Why Did Assassination Nation Bomb in Worst Box Office Opening of the Year?

The millennial-targeted film made just $1 million this weekend out of 1,403 venues.

Premiere Of Neon And Refinery29's "Assassination Nation" - Arrivals
Steve Granitz

Assassination Nation officially had the worst debut of the year at the box office this past weekend.

According to THR, the black comedy earned $1 million after being distributed to 1,043 theaters, averaging just $733 per screen.

The rights for the Sam Levinson–directed film were bought in January by specialty distributor Neon and the Russo brothers for $10 million after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Sam Levinson has created a bold, visionary and ultimately cathartic response to the dumpster fire that is 2018. We‘re admittedly disappointed more people didn‘t come out this weekend, but those that did were loud and overwhelmingly positive. It‘s going to take more time for Assassination Nation to find its audience,” says the Neon chief Tom Quinn in response to the numbers.

Assassination Nation, which functions as a satirical thriller, is a “modern-day take on the Salem witch trials,” featuring a group of teenage girls turned death squad who attempt to wreak vengeance on their small town after the townspeople blame them for a data hack that spills their secrets.

The movie stars the young It girl actors Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Odessa Young, Abra, and Bella Thorne, as well as Anika Noni Rose, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow, and Joel McHale in the Spring Breakers–like film.

But Assassination Nation wasn’t the only movie to tank at the box office this weekend. Life Itself, directed by the This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman, earned just $2.1 million from 2,578 theaters after being torn apart by critics. Amazon Studios shelled out $10 million in late 2017 for the rights to the film, which centers on multigenerational relationships. Despite its star-studded cast featuring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas, Life Itself earned only $800,000 on Friday. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, which was acquired by Tom Ortenberg’s new company, Briarcliff, also flailed at the box office, earning $3.1 million from 1,719 theaters.

Here’s hoping Assassination Nation and its accompanying iced films find new life on Netflix eventually.