The PJ Tatler

United Passions: Another Good Reason to Hate Soccer

The World’s Worst Sport has been rocked by scandal and busted by the FBI; the beloved Game of Ties has just played another nil-to-nil OT thriller in public estimation. And with the exquisite timing we associated with a bunch of foreigners in short pants milling aimlessly about a field while bouncing a stupid ball off their heads and periodically pretending to be mortally injured in front of a crowd of rampaging drunken psycopaths, now FIFA, the corrupt body that oversees the “sport,” has just made a stinkeroo of a movie that nobody paid to see. Well, excepting a few apparently homeless people who wandered into the theaters by mistake:

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about United Passions before today, and that seems to be a common theme. FIFA’s $30 million, self-funded puff piece starring Tim Roth as Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA head who resigned in disgrace at the beginning of the month, depicts Blatter as a heroic corruption fighter and ends with “Blatter being reelected to a standing ovation as the music swells.”

Talk about timing! And as if Americans needed help caring less about soccer. In any case, United Passions is now the lowest-grossing film to have opened in at least 10 theaters, having failed to break four figures ($918) before being pulled by its distributor, Screen Media Films. As far as Europe trying to get rid of its junk, they could’ve made more selling a used Vespa.

With a final weekend return of just $918 from 10 cinemas, Frederic Auburtin’s £17m [$30 million] drama – Fifa paid most of the costs – lines up ahead of such titans of modern cinema as 2012 vampire rock musical I Kissed a Vampire ($1,380) and 2013 animated adventure Last Flight of the Champion ($1,493).

How bad was it? The director, Frederic Aubertin said of it, “Now I’m seen as bad as the guy who brought AIDS to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis.” The lead actor, Tim Roth, admits he did it “to get out of a financial hole” and said the role “would have my father turning in his grave.” How bad was it? Gerard Depardieu is in it.

Wow! That bad?