Believe it or not, Justin Bieber is not quite the box office draw he used to be.
His new film, called Believe, only took in $1.25 million on Christmas Day – a bomb if you compare that to Bieber’s last movie, Never Say Never, which drew in $12 million on its opening day.
Those numbers landed Believe at the #14 spot for box office returns on Christmas, which means, as The Wire points out, “Even that Robert DeNiro/Sylvester Stallone elderly boxing movie did better.” That’s saying something, since Believe managed to get way better reviews.
Not great ones though: The film, which was not screened for critics in advance, got generally high points for the concert performances but low points for depth. Jon Caramanica of the New York Times describes one scene in which Bieber snaps and tries to jump at a group of paparazzi. “That scene alone doesn’t save this film from being another piece of propaganda for the Bieber proletariat, but it is, at the very least, an acknowledgment that the days of pure fluff are over,” Caramanica writes.
Perhaps in anticipation of his poor box office showing, Bieber tweeted on Christmas Eve: “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring.” Don’t worry though: He quickly followed up with a tweet indicating he probably wasn’t being serious. “The media talks a lot about me. They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I’m never leaving you, being a Belieber is a lifestyle.”
His team put out a statement as well to reassure worried Beliebers that it wasn’t so. “Justin is a hard working 19 year old who would prefer that his recent fundraising work in the Philippines and the considerable amount raised for the cause be the media’s focus more than the recent reporting on him retiring,” the statement said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Regarding his recent tweeting about his ‘retirement’ Justin felt that this was the best way to respond to the latest in a long line of inaccurate or wildly exaggerated media reports about him.”
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