Beyond Schadenfreude

Theater owners thrilled about burst ‘Bubble’

The dismal debut of Steven Soderbergh’s experimental film “Bubble” has sparked a gleeful response from the nation’s theater owners, who were less than enthused about its simultaneous release in both theaters and on cable.

In an unusual comment on the fortunes of a specific film, National Association of Theater Owners president and CEO John Fithian issued a statement Sunday saying “the movie has performed very poorly” and that despite media attention surrounding the film’s experimental release strategy that “generated tens of millions of dollars in free publicity … it failed in theaters.”

The movie, released through billionaire Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment, earned just $70,664 from 32 theaters during its first weekend.