30 Biggest Box Office Bombs in Hollywood History
Why do some movies fail and others make millions? The reasons vary from film to film, but one thing is certain. It doesn't matter if a movie has an enormous budget, expert marketing and the hottest actors in Hollywood. The audience decides if a movie is worth the price of admission.
When a movie flops at the box office, it creates a financial ripple effect that is felt from the distributor to the producer. Hollywood has produced more duds than hits over the years. Let’s take a look at the biggest box office bombs in the history of the business.
The Wolfman (2010) - Estimated Loss: $76,000,000–$80,000,000
The audiences in 2010 had werewolf fever. Unfortunately, this more traditional story of an American man getting attacked by a werewolf and transforming into one didn't win over audiences like the Twilight series.
Windtalkers (2002) - Estimated Loss: $76,000,000–$81,000,000
Every year, studios release a movie hoping to win big at the Oscars. Windtalkers tells the story of two U.S. Marines sent to protect Navajo Marines who used their unwritten native language to communicate safely on military radios. It's based on an incredible true story, and it should have qualified as an American movie classic.
Tomorrowland (2015) - Estimated Loss: $76,000,000–$150,000,000
This ambitious sci-fi flick stars George Clooney as a former boy-wonder who has always had a passion for science and invention. As an adult, he teams up with a like-minded, curious young girl, played by Britt Robertson. They work together to explore the mysteries of time and space. Eventually, the team ends up somewhere they thought only existed in their minds.
Power Rangers (2017) - Estimated Loss: $76,000,000
The latest installment in the popular Power Rangers franchise was supposed to be one of the biggest movies of 2017. It was a revival of every '90’s kid's favorite show, and it featured autistic and LGBTQ actors, a first for a superhero movie.
How Do You Know (2010) - Estimated Loss: $76,000,000–$105,000,000
Everyone loves a good old-fashioned rom-com, right? That was the thought behind How Do You Know? The movie stars America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon, who plays a woman who just got cut from the U.S.A. women's softball team.
Sahara (2005) - Estimated Loss: $78,000,000–$100,000,000
Movie adaptations of books often turn into instant classics or become some of the biggest bombs in the film industry — Sahara fits into the latter category. The movie didn't do a great job of telling the story in Clive Cussler’s bestselling novel, and movie-goers didn’t like it.
Gods of Egypt (2016) - Estimated Loss: $79,000,000–$90,000,000
When will Hollywood realize they can’t produce Egyptian-themed movies with primarily white casts anymore? You would think they would know by now that audiences don't like it, and Gods of Egypt was no exception. If anything, this movie taught everyone a long overdue lesson on the importance of accurate representation.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) - Estimated Loss: $80,000,000
Directed by fan favorite Guy Ritchie, this movie was based on the popular 1960's TV show. The rights to the show were purchased all the way back in 1994, but numerous rewrites delayed the film's production, and it wasn’t released until 2015.
Fantastic Four (2015) - Estimated Loss: $80,000,000–$100,000,000
In the last 20 years, the world has enjoyed a flood of superhero movies, and the genre has turned into a highly profitable Hollywood commodity. Even remakes of memorable favorites have fared well — until the Fantastic Four. The latest adaptation of Marvel's first family did not win over fans.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - Estimated Loss: $80,000,000
In some cases, even movies with good reviews can flop. This follow-up to the original ‘80’s Blade Runner is a good example of that. Blade Runner 2049 had a stellar cast, including Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, impressive art direction and Oscar-winning photography. It was well-received by critics and fans and achieved an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Supernova (2000) - Estimated Loss: $83,000,000
Is there a term for a film that underperforms so spectacularly that "flop" doesn't even do it justice? If so, then Supernova definitely falls into that category. The movie had a $90 million production budget but only grossed $14.8 million, making it one of the biggest losses in Hollywood history.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) - Estimated Loss: $84,000,000
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets seemed to have a lot going for it prior to its debut. The movie had an A-list cast with British stars Clive Owen and Cara Delevingne, great marketing and a high production budget, but all of these things ended up working against it.
Town & Country (2001) - Estimated Loss: $85,000,000
Town & Country has earned a reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. The Hollywood Reporter even went so far as to list it as the fifth-biggest flop of the 2000s. The movie had a star-studded ensemble cast that included Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Gary Shandling and Goldie Hawn, but that wasn't enough to win over audiences.
Treasure Planet (2002) - Estimated Loss: $85,000,000
This animated take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island proves that sometimes it's best to leave a time-honored story alone. Even though it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, it wasn't well-received by most critics, and audiences didn't give it the time of day, either.
Seventh Son (2014) - Estimated Loss: $85,000,000
Critics didn't seem to care for this fantasy film that was based on the famous novel The Spook's Apprentice. Many blamed the lack of imagination and an overload of special effects for making it one of the most boring flops of 2014. It’s one you might not even remember hearing about, as it almost seemed to disappear overnight.
Pan (2015) - Estimated Loss: $86,000,000–$150,000,000
Peter Pan is one of the most famous, beloved children's stories in the world, but that didn't make people want to see the 2015 live action film Pan. The latest in nearly a dozen film adaptations of the classic story, the film was criticized for its reliance on CGI and its unimaginative storytelling.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018) - Estimated Loss: $86,000,000–$186,000,000
When it comes to movie making, ambition is a good thing, but sometimes movies are too ambitious for their own good. A Wrinkle in Time is a perfect example of that. The long-awaited movie adaptation of the famous book failed to win audiences over and added to the already long list of failed books-turned-movies.
Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) - Estimated Loss: $86,000,000–$106,000,000
This fantastical, modern take on a childhood classic isn’t the biggest flop on the list, but it didn't turn out to be a moneymaker for the studio. This CGI-heavy movie directed by Bryan Singer got a mixed bag when it came to its reception, with audiences and critics disagreeing on its merits.
Jupiter Ascending (2015) - Estimated Loss: $87,000,000–$120,000,000
Unfortunately, the only thing people seemed to like about Jupiter Ascending was the beautiful special effects, and that wasn’t enough to save it from losing big time at the box office. At the time, people were already inundated with space movies, and this movie didn't have a strong enough story to compete.
Rise of the Guardians (2012) - Estimated Loss: $93,000,000
This one is another disappointing example of a movie adaptation gone wrong. Rise of the Guardians, released in 2012, is an animated adaptation of the popular children's book The Guardians of Childhood. Sadly, having a well-told story already laid out doesn't guarantee movie success.
Evan Almighty (2007) - Estimated Loss: $88,000,000
This follow-up to Bruce Almighty didn't exactly match its predecessor's success — nowhere near it, actually. The movie is often regarded as one of the worst sequels of all time. Critics complained that, unlike the first movie, Evan Almighty was a movie that had too many special effects and offered too few laughs.
Cutthroat Island (1995) - Estimated Loss: $89,000,000
Cutthroat Island didn't win big at the box office, but it did win the Guinness World Record title for World's Largest Box Office Flop. Fortunately, Guinness did away with that record, but it doesn't change the fact that this was one of the biggest bombs in Hollywood. It stood unchallenged for years as the biggest black mark on the box office.
R.I.P.D. (2013) - Estimated Loss: $91,000,000–$115,000,000
Who would have thought you could go wrong with an action-comedy starring everyone's favorite heartthrob Ryan Reynolds and the iconic Jeff Bridges? Well, apparently, R.I.P.D. is proof you can. Despite the box office appeal of Reynolds, this movie couldn't manage to fill theaters.
The Promise (2016) - Estimated Loss: $94,000,000–$102,000,000
The Promise tells the story of a love triangle between a brilliant medical student, a beautiful young woman and her current beau, all set in the historic days of the Ottoman Empire. The creators might have been hoping for an Oscar nomination or even a win, but it didn’t happen with this anticlimactic film.
The Alamo (2004) - Estimated Loss: $94,000,000
In Hollywood, remakes can be pretty risky when producers are up against the success and expectations established by the original. The 2004 version of The Alamo is one example of a failed remake. This movie had a lot of things working against its potential for success.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) - Estimated Loss: $94,000,000
The popular Final Fantasy series has proven to be one of the most successful, longest-running video game franchises in history, but all that market goodwill didn't prove helpful when Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was released in theaters. The movie was ambitious and visually impressive, but that was about it.
The Lone Ranger (2013) - Estimated Loss: $95,000,000–$190,000,000
After the international success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney thought they could use Johnny Depp's star power to bring in some more big bucks. Unfortunately, they chose the wrong project because The Lone Ranger was a huge flop.
The Mummy (2017) - Estimated Loss: $95,000,000
After the massive success of the Brendan Fraser trilogy, producers likely saw more box office gold to be mined from the Mummy franchise. But did this series really need another reboot? After watching this 2017 version, the answer is "no." Even Tom Cruise couldn't save this disaster of a movie, and it ended up getting pulled from 800 theaters after three weeks.
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) - Estimated Loss: $96,000,000
Building on an already legendary career in standup comedy, Eddie Murphy became one of the biggest comedic movie stars in the '80s and '90s. All of that came to a screeching halt with the release of 2002's forgettable The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
Mars Needs Moms (2011) - Estimated Loss: $100,000,000–$144,000,000
Mars Needs Moms might be one of Disney's biggest blunders. It had a classic problem with overspending, which explains the $150 million dollar budget. In addition to the enormous production budget, the studio spent $25 million on advertising. This made it nearly impossible for Pixar to turn a profit, which they didn't.