- The largely FIFA-funded film United Passions has flopped at the cinema, taking just $607 in its opening weekend in the US!
- It’s reported that FIFA contributed $22.2m of the $26.1m budget for the film, which stars Tim Roth as Sepp Blatter, Sam Neill as his predecessor Joăo Havelange and Gérard Depardieu as Jules Rimet.
- The film was released on 10 cinemas in the US after being shown in Europe last year. Notably, it’s reported that a cinema in Phoenix recorded takings of just $9.
- The film has been largely savaged by reviewers. The New York Times said it was “one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suita sanitising that’s not even good for laughs”. Peter Bradshaw called it “pure cinematic excrement”.
- The release of the movie is ill-timed given 14 football officials were charged with racketeering, money laundering and fraud just 2 weeks ago – events which seemed to lead to the shock resignation of Sepp Blatter.
- The FBI is currently investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.