Unbelievable, but true. one movie actually had just a $83 gross opening weekend, while a few big movies grossed millions in box office receipts. THE BEAT HOTEL is actually a very serious and decent documentary movie that received a great write-up in THE NEW YORK TIMES, but that sure didn’t help the film to gross anything more than just $83 this weekend. The average garage sale would have brought in bigger revenues than this did.
Filmmaker Alan Govenar put together an intriguing documentary about a low-rent Paris boarding house that became home to such avant garde counterculture figures like Alan Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, yet it seemed like very few people even bothered to buy a ticket this past weekend to this very good film which, unfortunately played in just one theater nationwide in it’s far less than underwhelming box office debut.
One might ask if the paltry $83 gross was even enough to pay for the rent, lights or pay scales to keep the projectionist employed to run this hour and a half film. probably not.
Unfortunately, THE BEAT HOTEL nows establishes a dubious record for perhaps the very worst national debut for a very good art-house film. And that’s deeply sad.