A big budget, famous actors, talented directors: None of these, even combined, don’t promise that a movie will become a box office hit. Go over the next 22 films: Most of them initially seemed like guaranteed hits. Turned out they ended up being massive box office disasters.
22. Seventh Son: The 2015 fantasy epic, loosely based on a book called ‘The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch’ grossed only $114.2 million on a $95 million budget after it’s February 2015 release in the United States. That caused a loss of $85 million for the studio, with the movie getting a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite a cast that included Jeff Bridges, Juliane Moore and Djimon Hounsou.
21. The Good Dinosaur: It’s rare to see a Disney movie flop in recent years, and it did make $332 million worldwide. However, it did come based on a $200 million budget, which meant an $85 million loss for the studios, which is rare for an animated movie, especially a Pixar one.
20. Treasure Planet: This 2002 Disney animated film lost the studio around $85 million, bringing home $109.6 million on a $140 million budget, although when adjusted for inflation it’s over $110 million. Disney’s attempt at a Sci-Fi adventure did get good reviews for the visuals, but the adaptation of a classic story into outer space simply didn’t work, including a cancelled sequeled.
19. Town & Country: How can movie with Warren Beatty. Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn do this poorly? Turns out in 2001, audiences were tired of the combo and the romantic comedy story, with the $90 million budget (Without marketing) resulted in a meager $10 million box office return. Beatty didn’t appear in a movie for 15 years after this flop. The film has a 13% rotten tomatoes rating, and was a production disaster, released only 3 years after filming wrapped.
18. Gods of Egypt: A weird attempt at a fantasy film based on Egyptian deities did miserably in the box office, grossing $150.7 million on a $140 million budget, losing $86 million in the process. Bad publicity before the movie came out doomed it from the start. It is nominated for six Raspberry awards, and just might be the worst movie to come out in 2016.
17. Jack the Giant Slayer: Bryan Singer tried to bring his British magic to this classic fairytale, but a $200 million budget didn’t help the film create any kind of magic and connection with audiences, relying too much on CGI and too little on story and on-screen chemistry. It yielded only $197 million in the box office, losing between $86-106 million in 2013.
16. Jupiter Ascending: The 2015 Space Opera had the right ingredients to do well. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis as the leads, the Wachowskis at the helm. But it didn’t work. Poor grade CGI and a script that should have been a lot more focused resulted in a weird film that cost $176 million to make but brought home only $184 million, a loss of $87 million to $120 million.
15. Rise of the Guardians: An animated film from 2012, telling the tale of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and the Sandman, enlisting Jack Frost to help them save the world. It cost $145 million to make and did gross over $300 million, but most of it from overseas, resulting in a loss of $87 million.
14. Evan Almighty: The biggest problem with the 2007 sequel to Bruce Almighty? It didn’t have Jim Carrey. Relying on special effects and a toned done Steve Carell didn’t work, and so the $175 million movie about an environmental disaster was a box office disaster, bringing in just $173 million, a loss of $88 million for the studio, along with terrible reviews. Tom Shadyac, the director, made just one more movie after it.
13. Cutthroat Island: Think of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ only with minimal charm. A lot of impressive action, but very dull story, and frankly, pretty flat acting from Geena Davis, Matthew Modine and a generally talented cast, but one with very little box office appeal. It cost $98 million to make in 1995, bringing in just $18 million, losing the studio $89 million. It also resulted in the studio, Carolco Pictures, to fold.
12. R.I.P.D: Kind of a ‘Men in Black’ rip off, which couldn’t be saved by the Western style Jeff Bridges or by pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds. The 2013 supernatural action buddy-comedy cost over $103 million, but brought home less than $80 million, resulting in a massive $91 million to $115 million loss for the studio.
11. Pan: It was a nice idea to try and reinvent the Peter Pan story with a slightly off-the-beaten-path prequel, but despite Hugh Jackman’s appeal, the message and the movie didn’t resonate with the 2015 audiences, bringing home just $128.4 million on a $150 million budget, resulting in a loss of $93 million, or perhaps even $150 million, depending on the accounting.
10. The Alamo: One of those movies you see the trailer to and you already know it’s going to flip. The Alamo tried making it in a congested 2004 release schedule, resulting in the Dennis Quaid led war film to gross just $25.8 million despite its $100 million budget, which meant losing $94 million.
9. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within – Video game movies rarely do well, and although the 2001 Final Fantasy adaptation was stunning from a visual standpoint (it took four years to complete), the story was just too niche to generate enough buzz among less geeky moviegoers. It made only $85 million against its $137 million budget, losing the studio $94 million.
8. The Lone Ranger: The Johnny Depp box office magic was officially over with the flop of the Lone Ranger, which made the mistake of relying on Depp’s stale acting tricks instead of a good story, in a film that simply wasn’t very interesting or fun. It cost $225 million and made $260.5 million worldwide, losing the studio anywhere between $95 million and a whopping $190 million.
7. Stealth: Something about the A.I. gone rogue storyline didn’t really work, along with iffy CGI and a weird chemistry thing between Foxx, Biel and Lucas, who shouldn’t have been the leading man on this one. The 2005 Sci-Fi action film made only $76 million on a $135 million budget, “good” enough for a $96 million loss.
6. The Adventures of Pluto Nash: Eddie Murphy post early 1990’s has had some big flops, but none as big as Pluto Nash, a movie about mankind in outer space in the 21st century, only done with crappy special effects and terrible idea of humor. It cost $100 million to make, grossing only $7.1 million, losing $96 million.
5. 47 Ronin: It’s hard to figure out how someone put $175 million on the idea of Keanu Reeves in a fantasy samurai movie based on a real-life group of masterless samurai. While there were cool moments, overall there were too many bits that felt out of place. It grossed only $151 million, resulting in a loss of anywhere between $98 million and $150 million.
4. The BFG: A movie that should have been a massive hit ended up being a rare Spielberg flop. Sweet story, incredible visuals, good reviews. But the name and the promotion for this movie were bad, resulting in just $183 million at the box office on a $140 million budget, losing over $100 million.
3. Mars Needs Moms: More proof that an animated movie doesn’t necessarily bring in the money. The 2011 Disney attempt at some outer space comedy backfired, with a movie that had nice visuals but 0 heart and appeal. It made just $39 million on a $150 million budget, and the studio lost more than $100 million, maybe even up to $144 million.
2. Titan A.E.: Now something of a cult favorite for some, Titan A.E. didn’t really resonate with audiences back in 2000, when the sci-fi animated film by 20th Century Fox came out. Starring Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore’s voices, it made just $36 million on a $90 million budget, resulting in losses of around $100 including marketing budgets.
- John Carter: John Carter was terribly marketed by Disney, and somehow this movie’s budget bloated into something around $306 million including marketing, resulting in a loss of at least $122 million, but many saying around $200 million. When you spend that much money, even $284 million at the box office isn’t enough to save it.