When it comes to the movie business, I'm often stunned by how much movies make. Even a low performing movie can make five or ten million dollars. That seems like an insane amount of money, even when tickets can cost around twenty dollars in some major city movie theaters (yikes, I know).
Here's the rub. Five or ten million dollars may sound big, but it gets really small when you consider a five million dollar movie is considered low budget. The big Hollywood movies cost anywhere from fifty million dollars to two hundred and fifty million if you're talking about something huge like a Star Wars movie.
Unfortunately, making a movie is a giant risk. Just because you spent a lot of money doesn't mean that you're going to see all that money back. In fact, it's only getting harder and harder to make money in the theaters. What you'll see from this list is that the movie business has always had flops. The amount of money #1 lost in the box office will absolutely stun you!
50. The Cotton Club
Even the greatest directors can't save a movie from bombing. You'd think they knew the secret to success, but not every director wins every time. Like what if I told you that the director of arguably the greatest movie ever, 'The Godfather,' had a flop? Don't trip out too hard because it's true. Francis Ford Coppola directed 'The Cotton Club' which had an estimated loss of seventy six million dollars.
The movie was actually pretty highly regarded by critics, but the big problem was that the movie took five years to make. That's simply insane considering most movies take anywhere between 20 and 120 days to shoot. Most movies want to stop shooting as quickly as possible to avoid paying the crew for an extended period of time. Five years worth of overtime sounds like it would put any movie over budget.
49. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Terry Gilliam directed 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,' which perfectly explains why this movie lost money. Terry Gilliam is a visionary director who directed 'Brazil,' one of the classics. The thing is, there are two parts to being a great director. One is vision, and the second, more important part, is being on budget. Terry Gilliam isn't often very good at the second part.
Production limbo is Terry Gilliam's middle name. Terry Gilliam has had a Don Quixote movie in the works for the past twenty years or so, so he's not exactly someone who is in a rush to do things. He's also a little avante garde for general audiences. He likes to make weird movies, and when people are looking to take their minds off the atrocities of daily life, they don't want weird. They want rom com.
It may not look like it, but 'Krull' was pushing technical boundaries in the special effects department when it first came out. My history may be a little rocky, but I'm still right about 'Krull.' The producers wanted to try out some of the newest special effects techniques, but the one thing they forgot was that pushing technical bounds means spending a whole lot of moola.
'Krull' is also not a very good movie, and the name sucks. It's hard to even say, so how was word of mouth supposed to spread? If you are interested in hammy 80s sci-fi fantasy movies, then you'd probably enjoy 'Krull,' but it won't do the movie any favors. I'm pretty sure they stopped counting the revenue numbers by now.
47. Hudson Hawk
Bruce Willis came into Hollywood and seemingly never left. I'd say that this movie came out during Bruce Willis' heyday, but it's kind of always his heyday. Even when it's not, he's still rich, so it might as well be his heyday. Anyway, the reason why I'm bringing him up is because he obviously stars in Hudson Hawk. He even wrote the story and the theme song to the movie. I didn't know he was so talented, but I should have assumed. You can't have no hair and no talent. It's just not fair.
This movie lost $86 million dollars, which was probably made up for by 'Die Hard,' so all is forgiven. Give Hollywood a hit so you can survive a bomb. 'Hudson Hawk' was a slapstick style comedy, which I love, but can seem a little too wacky for general audiences.
'Ishtar' sounds like it should be a tragic documentary about the middle east. Instead it's a tragically unfunny film about the middle east. As much as I love the adventure comedy genre, the movies actually have to be good too. Even in 1987, audiences weren't accepting of any old bull crap that the studios would put in front of them, even if that bull crap starred Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty.
This movie lost the studio eighty seven million dollars. That's the price you pay when you fly off to Morocco (or some place that looks like Morocco) to shoot your movie. Shooting on location is extremely expensive. I'm guess shooting in Morocco is more expensive than, let's say, New Orleans. At least Duston Hoffman and Warren Beatty were able to give audiences a crash course in Moroccan life (sort of).
45. Deepwater Horizon
'Deepwater Horizon' is one of the movies from Mark Wahlberg's realistic hero collection. That's an unofficial name that I created to describe the movies he's made in the last five years. He's usually a normal guy in a realistic situation of danger who makes it out and saves the day. They are also often based off real situations, which is the case with this movie. 'Deepwater Horizon' is based off of one of the most deadly oil rig explosions, so of course Mark Wahlberg was theoretically there to rescue everyone.
The movie lost $61-114 million dollars, which shows on the screen. It's a BIG movie. Lots of explosions and shots on an oil rig. Whether that was a set or an actual oil rig, the money adds up. The movie is actually good, but still failed to make money.
It's too bad that 'Soldier' did poorly in the box office and lost ninety million dollars, because that means very few people saw it so I have no one to talk about it with. I love this movie. It's exactly the type of late nineties action movie that I wish we had more of. Kurt Russell plays a veteran galactic soldier who was the best, but he can no longer compete with the new soldiers. Over the course of the movie he learns love and compassion for people, prompting him to save a group of outcasts from the onslaught of new soldiers sent to wipe them out. Sounds cool, doesn't it?
Maybe the general audience doesn't have the same movie taste as me. Maybe that's a good thing. My movie tastes are usually pretty questionable.
43. Red Planet
'Red Planet' is another movie that came out within three or four years of 'Soldier.' It was a great time for an abundance of sci-fi movies, but the law of supply and demand tell us that abundance makes for low profits. This movie is about a crew sent to Mars to try to colonize it. Why would anyone ever do that? Because Earth is dying. Maybe this movie would do better today when everyone can relate to it a lot more. Maybe we can all go to Mars when the Earth gets too hot.
Movies like this usually lose money because they are so expensive to make. A decent amount of people might come to see it, but when you're spending millions on effects, you need an army to show up just to break even.
42. K-19: The Widowmaker
This may shock you. This is a movie about Russians and espionage starring Harrison Ford where he DOESN'T play Jack Ryan. Watch out because that might be a shock to your system to see Jack Ryan speak in a Russian accent. It might be easier to imagine Harrison Ford as someone other than his iconic Jack Ryan character now that Jim from 'The Office' is playing that character in the new Amazon Prime series.
This is a Cold War era war movie, which means that there is no fighting in it. That's pretty much what the Cold War was all about. It's like when you see a fight about to break out but the two guys just end up yelling at each other and occasionally stepping up. This movie lost 91 million dollars, which is a fraction of what we lost fighting the Cold War.
Here's the sad thing about this movie. I worked at a movie theater when this movie came out and I barely recall its existence. That was at a time when I would watch every single movie that came out. I guess the idea of Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie in a period drama doesn't exactly excite the sense. I know it doesn't for me. Considering this is a period piece from a period that we don't even have pictures from, you know it costs A LOT of money.
Even though this movie has some big, box-office drawing stars in it, it still lost 92 million dollars. Maybe if they didn't cast such big stars. They might have spent 92 million on Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie's rate alone. It made a decent amount of money domestically, but it just simply cost too much.
40. Speed Racer
'Speed Racer' reminds me of a time when audiences weren't sick of remakes, reboots, and redos. Now we're used to it. The movie studios have conditioned us to live a Groundhog's Day style of movie-going experience. Every year we see a new Spider-Man movie and a couple of remakes of remakes. 'Speed Racer' came out at a time when I was still hopefully of studios taking beloved properties and turning them into movies.
This spectacles of a movie cost one hundred and twenty million dollars to produce, but made about a third of that at the domestic box office. Fans of the movie still swear by it, but the original audience for the cartoon may have found it too childlike, and kid may have not even known what Speed Racer was. My dad, for example, was a huge 'Speed Racer' fan, but he didn't even see this movie.
39. A Sound of Thunder
I distinctly remember seeing this movie in theaters. I may have even seen it twice (this was when I was working at the theater so it was very easy to see movies, especially while working). The thing I most remember about this movie is that it states "based on a short story." You already lost me there, movie. Based on a short story? What's next "this movie is based on a sentence."
The movie is about the butterfly effects of literally killing a butterfly while visiting the past. That simple action has an enormous effect on the modern world. Waves of "evolution" start affecting society, bringing horrible prehistoric creatures back into existence. The worst thing about this movie is the special effects. It looks like something made for TV. Maybe those kinds of effects would look good in 'Krull,' but not in 2004.
Here we have another Kurt Russell movie. The guy has some serious failures in the books but he keeps working. I'm not complaining. I love Kurt Russell. 'Poseidon' is based off of both the book and the movie 'The Poseidon Adventure.' They cut off the "adventure" part so it would sound more adult and dangerous. It worked. I went to see this movie in theaters, which I may not have done if it was called 'The Poseidon Adventure.' That sounds like a kids movie.
Making a movie on a boat is incredibly expensive, leading to this movie losing ninety three million dollars. For one of the ballroom scenes alone the movie had employed over five hundred extras. Next time they should just use mannequins. You don't have to feed them, and you don't have to worry about them getting hurt.
'Gigli' is an important part of American history. It marked both the highest and lowest point of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez' relationship. Why do I know more about their relationship than I do about any one of our American presidents? That might be because my brain has become mush from watching too much entertainment, but maybe I can get a job as an entertainment historian.
The movie cost over seventy five million to make, yet only made six million dollars. I think people were sick of seeing and hearing about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's relationship, plus no one knew how to pronounce the stupid name. This movie might have stood a chance if it wasn't connected to their relationship, but at least we all know remember it, even if that's for the wrong reasons.
36. Fantastic Four (2016)
I had to make sure to specify the year I'm talking about since there have been a couple of Fantastic Four movies. There is the Jessica Alba helmed version that came out in the early 2000s, but there's an even older one that's even worse. Go look it up, but good luck finding a copy of it. It has been burned from history. Maybe all Fantastic Four movies should be burned from history. If the box office numbers say anything, it's that we should.
The problem is that studios don't mind spending a ton of money on superhero movies because they just figure they'll do well. That's not the case after we've had over fifty Marvel movies over the years. That may sound ridiculous, but there have seriously been fifty Marvel movies since the eighties.
35. Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever
What happens when you take two big stars like Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas and put them in an action movie? Nothing. Absolutely nothing happens. The movie costs seventy million dollars to make, yet only made fourteen million. You never know what causes a bomb like this. It could be timing or lack of promotion, but one thing is for sure, this movie sucks. It has a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It takes being pretty bad to get a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score isn't very good either.
It's a ball to the walls action movie, but the action isn't memorable or great. I'm sure poor word of mouth didn't help this movie do well in the box office. If you want to see an awesome action movie starring Antonio Banderas, just put on 'Desperado.' That's the ultimate Antonio Banderas action movie.
34. Around the World in Eighty Days
I love Jackie Chan movies. They have some of the best action scenes period. When left to his own devices, Chan can choreograph the hell out of a fight scene. Then Jackie Chan started making movies in the United States with much more strict guidelines on safety, and directors who don't know how to shoot action. 'Around the World in Eighty Days' is the pinnacle of Jackie Chan being in bad American movies. Yes, he's had some good ones, like the 'Rush Hour' series, but I think most people saw this movie coming up and knew they weren't going to get classic Chan.
It cost over a hundred million dollars to produce, yet only made twenty four million dollars. I hate when Hollywood does a movie like this. "People know what 'Around the World in Eighty Days' is, so this'll be a sure bet." It's like they think anything will be successful just because it existed before.
33. Green Lantern
If anything, Green Lantern is a beacon of hope for other actors. You too can star in a completely lauded flop, yet still come back strong in the same genre. I don't know what spell Ryan Reynolds has cast over casting agents, but he's played Deadpool twice and the Green Lantern once. The first time he played Deadpool was in the X-Men: Origins Wolverine movie. How does he keep coming back from flops?
DC has had a hard time getting critical acclaim on their movies, and now they even struggle to make money with their movies. I watch their movies and have no idea how they screwed it up. When you lack a unifying vision, that can happen. On the other side of the coin, Marvel has such a unifying vision that you need to watch eighteen movies just to enjoy 'Infinity War.'
32. Ben-Hur (2016)
The original 'Ben-Hur' is known as a classic. I've never seen it nor cared about it, and most people I talk to feel the same. In fact, I remember when I first saw the posters and trailers for this movie. All I could wonder is "why?" I'd bring it up to people and they'd just laugh, also wondering why. The world didn't need another 'Ben-Hur' movie, and they certainly didn't want one either. It's just another example of Hollywood thinking they have a home run just because the movie existed before.
The movie cost one hundred million dollars, which shouldn't be a surprise considering it's a period piece. The costumes alone could eat up an independent film's budget. Factor in locations too and you're looking at hefty price tag. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this movie only made twenty six million dollars.
31. How Do You Know?
James L. Brooks is a producing legend. He's responsible for some of the greatest TV shows of all time, like 'The Simpsons,' and some of the greatest romantic comedies of all time like 'Say Anything.' Too bad we've already learned that you're only as good as your last movie. Despite having a great cast, this movie tanked in the box office, and it was also panned by critics.
The stars in this movie are aplenty. Paul Rudd. Reese Witherspoon. Owen Wilson. Jack Nicholson. I've often found that the more stars a movie has in it, especially a romantic comedy, the worse the movie is. The movie usually only has each actor for a couple days or less, so the movie just ends up being a disjointed mess with no chemistry. Of course, this is just a theory. I think you'll find that I'm mostly right.
30. The BFG
Let me tell you a little bit about my tastes when it comes to movies with CGI characters, because I think that my tastes are a lot like general audiences. When I see a movie with CGI characters, what I'm looking for are adorable characters who I wouldn't see in everyday life. Now take 'The BFG,' a movie with a CGI grandpa. How am I supposed to get excited about seeing a big grandpa. Give me a talking toaster or cowboy doll. Also, I know that BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant, but I keep thinking it stands for Big F(word) Giant. I'm not taking my kids to see that!
This Steven Spielberg directed movie has a seventy five percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but even when a movie is good, it's no guarantee that'll it'll do well in the box office.
'Inchon' is a movie from back in 1982 that depicts the epic battle of Inchon from the Korean War. I actually don't know much about the battle of Inchon, but I'll tell you one thing, when I'm ready to learn I'm not going to watch this movie. One critic's review said, "no one seems to have a clue what they are doing." I love tha review because you're not sure if they mean that none of the characters knew what they're doing, or if no one making the film knew what they were doing.
The movie cost forty six million dollars to produce, but made just a little over five million dollars. Everyone knows that the real money is in World War II movies. Those always do well. Once you start messing with other wars, people aren't interested.
28. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
I have to give you full disclosure as a serious journalist: I absolutely adore this movie, but I won't spend any energy defending it. It's horrible in so many ways, but some of those same ways are the same ways that make this movie so great. John Travolta and Forest Whitaker are acting the hell out of this movie. It's like watching a living cartoon. They look absolutely ridiculous as well. The story behind this movie just makes it more interesting.
The story is based on one of Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard's books. I find that very bizarre that the same guy that leads a church also wrote science fiction. Especially when the beliefs of the religion sound like science fiction. Very odd if you ask me. Being a sci-fi movie, this movie costa lot to make, which probably came out of scientologists monthly dues.
Remember how I said that audiences loved World War II movies? I guess I was wrong, because this specific World War II movie bombed in the box office and had bad reviews. It stars Nicholas Cage as a traumatized soldier ordered to protect a Navajo soldier. It was directed by John Woo who has directed some of the most iconic action movies ever made, but his American films have always been hit or miss. Mostly miss. He has a keen eye for action, but his stories often fall into cheesy territory.
The movie cost one hundred and fifteen million dollars to make, but it only brought in forty million dollars. Once you factor in other things like promotion, the movie lost anywhere between $103-110 million dollars. Wind talks, but money talks much louder. See what I did there?
26. The Postman
Here's the big issue with 'The Postman.' You can't tell what the hell the movie is about. I don't know if it's a period piece or what by looking at Kevin Costner's outfit. Plus the name is equally confusing, and it even leans towards boring. Who wants to see a movie about the guy who delivers your mail? It turns out that it's a post-apocalyptic movie. I'm sure the theaters were full of audiences half made of post-office enthusiasts, and the other half post-apocalyptic enthusiasts. None of them left happy because this movie sucks.
At nine percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is a stinker. The movie had an estimated loss of one hundred and seven million dollars. If you're going to watch post-apocalyptic Kevin Costner, everyone knows that you should watch 'Waterworld.' Now THAT'S a good movie.
25. Jupiter Ascending
There's a moral to this story that's been building slowly over the last twenty five examples. Sci-fi movies are a bad bet. I don't say that because I want studios to stop making them. In fact, it's the opposite. I want them to keep making sci-fi movies even when they suck. I'll take ten bad sci fi movies to get one good one. It's like gambling except with someone else's millions of dollars and time.
'Jupiter Ascending' is a really fun and well made sci-fi movie, but it also features a roller-blading Channing Tatum with dog ears. That doesn't make for a compelling poster for some people. For me it had me lining up on day one. Mila Kunis is also great in it, so I'd say go rent it, but my good review didn't prevent it from losing over one hundred million dollars.
Here's another example of Ryan Reynold in a comic book movie that bombed yet somehow it didn't destroy his career. He's the king of comic book movie comebacks. Let's also make sure to mention Blade: Trinity' while we're on the subject. He starred in that movie, which is arguably the beginning of his hero career. Who else has been in as many comic book movies as Ryan Reynolds. Actually, let me clarify. Who has been in as many comic book movies as different characters?
I don't think fans of the comic book series were invested enough to turn out to support this movie, and for the laymen, the movie didn't' look too interesting either. I love it when Hollywood takes a mildly popular comic and tries to make a hit out of it. That's the type of decision making that leads to losing $111 million.
23. Jack the Giant Slayer
'Jack the Giant Slayer' takes the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and modernizes it in a way. It's about a boy who accidentally rips open a portal between the world of the giants and the world of normal-sized people. People versus giants? Sounds like it could be cool. With great CGi, there could be some incredible battles- wait, the CGI is terrible? Nevermind!
It's true. This movie just looks a little too goofy to be taken seriously, even if it isn't that bad. The limits of CGI are getting pushed so far and so fast that it really shows when a movie isn't up to par. People will tune out before they've even finished the trailer. This movie lost one hundred and eleven million dollars. Do you have any idea how many Big Macs that is?
Luckily Matthew McConaughey is interesting enough to watch that he can get away with being in bad movies. I bet he's great to work with too. You'd hire him just for the chance to hang out with him. I'm pretty sure that's how fifty percent of roles are cast. "That guy would be good to have around. Make him the next Batman." Too bad even the gravity of McConaughey couldn't bring people out to the theater. This movie lost upwards of one hundred and twenty five million dollars.
The movie is based off of a book, and it probably should have stayed that way, though I'm sure the author of the book is happy. I'd be happy for someone to take my books and make them into horrible movies if it meant I still get paid.
21. Hart's War
Here's further evidence against my World War II theory, but what can you do? Even the best theories have proof against them every once in a while. This movie is about a soldier played by Colin Farrell who gets captured by the Germans. Bruce Willis is in it along with Terrence Howard. The movie lost an estimated $95-125 million dollars, even though it had a modest budget.
The movie isn't that bad, despite the box office numbers. The movie has a sixty percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and most negative reviews say that there are too many subplots, including a courtroom drama. When I walk into a World War II movie, the main thing I'm hoping to see is some action-packed courtroom scenes. The only movie that can pull that off is 'A Few Good Men.'
20. Monster Trucks
I would have loved 'Monster Trucks' when I was a kid. I probably would have begged my mom and dad to talk me to see it, but that was back when you could take a family of four to the movies and get snacks for under twenty dollars. Now one ticket is twenty dollars, so if you want to take your child to see a movie like 'Monster Trucks' you need to stop at the bank first and get a loan.
'Monster Trucks' is a paint-by-numbers type of movie, but who cares? You know what you're getting when you walk in to see 'Monster Trucks.' The movie cost over one hundred and twenty five million dollars but only took in thirty three million. It's too bad too. It means it'll be harder to make the next great monster truck movie.
19. Treasure Planet
'Treasure Planet' is a beautifully animated movie, which means that it costs a boat load. Cartoons are expensive, especially when they look nice. Think about all the artists you have to pay just to make one character. No wonder Disney used to just reuse animation for every one of their movies. They wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise. I blame this movie not doing well on the fact that there weren't cute enough characters. The funny sidekick was a robot, which can be cute, but not as cute as a monkey.
The movie cost a whopping one hundred and forty million dollars, and barely was able to scrape over thirty million dollars in the box office. The Rotten Tomato score is at sixty nine percent, and it does star Joseph Gordon Levitt, so it's definitely worth a watch.
I can't believe this movie didn't do better in the theaters. For one it has George Clooney in it. He's America's darling. He's like our sexy uncle. For two, it's a Disney movie that uses Disney lore. I have friends who go to Disneyland several times a week. You'd think those types of people alone could increase the box office numbers. Unfortunately the hefty price tag made this movie impossible to make its money back.
The movie cost two hundred million dollars to make, but it only brought in ninety three million. Ninety three million is no joke, but compared to that production cost it's pathetic. The movie was ultimately hurt by poor reviews. It's hard enough to make money even when the movie is good. If it's just OK it can be next to impossible.
17. Town and Country
'Town and Country' was made in 2001 but it feels like it belongs in 1996. It stars some heavy hitters, even if they are a little older (don't call me an ageist! I'm just stating fact). The movie has Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Garry Shandling, Andie MacDowell, and Charlton Heston. That's a real who's who of Hollywood stars. Unfortunately the movie sort of reflects that. It's basically about rich people's problems. It's a little hard to connect with people who are rich, played by people who are rich.
The movie has a thirteen percent on Rotten Tomatoes and only made six million dollars after spending ninety million dollars on making it. I do appreciate Gary Shandling in the movie, although behind the scenes stories say that he and the director didn't get along.
'Supernova' is a space rescue mission movie that ends in horror. The effects are horrible and the overall movie is horrible, which makes you wonder how something like this even gets made. The movie has three directors listed, including Francis Ford Coppola. He may be good, but I don't necessarily trust his expertise in the sci-fi genre. It's kind of like Michael Jordan going into baseball. Just because you're good at one thing doesn't mean you're good at everything, buddy.
I can't help but feel like this is more of a "watch it for free on SyFy network" type of movie. This isn't something you want to pay ten or fifteen bucks for. I also describe it as a "clean the house" movie. It's a movie you put on the background while you clean your house.
15. Heaven's Gate
At the very least, 'Heaven's Gate' takes you back to the days when Kris Kristofferson was a sex symbol. You see, I became aware of Kris Kristofferson in the aforementioned 'Blade: Trinity' where he looked like anything but a sex symbol. He was old and crusty in that movie. That's about the only good thing that came out of 'Heaven's Gate' though. The movie cost forty four million dollars to produce, but only raked in $3.2 million dollars.
The movie is based off of historical events. What events, you ask? The conflict between cattle barons and poor immigrants. What? You aren't immediately hooked? I am always first in line to see movies about cattle barons. The estimated loss of this movie is one hundred and twenty million dollars. They must have lost a lot on promotion.
I stand by 'Stealth' as a really fun crappy movie. In fact, there is a very good episode of the podcast 'How Did this Get Made' that tackles this movie. As you can expect from the title, the podcast rips apart bad movies, asking the question "how did this get made?" 'Stealth' is about a intelligent AI put into a stealth craft that goes rogue after getting hit by lightning. So many things that don't make sense happen in this movie that it ends up being an unintentional comedy.
With all the special effects and action in the movie, it came with a hefty price tag. It cost $135 million dollars, and only made thirty two million back. Luckily Jamie Foxx was coming off of 'Ray,' so his stock in Hollywood didn't drop too badly.
13. The Alamo
This is another one of those movies that came out while I was working at a movie theater yet I have no recollection that it ever existed. I don't know what it is about certain movies. You know what I think about when I think about the alamo? Old movies about it. It just doesn't excite me, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that general audiences felt the same. The movie only made twenty two million dollars off of its one hundred and seven million dollar production cost.
The movie lost $120 million dollars, which is a worse loss than they suffered at the actual Alamo. Billy Bob Thornton is in it, and as interesting as he is to watch, I don't show up at the theater to see him as the star.
'Pan' takes the cake as far as having the worst premise that must have sounded like such a good idea in the boardroom. It's a prequel to 'Peter Pan' in a way. It's kind of like an origin story. A young orphan boy is taken to Neverland to follow his destiny of becoming Peter Pan. That's not how people want to remember Peter Pan. I blame 'Dark Knight' even though I love that movie. Everyone thought they could go gritty after that movie. Peter Pan should not be gritty.
The movie cost on hundred and fifty million dollars to produce - not unexpected that they'd put all their chips into a Peter Pan movie. Too bad it only made thirty five million. No one wanted to see a dark Peter Pan unless we're talking about 'Hook.'
11. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
What's funny about the Final Fantasy series of video games is that they are known for pushing the bounds of storytelling. This is especially true in how the games, despite being on weak hardware, were able to adopt some filmmaking-inspired stylistic choices that set the game apart. You'd think that would translate to an incredibly great story for their first movie, but in fact the story is the worst part about the movie.
The movie looks great, but I've seen it several times and I still couldn't explain what it was about. You could put a gun up to my head and I still couldn't tell you. Gamers aren't like comic book fanboys. Gamers will not show up if they think the movie will be bad. That's why you see so many gaming movies flop. They always suck so the gamers don't show up.
10. 47 Ronin
Here's what makes me mad. We have Keanu Reeves playing a samurai swordsman. Sound good to me... '47 Ronin' could have been really cool. Instead, it was really bad. While the aesthetics and story might have seemed cool, the movie itself couldn't pull it off. Bad word of mouth ruined this movie's chances at box office success, but maybe that'll teach them to take good character design and ruin it on a bad movie. It only has fifteen percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie had a huge production cost of one hundred and seventy five million dollars. You can see every penny on the screen, but that doesn't' mean much if the movie isn't interesting. I has an estimated loss of $103-158 million dollars. That stings. The best we can hope for now is that John Wick uses a samurai sword for most of his next movie.
9. The Adventures of Pluto Nash
Let's not forget that Eddie Murphy was once the biggest star on the planet. He can still draw crowds. It's just that he hasn't been out in the limelight as much. With his career, he doesn't have to. He's already proven himself. That being said, there was a series of movies he made that all stunk to high heaven. 'The Adventures of Pluto Nash' was one of those movies (also look up 'Meet Dave')
It's an adventure comedy, but Eddie Murphy sleepwalks through this movie. None of that hilarious Eddie Murphy charm is in this movie. It cost one hundred million dollars, but it only made four million. Put Eddie Murphy in a good movie and I bet people will show up to the theater. Put him in a bad movie and they know what to expect.
8. Mars Needs Moms
'Mars Needs Moms' is about a boy who has to save his mom after she's abducted by aliens who need to steal her mom essence for their young. It's all about loving your mom. I'll admit something to you for the sake of making a point. I am a noted momma's boy. I'm a proud momma's boy through and through. Even then, this is not the type of movie I'd want to go see.This movie is way to dorky, even for me. "I'll take two tickets. One for me and one for my mommy. My mommy and I will be sharing a popcorn."
It cost one hundred and fifty million dollars due to all the CGI, but it only made twenty one million dollars. The Rotten Tomato score is also pretty low at thirty seven percent.
7. Titan A.E.
This is another movie that suffered from being far too expensive to produce. The animation is done using cel shading and CGI to give it a very futuristic, unique look. When you're pushing boundaries, you're going to spend a lot of money. That's not to say that a movie that costs a lot can't make a lot, but it is a high risk. 'Titan A.E.' is a stunningly animated sci-fi movie about an alien race that is destroying all other planets. A character voiced by Matt Damon must look for an ultimate weapon to destroy them.
The movie cost seventy five million dollars and only made twenty two million dollars. I blame myself. I remember this moving being out in theaters and I never once begged my mom to take me. I did buy an action figure though.
6. Cutthroat Island
Feminists may want to revisit this movie. It stars Geena Davis as the best pirate in wherever the heck she is. Of course, the problem with pirate movies is that you need to build entire pirate ships or make them out of CGI. It's not like making a movie about 7-11. Those are everywhere. Just point a camera in any direction and you'll probably hit a 7-11. If I could sum up all of the critic's reaction to this movie, I'd sum them all up into one sentence. That sentence would be: "this movie is just dumb."
This movie cost ninety eight million to produce, which back in 1995 was a lot more money than we think already think it is. That being said, it only made ten million dollars. What happened? Did the profits get robbed by pirates?
5. The 13th Warrior
"The 13th Warrior" is a movie about a man, Antonio Banderas, having fallen in love with the wrong woman. He is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
The film was a financial failure. Production and marketing costs reputedly reached $160 million, but it grossed $61 million at the box office worldwide, making it one of the biggest box office bombs in history, with losses of up to $129 million.
4. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
We keep seeing trends on this list. After nearing all fifty, the trends become more apparent. Animated movies. War movies. Historical movies. None of those have a great track record. King Arthur falls into the historical movie category. It's a huge investment to make one of these. When you factor in location, costume, and the fact that no one cares about the history of King Arthur.
You can't have kings and knights without spending a pretty penny. The movie cost one hundred and seventy five million dollars. It definitely looks that expensive, but people don't come to the theater just to see how expensive something looks. It only brought in thirty two million dollars. Just between you and me, I'm OK with there never being another King Arthur movie. Don't reboot it, remake it, or reanimate it.
3. The Lone Ranger
'The Lone Ranger' cost a ridiculous amount of money, especially when I think about the public demand for a Lone Ranger movie. I hadn't even heard anyone talk about the Lone Ranger in casual conversation in all of my life. I don't know what made Hollywood want to spend two hundred and fifteen million dollars on it. I bet most of that went in Johnny Depp's pockets too. Too bad the world has turned their back on him due to all the spousal abuse charges. Things like that tend to hurt a guy's popularity.
'The Lone Ranger' ended up making eighty nine million dollars, which as much as I talk crap about the franchise, is a really good amount of money. It just pales in comparison to the production budget. Maybe next time hire a Native American actor instead.
2. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
This animated tale stars Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta Jones as two pirates, which should be pretty apparent. If any movie references the seven seas, there's a good chance it's a pirate movie. Some of these numbers can be confusing and misleading, like the fact that the movie cost sixty million to make, but only made twenty six million. What's confusing is that the estimated loses are at one hundred and sixty six million. This movie must have had some hefty marketing, but audiences had already shifted their focus onto CGI animated movies.
Although critics say the movie is OK, it lacks any memorable magic to make it stand out. It really is true that by 2003, children had grown accustomed to a certain animation style (CGI). The days of traditional animation in films is quickly ending.
1. John Carter
'John Carter' cost two hundred and fifty million dollars to produce, so it's not surprise it's at number one on this list, but honestly, it was applauded for looking so good, even if the screenshot I included the movie looks a little tacky for that budget. I mean, come on, it was 2012. We knew it would be a movie that had an insane budget. It only took in seventy three million, which isn't so bad if it weren't for that steep budget.
The movie is about an army captain who gets transported to Mars to fight in a war. That's your typical story that makes for a great action movie, and I've heard some people who swear by this movie, but the Rotten Tomato score is at fifty percent. You be the judge. Go check it out.
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