Ah, Shia LaBeouf. Political commentator, performance artist and internet meme. Where to start with Shia LaBeouf?
You’ve probably already heard that LaBeouf’s latest film was a complete disaster. Media outlets everywhere are gleefully reporting on its 15% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and the fact that it opened in one cinema, which sold one ticket, making for a total opening weekend box office of just £7 or $11.50 AUD.
Yes, you read that right. One theatre, one ticket, and a massive $11.50. Not $11.5 million as I first thought when I saw the story on Twitter, but eleven dollars and fifty cents.
Poor Shia. Because I feel bad for him, let’s ignore his part in the whole thing from this point on. Instead, let’s talk about the one person who, sitting alone in a theatre in Burnley, showed up to see Man Down.
First off: Who was it? Here are my best guesses:
- Shia’s mum. You can always count on your mum to show up and support you, whether it’s at a shoddy kindergarten play, or the opening of a feature film.
- A diehard Shia fan (other than his mum). This fan has seen it all, from cinematic masterpiece Holes, to the epic waste of two hours that was Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. They’re not about to break the habit now.
- A diehard Brad Pitt fan. They saw Shia LaBeouf in a war movie and thought this was a rescreening of Fury.
- A confused senior citizen. They thought they were in line at the bank.
Secondly, what were they doing while the film played? Best guesses:
- Wondering why they didn’t just stay home and watch the movie on demand, since it released there simultaneously.
- Catching a quick power nap.
- Innocently enjoying the action and psychological thrill of the plot while unaware they were making history by being the only person in the entire UK to do so.
- Trying to work out if their friends meant this Burnley theatre, or that other one. Surely they should have arrived by now? This is the fifth time this has happened, and frankly at this point it just seems like there’s something they’re trying to say.
- Wishing they’d bought Maltesers at the snack bar before coming in.
Did they ask for the $11.50 back? Almost certainly not. Because:
- Having an entire cinema to yourself is the kind of liberating experience that is worth $11.50.
- Despite critics being snobby about it, 64% of the audience liked Man Down on Rotten Tomatoes.
- That would hurt Shia’s feelings, and literally no one wants that.
- This whole thing was actually another performance art piece, and Shia always knew no one would see the movie. That was the point. No one was meant to see it. He’s fooled us all.