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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA film 'United Passions' one of worst in U.S. box office history

FIFA is already involved in a corruption scandal that has done serious damage to its reputation, but now its film "United Passions" has been named among the lowest-grossing films ever in U.S. box office history according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film, starring Tim Roth as outgoing president Sepp Blatter alongside Gerard Depardieu and Sam Neill, was labelled "a disaster" by its own director Frederic Auburtin and has attracted a host of criticism since its release.

Last year, the Associated Press reported that the film, 90 percent funded by FIFA and intended to tell the story of world football's governing body, was running at a loss of around $26.8 million.

And now, the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that "United Passions" pulled in a weekend return of just $918 from 10 cinemas on June 6-7, despite costing $27 million to make.

The film beat 2012 vampire rock musical "I Kissed a Vampire" ($1,380) and 2013 animated adventure "Last Flight of the Champion" ($1,493) to score among the statistically worst films in American history. It has been pulled from cinemas by its distributor.

The likes of UK, Germany and Brazil did not want to secure the rights to distribute the movie, while it went straight to DVD in France. In Russia, the next hosts of the World Cup, the film only did marginally better, grossing $158,000.

Auburtin told the Hollywood Report that the first version of the film had a subplot about an investigation into corruption.

"The image we had ... and of course is very ironic today, was these flashing lights and sirens arriving at FIFA headquarters early in the morning.

FIFA's original title suggestion for the movie was "Men of Legend."

"Can you imagine such a title?" Auburtin said. "It's nonsense. Then 'The Dreammakers.' Come on."

The 53-year-old French director said he was a victim of the game.

"It's a disaster, but that is not the point, I accepted the job. [But] I was not paid to be the Che Guevara of the sports business. Please don't make me the guy responsible for the fact that FIFA is rotten.

"Now I'm seen as bad as the guy who brought AIDS to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis," he said. "My name is all over [this mess] and apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people."


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