John Travolta film 'The Fanatic' bombs at US box office

By: bbc
John Travolta's lastes film, The Fanatic bombs
John Travolta and Fred Durst were at 'The Fanatic' premiere in Los Angeles earlier this month

John Travolta's latest film, The Fanatic is heading for a box office bombing in the US following its debut at the weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Fanatic took just $3,153 (£2,615) on Friday from 52 cinemas, with final totals for the public holiday weekend still to be tallied.

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It stars Travolta as an obsessed fan of a film star and marks the fourth box office failure in a row for the actor.

The Fanatic is directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

Travolta is Moose, a rabid movie fan who's obsessed with his favourite celebrity action hero, Hunter Dunbar. When he is cheated out of his opportunity to meet his idol, Moose's actions begin to take a dangerous turn.

Speaking to the BBC at Cannes last year, Travolta said: "Moose was one of my best experiences. Fred Durst is stunningly gifted as a director and as a human being he was capable of communicating differently from anyone else.

"I loved Moose; it's phenomenal. Moose is an eccentric special needs character who's obsessed with a movie star. I can't describe how special this character is; he's one of my favourite characters I've ever played. I loved working with Fred."

Most critics could not summon up Travolta's enthusiasm, however.

Rex Reed, writing in Observer in the US, described the film as "a disaster", while the Chicago Sun-Times critic, Richard Roeper, wrote: "This drifts into the category of campy oddity, leaving us once again waiting and hoping for John Travolta to find his next great part."

The New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski wrote: "Travolta, earnest but ridiculous, spends his time furiously rocking back and forth and bellowing to the heavens.

He continued: "I'll give Travolta this: He commits. This is not a flattering project for him, and the actor is obviously deeply invested in the material. He produced it. But he needs a director who will tell him to rein it in."

Wall Street Journal's John Anderson was more impressed though: "One can understand the draw of The Fanatic for someone like Mr Travolta:it calls for full immersion, mentally and physically. And he pulls it off." 

Star cast

The Fanatic is only playing in a small number of cinemas before being made available on premium video-on-demand (VOD) on 6 September.

Even still, the film is faring worse than Travolta's other recent releases, In A Valley of Violence (2016) and Killing Season (2013), both of which were also dual theatrical/VOD titles.

In A Valley of Violence, which co-starred Ethan Hawke, took $29,343 from 33 cinemas on its first weekend, eventually making just $53,647.

Killing Season, co-starring Robert De Niro, took a similar amount, with a final tally of $53,646.

Travolta's last film, Gotti, had a traditional release but that only took a total of $4.3m (£3.6m) domestically.