The Real Cancun

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    [Total: 6 Average: 1.3]
  • Directed By: Rick de Oliveira
  • Written By: Brian Caldirola
  • Release Date: April 25, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: New Line
  • Cast: Benjamin Fletcher, Nicole Frilot, Roxanne Frilot

Box Office Info:
Budget: $8 million Financed by: FilmEngine; Bunim-Murray Productions
Domestic Gross: $3,825,421 Overseas Gross: $1,519,662

We normally do not do write-ups on lower budgeted fare like this, but we’ll make a special exception for The Real Cancun.

New Line threatened reality television crossing over onto the big screen with The Real Cancun, which was financed by FilmEngine and Bunim-Murray Productions for $8 million.  Universal was also in a race to the bottom with New Line, trying to get their reality movie The Quest, also about idiots on spring break to theaters first.  The Real Cancun was shot in 10 days in March 2003 and was slapped together to get it to screens first, just 33 days later and all industry eyes were on the performance of the film (‘film’ seems like such a complicated word for what’s on display here).  Had The Real Cancun been successful it would have launched an era of reality junk clogging up the multiplex.

Thankfully the big screen reality movie opened far below expectations to a pitiful $2,108,796 in 2,261 theaters.  It placed #10 for the weekend led by Identity.  After the failure of the opening weekend, Universal had seconds thoughts about The Quest and wisely threw away the trashy product in their vault for three years and dumped it straight to video in 2006.  Audiences gave The Real Cancun a terrible C- cinemascore and it saw a huge 71% decline to $612,495 the following weekend and promptly lost most of its theater count.  It was completely out of release at the end of its fourth frame with $3,825,421.  New Line would see back about $2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even recover the costs of striking release prints for this garbage or any of their ad spend.

The film saw a theatrical release in France and Australia to just $1,519,662 and went straight to video or television in the few markets that picked it up for a release.


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  1. I’m pretty sure at least one critic brought this up- whoever claimed it was the first “reality film” may have forgotten about “Jackass: The Movie”. And I doubt they forgot- what other film could they even cite as precedent?

  2. Man, we really did dodge a bullet here. Had this been a success, we’d probably be getting The Kardasian Movie: Part IX in 3D by now.

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