He’s been one of the most consistently successful comedy actors of the last two decades, but Will Ferrell’s reputation has taken a bit of a hit this week with the news that his latest movie, The House, has enjoyed the lowest opening weekend takings for any of his major films in 18 years.

Distributed by Warner Bros. and opening on a wide basis in 3,134 locations in the U.S., the new comedy looks like it will only take around $9 million at the American box office. If projections are correct, that will be the worst performance for any of his films that have seen a first-week release in over 3,000 locations – and, against a reported $40 million budget, that’s a significant underachievement.

Will FerrellWill Ferrell at the premiere of 'The House'

2008’s Semi-Pro opened to just $15 million, and last year’s ill-thought-out Zoolander No.2 took just $13.8 million, to put that into context. 1999 was the last time something had a lower projection, with $8.9 million for Superstar.

“We’re so disappointed. We had much higher hopes,” Warner's president Jeff Goldstein told The Wrap on Sunday (July 2nd). “It’s unfortunate that The House didn’t resonate with a wider audience, though we had early screenings where people enjoyed the movie.”

More: ‘Elf: The Musical’ becomes a seriously hot ticket at London’s West End [archive]

The movie features Ferrell alongside Amy Poehler as a married suburban couple who start up an illegal casino in order to raise money for their daughter’s college fund.

It’s got exactly the kind of plot you would expect it to have for a comedy of this variety, and has received predictably lukewarm reviews, but actually The House’s sub-optimal performance is part of a wider trend of adult comedies starting to flag at the box office.

Baywatch made only $23.1 million on Memorial Day weekend, and Amy Schumer’s Snatched made $19.5 million on Mothers’ Day Weekend and just grossed $58.4 million worldwide against a $42 million budget. Rough Night had a nearly identical opening two weeks ago to The House, grossing $8 million from 3,162 screens.

Perhaps the world is growing a bit tired of this kind of movie? The acid test will come with the release of Daddy’s Home 2, the sequel to another Ferrell comedy vehicle this Christmas.

More: From Jim Caviezel to Christian Bale to Will Ferrell – seven actors who have played Jesus