It’s a tricky business trying to put together a movie that sells. When you’re part of a studio putting millions upon millions of dollars into one picture, it’s really scary to think about. Even if you advertise the hell out of it, there’s always that slight chance that audiences in some way or another may not fall in love with the film like you thought they were. Next thing you know a good chunk of that studios’ money goes down the drain as the weekend box office results showed you made squat. One of the latest big studio movies to take the dive is Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Killer. There’s a number of different things that could possibly kill this picture’s chance at box office success, but as we wait to see how it does, we’re running down the list of some of the biggest blockbuster disappointments out there.
#10. John Carter/Sahara
It’s easy to throw the failure dart at these two movies for a number of reasons, but they both share something in common. As time passes along, they’re both easily forgotten. It’s not like the studios did the wrong thing trying to promote the two of them, but as a film they both weren’t very good. Now there are some critics who may disagree with that statement referring to John Carter more than Sahara, but so be it. They both could have been spectacular movies, gaining all sorts of box office success, but when some folks finally got a look at the two of them, everyone’s interest in the pictures eventually faded away.
#9. Treasure Planet
Not many folks may realize this, but all because you’re making an animated movie doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed box office success. Take for instance Treasure Planet, a fine looking Disney animated film that had a lot of things going for it. The marketing was strong and so was the word of mouth. So when the numbers came in and everyone quickly discovered that Treasure Planet was one large bomb, you wonder what happened. Sometimes a film may just simply be neglected, even if it’s got a huge marketing campaign behind it all. It’s a sad tale that’s been told before and will continue to happen with some movies.
#8. Green Lantern/Catwoman
All because you can make a superhero movie out of almost any character out there doesn’t mean you should. We’re looking at you Green Lantern and Catwoman. Now the studio figured well, since some of our A-list comic book superheroes have made us oodles of money, why don’t we give some of the secondary characters a shot? There’s no harm in that. So they go ahead and write stupidly large checks and figure that some sex appeal or CG will make up for the horribly assembled story. Nope, wrong. Green Lantern and Catwoman are now part of the growing list of poor superhero movies that many fans had the common sense to avoid, and some critics had the misfortune to write about.
#7. How Do You Know
When How Do You Know first came out in theaters, a lot of folks ignored it. This was one of those pictures that at first glance sounded like the makings of an intriguing romantic comedy/drama of sorts. You’ve got a great A-list cast and a fantastic writer/director behind them all. It’s a shame that a picture like this massively bombed at the box office, but the stupidly large price tag on it didn’t help out much either. Everybody got a monstrous payday, the director included, and it took a good long while for the production to wrap up. The critical response was negative but if you give it another watch, you’ll find that the picture grows on you. It’s not a bad movie but it shouldn’t have cost $100-$120 million to make.
#6. The Adventures of Pluto Nash
If a finished movie sits on a shelf for a couple of years prior to its release, that’s never a good sign. The Adventures of Pluto Nash may not be a movie you remember, and that’s for good reason. This is yet another one of those movies released in the early 2000s that barely made a dent in the box office. Once they unleashed this monstrosity out onto the world, critics and audiences agreed it, well, sucks. All the money used for advertising the movie, and putting it together, went down the drain. To put it simply, Pluto Nash is a picture that may have had all the money in the world to back it, but had such a piss-poor story that nobody cared to see it.
If you know your fair share of box office bombs, then the name Ishtar has been mentioned at some point. This production was doomed from the first day of shooting. We’re talking about a hefty production budget price slathered on top of a bunch of hard headed perfectionists working with one another halfway across the world. The heavy rumors of on-set quarrels, the shoddy story and the fact that the picture kept on getting pushed from its release date were more than enough to ward audiences away from the project. Now it’s one of those films you can barely find in any video store. Nobody really wants to see it.
#4. Speed Racer
Everybody remembers The Wachowski’s the most for their work on the Matrix trilogy. A large chunk of those fans may have forgotten the fact that they were also responsible for making the failure that is Speed Racer. In fact, it’s been rumored by some as to the reason why lead actor Emile Hirsch took a nosedive at one point in his career after being on the rise thanks to the movie Into The Wild. It’s sad to see that happen to such a talented actor but that’s what happens when you star in a painful flop that people complain about because of the seizure-inducing CG flashiness.
Waterworld may be one of the biggest financial round up of hot talent at the time, production design and story out there. It had everything going for it at a glance. Boy did Universal think they had a mega hit on their hands or what. They poured such an incredible amount of money into this picture, and can you blame them? They thought they had a hit. Okay, so they made a little back overseas, but out here in North America Waterworld was considered a flat out failure. Many consider it to be an abysmal movie but that doesn’t stop Universal from still showing it off at their theme parks. Seriously, I’m so surprised they still have Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular out there.
#2. Cutthroat Island
At this point some of you may be wondering as to why we threw Cutthroat Island, considered to be one of the biggest box office flops of all time, in second place instead of first. One could argue that this reporter doesn’t like the film so much that she didn’t want to give it the pleasure of being in first, even in a worst-of list. But seriously, that’s not the case. While it may have been riddled with issues with casting, the script and the budget, at the very least those involved should be happy that they got Cutthroat Island completed. The main reason why this one takes such a high spot in the list is because of the abysmal box office revenue it got. The picture cost $98 million to make and they only raked in $10 million in ticket sales. Ouch.
#1. Battlefield Earth
If you’re a big shot in Hollywood and are so desperate to get a film made that you’ll pay out of your own pocket, that’s one thing. But when nobody wants to touch that project with a twenty foot pole because it has strong links to Scientology, forget about it. John Travolta tried his hardest to lift Battlefield Earth off of the ground and successfully did. Well, successful in the fact that it was a full length feature film, not that it’s a particularly good one at all. In fact, Battlefield Earth dealt with so many hardships that one of the production companies attached to it took a huge financial fall and now no longer exists. Travolta, I don’t mean to be rude but maybe it wasn’t the best idea investing your money into this flop of a film.