08/06/2015 16:48 BST | Updated 08/06/2015 17:59 BST

Fifa Film 'United Passions' Flops At The Box Office


A multimillion pound film about the history of Fifa, financed by the Swiss-based governing body, endured a disastrous opening weekend in the US, taking just $607 (£397).

“United Passions” was funded by £17m of Fifa cash and is meant to show the history of the organisation through three leaders.

Britain's Tim Roth takes on the role of outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who announced last week he would be standing down after just four days into his fifth term amidst claims of corruption.

The film debuted in 10 screens across the US, with some theatres reporting audiences of one, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Roth co-stars alongside Sam Neill, who plays Blatter's predecessor, Joao Havelange, and Gerard Depardieu, who plays Fifa founder Jules Rimet.

Online film sites IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes have published terrible reviews from filmgoers.

On IMDB the film currently has a rating of 2.5 stars out of 10. On Rotten Tomatoes users have given it a measly score of 0.6 out of ten.

The film fares no better amongst critics.

Gerard Depardieu was the only one of the lead actors to attend this year's Cannes Film Festival, pictured here with outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter

The Guardian wrote: "Even without the current headlines, “United Passions” is a disgrace. It’s less a movie than preposterous self-hagiography, more appropriate for Scientology or the Rev Sun Myung Moon. As cinema it is excrement. As proof of corporate insanity it is a valuable case study."

The New York Times said: "'United Passions’ is one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitising that’s no good even for laughs."

Sam Neill plays Blatter's predecessor, Joao Havelange

The Mirror noted: "This film is exactly what you think it is, but so much worse. I made five pages of comical and sarcastic notes through one viewing, and despite what I've told you this review doesn’t spoil the film, it simply has to be seen to be believed. I’ve barely scratched the surface but I can passionately urge you to watch it - the most unintentional comedy of all-time."

The Independent said: "Thanks to its preposterous, sports administration-based melodrama, and dialogue as clumsy as a drunken goalkeeper, the film’s first act is bad enough to be worthy of a drinking game, or to attract an ironic cult following several years hence. But by the final third, with Blatter its protagonist, United Passions is not only disingenuous, but pitifully dull."

The film's budget was reportedly between $25m - $32m (£16- £21m) and Fifa is said to have put up roughly three-quarters of the money.

The film was released just days after Fifa became the subject of even more scrutiny following allegations of corruption during the bidding process to host the 2010 World Cup.

Depardieu was the only actor who attended the film's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

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Photo gallery United Passions Cannes Film Festival See Gallery

A total of 14 current and former Fifa officials and associates have been indicted by the US Department of Justice on suspicion of corruption so far following an FBI inquiry.

The day after Blatter stood down, it was revealed that he was under investigation by US prosecutors and the FBI.

Within two days of Blatter announcing his resignation, two of his most senior Fifa colleagues gave damning reports of corruption at the international body.

Jack Warner, former Fifa vice president, said there was an "avalanche" of evidence to come against Fifa and hinted at Blatter's links to the scandal.

Jack Warner said he fears for his life and there is still an 'avalanche' of secrets to come

In a paid for political broadcast on "Warner TV" he said: "Blatter knows why he fell. And if anyone else knows, I do."

Warner's comments came hours after it was revealed that Chuck Blazer, 70, previously an executive committee member of the global footballing association, claimed in testimony to a US Judge that he and other high-ranking officials received corrupt payments from France and South Africa to secure hosting of the 1998 and 2010 competitions.


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