‘Hypnotic’ has the lowest opening in Robert Rodriguez and Ben Affleck’s careers at the box office.


“Hypnotic” is a sci-fi action-thriller movie that recently hit the big screen. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Ben Affleck, it had high hopes for success. However, the film’s opening weekend proved to be a disappointment, with only $2.4 million in ticket sales from 2,118 theaters. This marked the worst nationwide opening for any film directed by Rodriguez or starring Affleck.

One of the main reasons for the lackluster performance is the low awareness and marketing surrounding the movie. Many people were unaware of its release, which is crucial for attracting audiences. This emphasizes the importance of marketing in the film industry and how it can impact the success of a movie.

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The journey of “Hypnotic” to the big screen was not smooth. The film faced several setbacks, including the collapse of Solstice Studios, the company responsible for marketing and releasing the movie. Solstice Studios, led by indie veteran Mark Gill, had high hopes for “Hypnotic” to shape their future. However, the pandemic disrupted their plans, despite their earlier success with the film “Unhinged” in 2020.

Solstice Studios had formed a partnership with Studios 8, headed by Jeff Robinov. “Hypnotic” was their first collaborative project. The responsibility of marketing, U.S. distribution, and international sales fell on Solstice. Foreign buyers showed great interest in the film and contributed significantly to its reported $65 million budget, expecting a wide U.S. release.

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But when Solstice faced internal issues, “Hypnotic” seemed to disappear from the radar. It wasn’t until this year’s Berlin Film Festival market that it was revealed Ketchup, a boutique outfit, had taken over as the U.S. distributor. However, Ketchup did not provide any comments regarding the film.

The movie was showcased as a work-in-progress at the South by Southwest festival and made its international premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in a Midnight slot. The filmmakers are hopeful that the Cannes exposure will boost sales in the foreign market.

In the United States, the marketing campaign for “Hypnotic” was minimal, with Affleck himself not participating in any press activities. It is speculated that the film’s release date aimed to benefit from the marketing campaign of Affleck’s acclaimed sports drama “Air,” which had an exclusive theatrical run before being available on Prime Video.

In “Hypnotic,” Affleck portrays Detective Danny Rourke, who is haunted by his 7-year-old daughter’s unsolved abduction and attempts to unravel the mysterious forces behind it. The film also stars Alice Braga and William Fichtner.

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Unfortunately, “Hypnotic” had a disappointing box office performance, making it one of Affleck’s lowest-opening films in his career. Prior to “Hypnotic,” his films “Phantoms” in 1998 ($3 million) and “Gigli” in 2003 ($3.8 million) held the record for his lowest wide openings, defined as screenings in 1,500 or more theaters.

The underperformance of “Hypnotic” serves as a reminder of the importance of effective marketing and awareness in the film industry, even with renowned directors and actors attached to a project.