The much-anticipated summer blockbuster Millard Fillmore: Chupacabra Hunter proved to be a major disappointment at the box office over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, grossing a paltry $39,500 on 3950 screens, for an average of $10 per screen.
The Fox Studios production, the second installment of the 41-part “Dead U.S. Presidents vs. Supernatural Entities” franchise, earned approximately $16,267,474 less than last year’s modest hit Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter did on its opening weekend last summer.
The film depicts the purported “double-life” of the 13th President, who, as a member of the Whig party, governed the country during the 1850’s in a largely unceremonious fashion by day, while stalking the mythical, lizard-like Chupacabra by night. In the film’s plot, Fillmore was motivated to exterminate the reptilian species when, as a child, he witnessed his father being killed and drained of blood by a group of the terrifying beasts.
The film, which premiered to a generally poor critical reception, was characterized as “particularly farfetched” and “historically anachronistic” by several reviewers. Critics cited glaring inaccuracies regarding Fillmore’s stance on the Compromise of 1850, his controversial actions surrounding enforcement of Clayton–Bulwer Treaty, and the fact that the first reported sighting of a Chupacabra did not occur until 1995.
Given the expected revenue falloff that plagues most box-office disasters, it is estimated that it will take over 700 years for Fox to recoup its $239 million investment in the film. Experts note that the actual timespan may decrease, depending on the film’s success in international markets, where esoteric historical lapses may be less offensive to audiences not as familiar with 19th century American history.
At press time, concerned Fox executives were reported scouring the Internet, desperately trying to identify an additional 36 paranormal creatures that were not werewolves, zombies, or ambulatory mummies.