With a $0 budget YouTuber Eric Tabach and filmmaker Christian Nilsson came together and made a chart-topping horror movie.
The Box Office has been comatose for quite some time since the pandemic. Many of the big blockbusters like No Time To Die, A Quite Place: Part II, and Black Widow have been postponed. YouTuber Eric Tabach and filmmaker Christian Nilsson saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of the lack of competition.
The two put together a 29-minute horror movie called "Unsubscribe" shot entirely on zoom with a total budget of $0. The film starred Ozark actor Charlie Tahan and was shot in five days. The movie is about five YouTubers who join a zoom call and find themselves haunted and hunted by a mysterious internet troll. Now here comes the exciting part.
Tabach and Nilsson were the only two people who watched the film and got the movie to the top of the box office. WHAT?!
The pair used a strategy known as four walling, which Tabach explained in quite a lot of detail to BBC News.
Four-walling is when distributors rent out a movie theatre and buy all the seats. So they pay a flat fee to the theatre, and any money they make off seats goes straight into their pockets. The moment we realised that was an option of distribution, we went for it.
I noticed that the box office figures were absurd; $9,000, $15,000 for each movie. Nothing big was coming out. Blockbuster films were on hold. I wanted to find a way to get the biggest number.
They rented an independent theatre in Westhampton Beach for a small fee, and using four walling; the two managed to get their movie to the top of the box office. They basically bought all the tickets and made a "slight loss" but who cares?!
It took some convincing, however, to get Box Office Mojo to take them seriously.
[IMDb, owners of Box Office Mojo] kept rejecting us, saying there was no proof so we sent them pictures of the actors, but they kept on doubting the entire thing. When media outlets started reporting about the film, it was eventually approved.
Now it’s officially number one on IMDb, which is crazy. It was number one for 10 June.
This was a whole lot of weird, but how many people can say they had their movie top the US box office? Tabach and Nilsson have accomplished something exciting and quite impressive.
You can watch Unsubscribe on Vimeo now.