Monday, May 27, 2024

“Gotti” Will Be John Travolta’s Lowest Grossing Movie in General Release Since 1995


“Gotti” made less than $100,000 on Monday night, just $219 per theater in 466 showcases. The total gross in theaters will be around $3.5 million. No one knows how much it cost, but at least $20 million was wasted on it. Probably a lot more.

For Travolta, this is an all time low. Not counting small movies with theatrical releases into less than 50 screens, “Gotti” is the “Saturday Night Fever” star’s lowest grossing film in general release since 1995.

You have to go all the way back to “White Man’s Burden,” released by Savoy in ’95, a year after Travolta was resurrected with “Pulp Fiction.” The great legend Harry Belafonte, then in his 70s, was Travolta’s co-star, along with Seth Green. Lawrence Bender, maybe jazzed up from “Pulp Fiction,” produced. For Japanese director Desmond Nakano “White Man’s Burden” was a first film. He disappeared after that, but did direct a Japanese-American production in 2007 called “American Pastime.”

Is Travolta done? He’s been on our screens since the 70s with “Welcome Back Kotter.” He’s had other disasters, career lulls, has been written off many times.  He had four huge flops in a row from 1981 to 1989 until the first “Look Who’s Talking” movie, which was garbage, caught fire and brought him back.

An actual run of hits in the 90s after “Pulp Fiction” saved him– “Get Shorty,” “Broken Arrow,” “Phenomenon,” “Face/Off,” and “Michael” are the best of his resume– and then he drifted into junk maintenance. In the last two decades he had odd one off hits with “The General’s Daughter” (which was famous for its bloated perk budget) and “Wild Hogs.”

Can he resuscitate? Why not? Even though his personal life is creepy, Travolta has the good will of “Saturday Night Fever,” “Grease,” and “Pulp Fiction” and he knows how to play that card. If he pulls off that wig, he has a whole new career waiting. Meantime, “Gotti” finds its place in Razzie history.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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