Archive for the ‘Director’ Category

The Strange, Notorious Career of Uwe Boll (UPDATED)

January 9, 2008

     Famous for all the wrong reasons, German director Uwe Boll is one of the most recognized, least respected people in the film industry.  Boll specializes in making terrible video game movies that bomb at the box office, and the mere mention of his name is enough to make many people’s blood boil.  Mind you, I’ve only had to sit through one of his films, but I can assure you, it was the absolute worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life.  I wanted to leave the theater.  I wanted to tear the screen.  I wanted to strangle every crew member involved in its production.  There was literally not one redeeming quality about the film.  And no, I’m not engaging in hyperbole.
     What astounds me most about Uwe Boll’s career is the fact that studio heads keep throwing money at the man, allowing him to make these lame video game adaptations!  Why would they do this?!  Every movie Boll has directed has been unanimously trashed by critics (check out the boxing match Boll staged in order to confront his biggest critic!), and has performed wretchedly at the box office.  Take a look at the disturbing trend between his films’ budgets and their box office receipts:

House of the Dead (2003)
Production Budget: $12 million
Final Gross: $10.2 million
Reviews: 10% fresh

With a net $2 million loss, this is Uwe Boll’s most successful film to date….
Alone In The Dark (2005)
Production Budget: $20 million
Final Gross: $5.2 million
Reviews: 1% fresh

This is the one I had to watch.  It’s truly indescribable how bad it really is.  I mean, Tara Reid plays a paleontologist!  That should say enough.

BloodRayne (2006)
Production Budget: $25 million
Final Gross: $2.4 million
Reviews: 4% fresh

There are two direct-to-DVD sequels in the works…. I’m not kidding.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)
Production Budget: $60 million(!)
Final Gross: ???
Reviews: none yet…
This will not make back its $60 million budget.  Never.
     There you have it.  If you’re confused, so am I.  Why Uwe Boll, who is widely considered the worst living film maker, keeps getting directing gigs with bigger budgets is completely beyond me.  Every one of his ventures has made less money that its predecessor, and if a studio is foolish enough to let him make one of their movies, then that studio deserves to to lose a hefty sum. 
UPDATE: Thanks to an influx of economics-wise readers from Marginal Revolution, it has come to my attention that Uwe Boll funds his films through private German investors, and he uses a tax shelter to help finance his projects.  Says Boll, “Maybe you know it, but it’s not so easy to finance movies in total.  And the reason I am able to do these kinds of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest a movie in Germany you get basically fifty percent back from the government.”  Thanks for the correction, guys- I guess I got carried away bashing him… This doesn’t change the fact that Boll’s movies are getting more expensive to make, but less profitable.  Also, American studios still must pay distribution and advertising fees, which are hefty costs for such box office bombs.  Furthermore, don’t German investors have something better to do with their money?!