Movies flop all the time, it's just part of life. But one recent vampire semi-spoof flopped so bad the financiers are actually suing the film's creators to get their money back, claiming the movie was so bad it constituted a scam.
The 2009 film Transylmania, one of the few in existence to literally have a 0% rating on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, cost financiers $22 million to make and netted less than $400,000 at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the film holds the crown as having the worst wide release performance ever, averaging $262 per screen, after being released on 1,007 screens.
Filed by Third Eye Capital Corporation and Strative Capital, the plaintiffs call the film a "staggering" fraud, and "one of the greatest box office flops of all time" in the suit. Over several months, the investors ponied up approximately $22 million to directors David and Scott Hillenbrand for various odds and ends allegedly related to the promotion and development of Transylmania, a vampire semi-spoof meant to capitalize on Twilight mania.
Here's a highlight from the suit, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:
"Ultimately, Lender learned that the Film was not a 'vampire spoof' poking fun at Twilight or True Blood. Despite all of the representations provided to the contrary, the Film had nothing to do with Twilight or True Blood. As such, all of the projections and financial analyses regarding Twilight and past spoof films were pointless."
Once the film tanked, the financers hired an accounting firm to see what went wrong—which is when they reportedly found evidence of fraud, with the Hillenbrands using the cash to pay for everything from their personal credit cards to outstanding traffic tickets—as opposed to making a good movie.