The film marks Mel Gibson's first appearance onscreen since his troubled personal life hit headlines last year and the release was pushed back several times as the actor dealt with his split from Oksana Grigorieva, her allegations of violence, a custody battle over their daughter and leaked tapes of their arguments.
"The Beaver", which tells the story of a man struggling with depression who uses a glove puppet as an outlet for his feelings, was given a limited release in the U.S. this weekend but it failed to make an impact on movie fans, scoring just $104,000 (GBP65,000) in box office takings, according to figures released by distributor company Summit Entertainment.
However, Richie Fay, president of domestic distribution for Summit, insists the low box office score is merely a reflection of the film's edgy story, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I don't think this is as much a repudiation of Mel and his personal life as it is about a film with difficult subject matter. It's not the type of role that people would gravitate to or expect him to be in."
"As it turns out, I think the film is more of an art-house specialty kind of movie than a broader commercial film. The subject matter is a hard sell even though it's got a commercial actor in it like Mel Gibson. I don't know whether it's going to transcend that art-house audience."