With the recent release of the big action thriller ‘White House Down’ flopping horribly compared to expectations at the box office, Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum are sure to be wondering what went wrong. The film was certainly not cheap, and in order to make up those dollars a movie needs to sell. Sometimes, despite lofty expectations, they just don’t. That being said, let’s take a look back at some of the most costly flops in the history of the box office.
There are a variety of different ways to look at the numbers, so the exact order of the worst ever flops is difficult to pin down. So I will just provide you with my personal list, which may or may not be in order of financial loss. I will also be including anticipation and expectations in my thought process.
10. The Alamo (2004)
When director John Lee Hancock took on ‘The Alamo’ he probably thought he was guaranteed success. I mean, it’s one of the most famous battles ever, and a true story of heroism and sacrifice. Well, Hancock was wrong. The film flopped and lost close to $80 million.
9. Gigli (2003)
Universally acclaimed as one of, if not the worst movie of all time, this mobster flick starred Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, at the time that they were actually dating in real life. Apparently, real life relationship chemistry doesn’t translate all that well to the screen, as this one was just god awful and the numbers reflect that. The film didn’t even rake in $10 million, after costing a lofty $70 or more. Ouch. Ben’s come a long way.
8. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Eddie Murphy has made some stinkers in his career, and this may be the worst. The entire premise was always destined for failure, and hindsight being 20/20 spending over $100 million was not a good investment here. The fact that it grossed under $10 cements that as fact.
7. Town & Country (2001)
My first question when I think about this film, is how do you manage to spend over $90 on a romantic comedy starring the aging pair of Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton. I mean, I know they didn’t cost that much to star in it. Anyway, the film managed to rake in little over ten million, so that is how it lands on this prestigious list.
6. Heaven’s Gate (1980)
This old western is little known these days, probably because nobody watched it. It cost around $45 million to make, but at the time, and for a less financial stable studio, that was quite the investment. It didn’t pay off, to say the least, grossing a less than whopping $3 million. Barely. Almost sending the studio into bankruptcy, one has to wonder why the film had such lofty expectations. A little self indulgent perhaps….
5. Treasure Planet (2002)
Now, this film actually did bring in around $100 million, but Disney had MASSIVE expectations for this one, and spent almost $150 on it accordingly. It did alright, but it just couldn’t quite live up to those lofty plans. Again, not one of Disney’s finest moves, but they certainly have money to mess with.
4. Battlefield Earth (2000)
A flop in so many ways, this sci-fi film starring John Travolta, was horrible. Just horrible. How you spend over $70 million on a script like this, I’ll never understand. How it actually grossed around $30 million is even harder to figure out. Disgusting stuff.
3. Mars Needs Moms (2011)
Disney spent an awful lot of money on this one, around $150 million to be more specific, and about $100+ of that went to waste as the animated alien feature, directed by Robert Zemeckis flopped horribly. Disney unfortunately has found themselves a regular on this list.
2. Cutthroat Island (1995)
One of the most notorious flops ever is this swashbuckling pirate film, which really walked to plank (sorry, had to). Almost ending the careers of Gina Davis and Matthew Modine, this apparently sure to succeed film, lost upwards of $90 million and was panned by all those who saw it.
1. John Carter (2012)
Wow. I mean, Disney has made this list a few times now but they really outdid themselves with this one. Whoa buddy. They really thought they had one here. The big D dropped around $250 million on this big special effects, beginning to what they thought would be a trilogy. After losing close to $100 million, they may rethink that plan.