We look back at the 2016 box office flop turned cult hit Poster: Never Stop Never Stopping, starring the Lonely Island.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping should have been a hit movie. It came out when Andy Samberg was riding high on Saturday Night Live, thanks to the innovative, viral shorts he made with his crew, The Lonely Island. Their “Lazy Sunday” and “D*ck in a Box” shorts were early YouTube smash hits. This movie featured Samberg as Conor4Real, a pop star who split with his former boy band Style Boyz to go solo. It was a loving send-up of the music industry, with Conor having some similarities to Samberg’s pal Justin Timberlake and his split from NSYNC. Always one to appreciate a good joke, Timberlake had an extended cameo in the film as Conor4Real’s chef.
Timberlake wasn’t the only one to contribute a cameo, with the cast list a who’s who of SNL vets including Tim Meadows, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Sarah Silverman, plus music royalty like Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton, Arcade Fire, Katy Perry, 50 Cent and tons more. With songs from the soundtrack, including “I’m So Humble” with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, going viral before the movie even came out, everyone expected a hit. Yet, when Universal released the film in June 2016, it landed with a thud. Online critics (including us at JoBlo) loved it, but the moviegoing public ignored it, with the film only grossing an anemic $9.6 million domestically. According to Box Office Mojo, it only made something like $40k internationally, meaning it likely went direct to VOD in most places. Ouch.
Yet, years later, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping has become a legit cult film and a fave of everyone who enjoys an excellent absurdist comedy. In this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie, we examine how Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping got made, flopped, and became a cult favourite.
Do you like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping? Let us know in the comments!