third film MUST be made!

  • Kroork

    Mel gibson is the reason I won’t be watching it. I don’t support anti Semites.

    • u_mad_br0

      I don’t like the gay lifestyle but that doesn’t stop me from watching movies with gay actors in it. I don’t like the political agenda many actors push but it doesn’t stop me from watching their movies. I like Mel Gibson and I don’t care if he is an Anti Semite. I guess you won’t be watching Expendible 3.

      • macguffin54

        Not only are your views offensive, your logic doesn’t make any sense and you don’t know how to spell.

        • FreakyFreelings

          I couldn’t have said it any better macguffin54

        • u_mad_br0

          For the simple minded I will explain it so you understand, and no I don’t proclaim to be a english or spelling teacher, are you? You don’t go see a movie or avoid a movie because of the way a person lives their life. They are playing a character that is not the same as their real life. I know it hard to understand that for most people, except when it comes to Tim Robins.

          • bdwolfe312

            No, that’s not it. It’s that your views ARE in fact, quite offensive, and that you ARE, in fact, a bigot..

      • FreakyFreelings

        Wow. Are you a bigot by chance? What exactly is “the gay lifestyle” anyhow? I am gay and I live my life in my style. Not a “gay” one.

        • u_mad_br0

          I am not a bigot. I am an equal opportunity hater. That means everyone, including those that are the same race as I am, have an equal opportunity of being hated. Your lifestyle is the gay one. You like gays. I don’t. It’s not my life though live it the fuck the way you want to live it, wrong or not, and quit worrying about what other people say and trying to label them as well. Hate those that are not the same as you much?

          • bdwolfe312

            Dude, seriously, your views are so offensive that it is comical how you could even say let alone end that with “Hate those that are not the same as you much?”

          • bdwolfe312

            Also, you imply that it his distaste for supporting an anti-semite is somehow equal to your homophobia.

    • gorebath

      Yeah, well I don’t support Anti-Palestinianites. Screw Israel. They are a scourge and the reason this world is in perpetual war. THAT’S the reason I support Mel Gibson and paid to see this movie.


    How this got a sequel I will never understand. I always planned on watching this on DVD or streaming and never planned to see it at the movies.
    I do have to admit, my gf refuses to support anything Mel Gibson is involved with, so that alone prevents me from seeing it at the movies.
    The 8 million trailers on TV basically gave away the entire movie too.

    • howlingmad

      This was a ridiculous amount of fun, so it’s a shame to hear it opened so disastrously. I’d still love to see an eventual DTV release for “Machete Kills Again…In Space!” I think you pretty much have to make it because of the title alone.

      Younger audiences don’t seem to have any taste for this kind of thing (see: Shoot `Em Up; Grindhouse; Machete), so the real question is probably, “Where were all the older fanboys?”

      I’ve had a few people tell me their wives were put off by Mel Gibson’s inclusion (as someone mentioned above), so I do wonder if that could’ve been a factor. After all, we’re really only talking about a film that was $3-4 million off from box office predictions.

      Gravity was certainly a factor too, although probably not in the “Yes, see! Everyone shares my belief that Hollywood should only make good movies!” way a lot of people are trying to spin this. Make no mistake: For every “bad” sequel or remake that flops, another dozen will rise to replace them. Machete’s failure will not change that fact.

      No, Gravity’s real asset is the similarity it shares with Avatar, in that people feel it’s an experience that needs to be seen in 3D. Couple that with the fact that many households right now are having to be careful with what they spend, and it’s not too surprising that a grindhouse parody was lost in the shuffle.

  • eradicator

    This is a shame. I really enjoyed the first one. I’m heading to the theater tomorrow for this one. And if a third one is ever made, I’m sure I’d check that out too. Long live Machete!

  • u_mad_br0

    I could not watch this movie. Just the preview of the 1st one with Michelle Rodgrigez or whatever her name is kissing all over 100 year old cracked shoe leather turned me off. Nasty!

  • Ether-Fueled-Boogeyman

    Good. Robert Rodriguez is an awful director who makes awful films. Glad to see that the public is no longer rewarding him for making unwatchable garbage.

  • MurderCapital

    Machete started as a joke, and maybe people don’t find that joke funny anymore.

    • ^^^^^^^^

      I was thinking the same thing. I still plan on watching Machete Kills, but maybe, just maybe, Machete Kills was better off as a one and done type of deal. And this is coming from someone, who really enjoyed the first film.

      I also agree with Mr. D about pushing Sofia Vergara in the trailers and TV spots too much. Bit part or not (I’m guessing, because I haven’t seen the movie), but you have Lady Gaga as a member of the cast. Like her or not, Gaga is a pretty big name with some legit star power. Shoving her into the background during the promotional campaign for this film didn’t make too much sense to me.

  • kaido

    It seems people have forgotten movies are made for enjoyment, not for complete criticism. As for me, Gravity was not very enjoyable, quite boring, but an improvement over Buried. Machete Kills is the kind of movie you watch for kicks, not mathematical equations.

  • thedragon803

    I read on IGN that Machete Kills spent $20 million in advertising ALONE…yikes. I think the “grindhouse” gag has run its course.

    • howlingmad

      Open Road is likely kicking themselves for putting so much into the promotion, although they did only pay $2 million to acquire the film.

      It was still a very cheap production. If Rodriguez had made it a VOD release, it would’ve probably been considered a big success.

  • Evan3

    This probably earned it. There was a time I thought Rodriguez was one of the most innovative directors around, but it seems Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Sin City were truly his zenith (and after a bad-ass start too with Desperado, Dusk til Dawn and The Faculty). I used to think the Hollywood system had kept him back, but since fully operating his own studio he has done films that are lazy (Spy Kids sequels, Shark Boy) or crap (Machete – Danny Trejo should never be a leading man). He’s also wasted time producing a lot of crap (Predators, The Spirit). The best thing he has done lately is a 5 minute Nike commercial for Kobe Bryant.

    This failure may re-focus him. But I don’t hold out hope.

  • AndrewSoukup24

    It’s a shame that it did so poor in the theater and I was no help cause I didn’t see it but I have my reason..My gf never seen the first one and its not really her type of film and my friends didn’t like the first one but I thought Machete was a great film and was looking forward to seeing the second one..I might just have to go see it alone to give it a sale haha….hopefully the go through with a third film.

  • mobstar67

    i think Robert Rodriguez has played out the “grindhouse” 70’s exploitation films..Planet terror,Machete and Machete Kills.Might as well be the same film..
    this guy was so promising as a director and imo is as stale as it gets right now…its a shame cuz the guy has talent..
    i hope he moves on and gets back to 21st century filmaking..

  • Freakshow84

    I blame Lady Gaga!

  • Jik

    You gotta be kidding. You people watch crappy horror movies all day long and you’re bitching about this? The Machete movies are awesome. Problems’ not with Rodriguez, it’s with you. Maybe try Curious George instead.

  • Marc Tabor

    ahh, dont be so hard on it. I just watched this flick on netflix and found it to be a quite fun film! no awards ever I am sure but was a great fun film. I plan on watching the first and hopefully 3rd if it comes out.

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