Hardly anyone went to see the new ‘Ben-Hur’ movie that was filmed in Coachella Valley

(Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
(Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
(Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

The new Ben-Hur movie features scenes shot in the Painted Canyon area of the Coachella Valley – not that anyone would know it, since hardly anyone went to go see the flick.

The film, which cost over $100 million to make, took in a measly $11.4 million at the box office.

“This is the bomb of the summer,” Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relationst told Variety. “They went big and they went home.”

The Desert Sun detailed last week the struggle for the filmmakers behind Ben-Hur to shoot scenes in the Painted Canyon area, with local officials even calling in Congressman Raul Ruiz to assist in allowing a film crew into the area.

“It is critical that we are able to showcase our region’s incredible natural beauty while protecting the land for generations to come,” Ruiz said in an emailed statement to the paper.

Crews for the Ben-Hur were eventually allowed to film scenes in March of this year and the Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance was so happy about it that they even went so far as to hold a special screening at the Mary Pickford Theater  on Wednesday – which, based on the box office totals, may have been the only time people were actually in that theater all week.