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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Decemystery (2021) Bonus Entry: Who Bought the One Opening Weekend Ticket to See “The Worst Movie Ever!”?


Merry Christmas, dear reader! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, fear not! I shall raise a glass of eggnog in your honor.

When I was trying to pick out a bonus entry for today, I was honestly quite stumped. I had a few really, really great ideas, but I couldn’t pick one. They all felt a bit too “mainline entry” for me; I prefer to have the bonus entries be something “out there” and obtuse than worth talking about.

It wasn’t until I was reading about the biggest box office bombs in history that I found a story that I thought fit the bill perfectly. Back in 2011, a film was released called “The Worst Movie Ever!”. It ultimately grossed $25,000 against a budget of $1,100. While technically not a flop by any stretch of the imagination, the film was mentioned because it beat out Zyzzyx Road for the record for “Worst Opening Weekend Ever”.

You see, this movie grossed a meager $11 on its opening weekend; one ticket was sold on the Saturday it premiered. Zyzzyx Road, meanwhile, grossed $30 (though some say it was $20). While that may not seem mysterious, nobody knows who the sole single ticket buyer is (or was). So today, we’re going to ask one simple question and attempt to answer it: Who Bought the One Opening Weekend Ticket to See “The Worst Movie Ever!”?

The Story

First things first, let’s go over the film itself. The Worst Film Ever (as I will call it from here on own—barring the exclamation point because that seems kinda cringe) is an action-comedy flick (my kind of movie in other words). Though if you want to go by what the film advertises itself as, it’s a “sci-fi/action/drama/horror/comedy/musical” movie. Anyways, the movie premiered at the Van Wert Independent Film Festival on July 8, 2011. It was written, produced, directed, and stars Glenn Berggoetz, an American man who’s known for an array of low-budget films, which has garnered him something of a cult following and a reputation as both “the king of indie comedy” and “the master of micro-budget filmmaking”.

The plot of the movie is certainly unique. According to IMDb:

A robot alien. Angst-ridden teens. Cleavage-wielding soul takers. A dark overlord. A cross-dressing retard. A pregnant 14-year-old cougar. Macho scientists. Santa Claus. Yeah, this movie has it all.

A more cohesive synopsis, which you can find on Wikipedia and Rottentomatoes, goes as follows:

A suburban neighborhood is invaded by terrible characters from horror films.

Whichever way you look at it, the film’s a mixture of offensive comedy and random for the sake of being random. You can view the trailer below, but it amounts to throwing everything in the box at the wall and seeing what sticks. It worked for some and didn’t for others if the ratings and reviews on IMDb are to be believed. ‘Course, they could be shills, but I digress. Maybe one day, I’ll review it, though for now: let’s get on with the story.

The film ultimately opened in one theater on August 19, 2011. Said theater was the Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles, California. It was there that the film sold no tickets on its opening day—a Friday. The following day though, one person bought a ticket to watch the 76-minute-long fever dream of a film. Then, on Sunday, it sold no tickets. As I stated at the start: this led to the worst opening for any film in history, though it did have the benefit of garnering a fair amount of attention to the movie, so it all worked out in the end.

Initially, some pondered if the atrocious opening was a publicity stunt, but Glenn Berggoetz has denied this. In fact, he was more than a little bit dismayed that his film had such a bad opening weekend return. Still, as stated earlier, it did become a success (as far as I’m aware), so it once again all worked out in the end… almost.

While the film may have had a hysterically bad opening weekend, history had been made and Glenn—along with a plethora of other people—were aching to know who “Viewer Zero” was. As such, he attempted to try and find who that mysterious person was. According to FishbowlLA, a few people piped up on Facebook saying they were the one who bought the ticket, but none of them—to the best of my knowledge—have ever provided proof.

Over a decade later and there’s never been any confirmation as to who the mysterious Viewer Zero is/was. As such, let’s get onto the theories and speculate on who they may have been!


1. It was someone who worked at the theater

This is, admittedly, a theory of a family member’s creation, and I’m including it solely because it’s one that genuinely made me think. The idea is that someone working at the theater decided to buy a ticket—be it out of curiosity or pity—for the movie and either watched it or they walked into another theater. Or maybe they did neither; I don’t know. It was something that lingered on my mind because it seemed somewhat plausible. You’re free to think it’s silly though (not that I couldn’t make you think otherwise).

2. It was some random person

This is the most popular theory for very obvious reasons. It was just someone who went to the movies; they likely saw a poster and their interest was piqued. It’s also possible the person had been following the film because they were (and mayhaps still are) a fan of Glenn’s previous work. Whatever the case may be: odds are: they saw it, either enjoyed it, thought it was okay, or didn’t like it, and left not knowing anything about the box office returns. After all, not everyone cares one way or the other about how much a movie makes; they just want to be entertained for a bit and lose themselves in another world. That’s really all there is to it.

3. It was a publicity stunt

Given that the theory spawned prior to Glenn’s denial of it, it’s likely there are still some people out there who believe the whole thing was a stunt meant to ignite interest in the film. However, I’ve never heard of anyone ever even thinking about something like this since it’s natural that someone out there would take interest in a film entitled “The Worst Movie Ever!”. Though to each their own, right?

4. It was me

I did it. Despite not being anywhere near where the film was showing or having any knowledge of it playing, I was the person who bought it. Just trust me folks.

My Take

I won’t lie: I do like the idea of a really elaborate, crazy publicity stunt being pulled off to generate an Internet-age type of hype/interest, but I sincerely doubt that’s the case. No, I think it was just someone who was interested in the movie (be it they saw the poster and were curious, or if they are/were a fan of Glenn’s work) and then just left, not knowing they were the only person to buy a ticket for the movie. It is, however, possible that one of the folks who claims to have been Viewer Zero is telling the truth, but without any way to prove this, I doubt we’ll ever know.

Though with that said, I do have to wonder why Glenn or someone else didn’t ask if the theater had archived security footage from that day. If someone knows if movie theaters keep that kind of stuff, I would really like to know.

Anyways, yeah. That’s really it. I think it was just some random Joe Schmo who saw it and didn’t think twice about box office returns. It’s possible that the person is aware, but I’m more inclined to say that it’s just a random guy. Or a random girl. Either one works.


With that, this year’s bonus entry comes to an end. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/day and I hope you join me tomorrow as we talk about yet another strange mystery. Stay happy, stay healthy, and if Viewer Zero somehow happens to stumble upon this write-up: was the film worth watching? Please tell me if it was!

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