Through a series of increasingly elaborate conceptual art pieces, Shia LaBeouf has made it clear to the movie-going public that he's not interested in being "famous" anymore. Now it appears audiences, at least in the U.K., have taken his message to heart: This past weekend his latest film, a military thriller called Man Down, grossed just £7 ($8.70) over the weekend. That's one ticket sold to one loyal Shia-fan. Yikes.
To be clear, the movie wasn't exactly positioned to be a box office smash. As Variety points out, the Dito Montiel-directed film only played in one location in Burnley, a town near Manchester, and was simultaneously rolled out on demand at the same time. A DVD and Blu-ray release are also scheduled for next month, so the theatrical release clearly wasn't a major priority for the film's distributor Lionsgate.
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At the same time, this has to hurt a bit. Man Down was LaBeouf's reunion with Montiel, who directed the former child star in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, one of the first movies that let the Even Stevens star show off his adult acting chops. Though LaBeouf has made headlines recently with his political projects and his occasionally bizarre behavior, he was also excellent as a rattail-sporting conman in the minor indie hit American Honey. The dude can act.
Judging from the trailer and the clip above, Man Down, which also stars Gary Oldman and Kate Mara, is yet another chance for LaBeouf to get his moody scowl on. The movie screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals where it received mostly negative reviews -- it currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 15% -- and it was released back in December in the U.S. It had a modest box office haul of around $450,000, which is still a lot more than one ticket.
A more pressing question: who was the one Shia-loyalist who went for a solo trip to the cinema to see Man Down? That's the real hero of this story. While everyone else has given up on young Shia, or at least resigned to reading about him online, this one man or woman bravely doubled-down on their commitment to the Holes star. We salute you. Wherever you are. Take a bow.
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