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Bunin-Murray's 'The Real Cancun' is real flop at box office

By Wade Paulsen, 04/28/2003 

Can reality TV flourish at the movies? If the first attempt is any indication, the answer is unequivocally "no." Reuters reports that the film The Real Cancun, a spin-off of MTV's hit series The Real World produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, had a dismal box-office opening this past weekend, barely cracking the top 10 despite huge publicity upon the film's release ... fueled by the belief that it would be a hit.

In fact, the movie performed so poorly that executives from AOL Time Warner, which released the movie through its New Line Cinema division, were unavailable for comment. Executives from Universal Pictures, which is releasing its own "reality film" shortly entitled The Quest, made by Mike Fleiss, creator of ABC's The Bachelor, had to be almost as shocked. Nevertheless, industry insiders say that DVD sales, coupled with its low cost of production, should make The Real Cancun marginally profitable.

A Hollywood producer was quoted as saying that the flop opening shows that audiences are unwilling to pay for the cow if they can get the milk for free. Looks like reality producers are going to learn some of the same lessons that some reality show contestants have already learned. As for Bunim-Murray, this could be their biggest flop since ... dare we say it? ... Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage.

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