At the height of his fame, Tom Green was allowed to make his first standalone movie as a leading man. But by all accounts, 2001's Freddy Got Fingered was a substantial bomb, and decimated his future in film. Case in point, he hasn't been in one for a long while. But as Tom Green sees it, the movie didn't bomb. In fact, according to him, it was a financial success and could have done a lot better in theaters had it not be rated R. He has his own theory on why the numbers weren't bigger. He places the blame on Crocodile Dundee.
People probably haven't been thinking much about Freddy Got Fingered. It enjoys its own limited cult cache, and it made the news in early 2016, when a man was arrested for not returning his VHS rental of the asinine comedy after 14 years. But the movie has pretty much fallen into the dustbin of history.
Tom Green, who is currently doing a residency gig as a stand-up comedian in Las Vegas, which pulls in big crowds, knows why the movie didn't do better. But at that, he wants to point out to everyone that the movie was never a bomb, and made more than it's budget back. He goes onto say this.
"It made $14 million at the box office, okay? Which basically means that it actually made its budget money back. But there was also a pretty scientific understanding that all of my fans were buying tickets to Crocodile Dundee and then sneaking into my movie because it was R-rated. You literally couldn't get a seat in a theater where my movie was playing that opening weekend. All over Los Angeles the theaters were packed. A lot of things about the way people write about that Freddy Got Fingered are unfair. The movie cost $14 million to produce and it made $14 million in its opening weekend and it made over $25 million on DVD and video. So it was a totally profitable movie even when you include the ten million dollars in promotion that the studio put into it. That's a wildly financial success story for a comedy movie. And people say, "The movie bombed." It didn't actually, you know?"
Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles was the third movie in the franchise, and it pulled in $7.7 million when it opened against Freddy Got Fingered on April 20, 2001. Yes, that's Four-Twenty, the doper's holiday for anyone keeping score. Freddy Got Fingered pulled in $7 million during its debut, half of its domestic box office of $14.2 million. The movie didn't fare well overseas at all, pulling in just $78,259, for a grand global take of $14.3 million. Interestingly enough, Those two movies were number 4 and 5 at the box office that weekend, opening against previously released movies Along Came a Spider, which was also R-rated, the family movie Spy Kids, which some Tom Green fans could have also snuck into, and Bridget Jones's Diary, which hit number one for its third week in release. That movie, too, was rated R. So you can see why Tom Green is pointing to Crocodile Dundee for the spillover.
Though, the comedian was asked if he has proof that Crocodile Dundee hosted all of these Tom Green fans, giving them cover to see his adult-themed fare. He says this.
Well, everybody tells me that. I remember everyone at the studio was talking about it back then: that Crocodile Dundee dramatically over-performed. But listen, I don't want to get into a diss war with Paul Hogan. I don't want to start a great Australian-Canadian diss war. I'm happy to give him credit where credit is due. But even if you look at the numbers that were reported, Freddy Got Fingered is not the failure that people like to say it is.
The true part of this story is that Crododile Dundee 3 did majorly over perform at the box office that weekend. The franchise had been dormant for a long time, and people weren't that interested in Paul Hogan's comedy, yet it pulled in some bigger than expected numbers that opening weekend. Freddy Got Fingered was Tom Green's director debut. It got some of the worst reviews any movie has ever gotten up to that point in time. Roger Ebert had this to say about it at the time of its release, which is pretty classic in its own right.
"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels."
Freddy Got Fingered currently has a Metacritic score of 13, and an 11% Rotten score over on Rotten Tomatoes. Some younger audiences are continuing to discover Freddy Got Fingered, but it has never reached something like John Waters' status, only because there is so much weird stuff that has been launched in it's wake. Some think the movie is vastly underrated. A few have called it a 'secretive masterpiece'. While a large majority have simply called it unwatchable. You can check out the trailer below. If you've never seen it, perhaps you should before that rogue planet hits us this weekend, wiping us all out with its earthquakes. Though, we're sure there are more quality ways to spend your time. This story comes to us courtesy of Vulture.