Alliance Atlantis' much-hyped local Canadian release Foolproof did not live up to the box office expectations generated by its title.
Backed by a C$2m P&A campaign and released through the company's Odeon Films subsidiary on nearly 200 screens across Canada, the light-hearted caper movie earned a paltry $230,312 for a screen average of just $1,219. The poor showing is a poke in the eye to Telefilm Canada, the federal film funding agency, which hopes to see Canadian films improve their box office presence and is pressing local film-makers to produce more commercial films like Foolproof and to market them accordingly.
Foolproof seemed to have the ingredients necessary for modest success: a likeable young lead (Ryan Reynolds), a relative famous bad guy (UK actor David Suchet), a groovy soundtrack and a high concept: a trio of geeks who pull off hypothetical heists are blackmailed into performing the real thing. Those eager to say 'Nothing is foolproof' are no doubt forming a queue.
Odeon vice-president of marketing Mark Slone said the results were 'disappointing but not disastrous.' He pointed to a number of factors, including the strong showing of School Of Rock, a film targeted to the same demographic; and a wildly mixed critical reaction. Indeed, Slone suggested some of negative criticism reflects a backlash to the Telefilm policy. Still, he added that the high-profile publicity campaign and strong market awareness would ultimately pay off in ancillary.