United Passions

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  • Directed By: Frédéric Auburtin
  • Written By: Frédéric Auburtin, Jean-Paul Delfino
  • Release Date: June 5, 2015
  • Domestic Distributor: Screen Media Films
  • Cast: Sam Neill, Tim Roth, Gérard Depardieu

Box Office Info:
Budget: $26.1 million Financed by: Fifa
Domestic Gross: $918 Overseas Gross: $178,639

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The budget for United Passions (otherwise known as the Fifa propaganda film) was $26.1 million and it was majority financed by Fifa, which invested $22.2 million into the production.  Fifa originally put up $13 million, but after money ran out during filming, they increased their investment.  United Passions premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and buyers were not interested in this humiliating disaster.

Director Frédéric Auburtin tried to distance himself from the project and was quoted: “Now I’m seen as bad as the guy who brought AIDS to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis. My name is all over this mess and apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people.”  Well, we’ll keep him off the hook for AIDS, but he did make a propaganda picture for a rotten organization and was paid — so yes, Mr. Auburtin you are a propaganda guy.  Tim Roth refused to do any publicity and said: “Yeah, I apologize I didn’t question the director, I didn’t question the script.  This is a role that will have my father turning in his grave.”  Sam Neill also refused to promote it.

Screen Media Films acquired US rights for low six figures and United Passions saw a release in the US days after 14 Fifa officials were arrested on numerous corruption charges, making this misguided wreck even more radioactive.  Definitely not helping its appeal was that critics eviscerated the film, which earned a rare 1/100 on metacritic.  United Passions was booked into 10 theaters with a simultaneous VOD release.  It grossed $607 from 10 theaters on its opening day and Saturday showings and US distributor Screen Media Films declined to report the Sunday takings.  The final weekend numbers amounted to all of $918 and no numbers were reported after the weekend.

United Passions saw a release in a few handpicked countries where it pulled in $178,639 in sales and most of that terrible number is from Russia.  The film had no theatrical UK release and it went straight to video in France and premiered on television in Italy.

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