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Biggest Movie Flops of ALL TIME

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by Mike Ness, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Mike Ness

    Mike Ness
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    FOCUS: What films were supposed to be absolute blockbusters and ended up being box office bombs?

    A couple quick examples

    1. Waterworld (of course)
    2. The Happening by M. Night Shyamalan,

    There are ton's of them, have at it!
     
  2. Kubla Kahn

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    I dont think they considered The Happening a flop at all. It might have let down critics but it did decently well money wise. The two that come to my mind as huge expectations with next to nothing box office are The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Gigli both of which I have never seen. By the way, I for one, enjoyed Waterworld. The plot was kind of bland but it was more of a pure action movie than something that was supposed to be deeper. If it hadnt cost as much to make I dont think people would have ripped it as hard.


    Just to beat everyone to the punch, IHTSBIH.
     
  3. james

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    Battlefield Earth was a pretty big disappointment.
     
  4. slippingaway

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    What's that new movie that just came out with Heath Ledger? They almost lost all funding when he died, and re-wrote the script to make his character a shape-shifter. Last I heard, it was only being shown on 4 screens in the entire country. My wife said it got a ton of good reviews from critics, and the few people who I've heard talk about it after seeing it (radio show) all gave it great reviews.
     
  5. deltabelle

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    Don't count that one out yet. It only opened in limited release Christmas week, where it's grossing exceptionally well, and goes into wide release this weekend. It also opened really well internationally. I'm not all that sure I'm interested- although Tom Waits as the devil is intriguing- but I think it's too early to call it a flop.
     
  6. KIMaster

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    Before you post what you consider a bomb, check out the numbers on BoxOfficeMojo, Wikipedia, or a similar site;

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=happening.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=happening.htm</a>

    Even factoring into account P&A and the theater take, the fact that "The Happening" made $163 million on a production budget of $48 million means it turned a major profit, even without taking ancillary rights into account.

    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? Supposed to be a good film; I'm fairly excited about watching it.

    Focus-

    The most commonly cited example is "Heaven's Gate", which had a production budget of $41 million in 1979 (similar to about $150 million today) and made $1 million (roughly $4 million today). It also caused United Artists to go bankrupt. Hard to top that one.

    Kubla Kahn called it, but "Pluto Nash" ($7 million on $100 million budget) was close to as bad. In fact, Eddie Murphy has had a laundry list of horrible flops;

    Imagine That
    Meet Dave
    I Spy (Horrible film; actually watched it)
    Holy Man
    Showtime
     
  7. Crown Royal

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    I'm pretty sure that Cutthroat Island was actually the biggest flop ever in actuality. It cost $120 million and made about nine. It mad some really impressive action set pieces and stunts, but the performances and the script were atrocious, further evidence that Renny Harlin caught a cosmic break with Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger. This is more of the Renny Harlin we see in films like Driven and The Covenant: movies that were so bad they improve on the sight of a blank screen.

    IHTSBIH I wouldn't consider a "flop", since it made nothing and cost about as much. Lots of movies are designed for theatrical release and don't make it, like Killshot and Edison Force. But when a movie is evident from the start that it's bad (or had serious post-production tampering) it will NOT get a wide release.
     
  8. Mike Ness

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    Kubla Kahn brings up a great point here. What if anything defines a flop?? Is it not hitting a percentage at the box office? Is it massive critical failure??

    I have already given you rep points so I can't do it again but you have to love the IHTSBIH reference.

    Another quick bomb, Howard the Duck and Bill Cosby in Leonard Part Six.
     
  9. Durbanite

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    The Conqueror must be considered one of the greatest cinematic flops of all time. A pretty well-known group of actors, some I think were poorly cast (John Wayne as Genghis Khan? Seriously?). Many members of the cast developed cancer from the area they were filming in - it was filled with radioactive fallout from the nearby testing site. Quite a few of the cast members died as a result after filming (e.g. Wayne himself, Hayward, Armendariz, etc.)

    Just read the IMDB page. Wow.

    There's no figures for how much money it brought in at the box office, but it cost $6000000 to make, which was quite a lot of money in 1954.
     
  10. Dmix3

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    The biggest flop of all time is ZYZZYX Road, starring Tom Sizemore and Katherine Hiegl. It holds the record for lowest gross of all time. The movie itself has only been watched in theaters by six people, two of whom were production crew. It cost 2 million and only earned back $30.
     
  11. Mike Ness

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    I love this website "Rotten Tomatoes" I'm sure everyone has used it. Anyway it gives good insight to how good a movie is and they are usually pretty accurate.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10007985-happening/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10007985-happening/</a>

    Going back to a previous post, while "The Happening" may not have been a box office bomb it was a flop. It hurt Mark Wahlberg's career and I don't think it did wonder's for Shyamalan either. This site had a box office gross around 64 million (not sure about the accuracy) I would have thought they were shooting for at least 100 million from this film.

    I once asked Tucker if he would have rather had critical acclaims or had his film make alot of money at the box office. Tucker being Tucker told me I was stupid and that one couldn't happen without the other.

    Isn't this a pretty good example though? The film made 64 million but nobody liked it and no one had anything good to say about it. I go back to my original question What defines a flop? Some of the movie's mentioned (while absolutely hilarious) may not have been flops. The going theory seems to be a film that cost a ton to make (Waterworld, Cutthroat Island and that Conqueror film) and then made no many at the office. Or is it a movie that get's hyped up as an academy award winner and then totally stinks?? (Public Enemies or Righteous Kill) Or of course is it both??

    Spend some time on Rotten Tomatoes if you haven't already it's enjoyable.
     
  12. Sandi587

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    Lets see, fairly good actor, Kevin Costner, check
    Futuristic Sci-Fi plot, check
    Mano a Mano fight to the death, check

    All the makings of a good movie.

    Production budget, 80 million
    Domestic gross, 17.6 million.

    Yes kids, were talking about "The Postman"
     
  13. Joka

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    Two words:
    SPICE WORLD



    Holy fucking shit. I knew this movie was gonna be terrible, but I didn't know it would literally kill my brain cells.
    I'd rather watch a back to back to back marathon to Jingle All The Way then see another minute of this rotting piece of escriment
     
    #13 Joka, Jan 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  14. Kubla Kahn

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    If I remember Tucker's diatribe right he thought the era of critics was over and it was just another advertising tool with the same unknown effectiveness as any other. Transformer 2 did hundreds and hundreds of millions with almost no critical acclaim and little better from audiences.

    I think it is generally accepted that flop is tied with financial failings but yes can be said about massively hyped award winners that go no where.
     
  15. Samr

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    I believed I repped this post when it was in the "ideas forum" with IHTSBIH. I was so fucking hyped for over a year for the damn movie, and while it was still a decent (and definitely re-watchable) comedy, the gap between where I thought it would be and where it came out makes it a flop in my mind. If the movie was without the hype, or even if it was "I'm not sure how this movie will come out, but here's an inside look at the process" kind of thing, it would have actually exceeded expectations. Bringing this back to my point:

    To me, a "flop" is when a movie is either hyped through the media or anticipated in your head to be great, and then under delivers. I remember "Dumb and Dumberer" being painfully disappointing. Not necessarily because it got great acclaim (critics hated it), but because the original movie was so awesome and I mistakenly assumed the sequel would be as well. Waterworld was another flop in the letdown sense (as well as a financial bomb), and more recently, Stealth.
     
  16. KIMaster

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    I don't think their rankings offer a good insight at all, at least not any more than any other aggregate rating site like IMDB, Criticker, etc. Personally, I believe we should probably stick to box office flops, not critical flops. If we're including critical flops, then is it based on the opinion of the people watching, the critics who are shameless shills, who?

    According to my account on a site, I gave Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith an 18 out of 100, which puts it solidly within my 10% lowest rated films of all time.

    Considering the massive hype, bullshit lies written by the critics, expectations, and its box office take, it's the worst garbage of a film I've ever experienced. But is it a flop? For me, it's the biggest flop of all time. But probably not for others, some of whom actually liked it. Box office take is probably the most objective measure available.

    Focus-

    Actually, there is an even bigger bomb none of us have mentioned, and which I didn't even know about until recently; Delgo.

    It cost $40 million to make and made back a massive $0.69 million. Hard to top that.
     
  17. kakutogi

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    That's true, and I think it expands the definition of a flop considerably. For these reason, I would also consider Tucker's movie a huge flop, at least to anyone that followed the production or history of Tucker's business for a while. I mean seriously, funnier than The Hangover? Give me a fucking break.
     
  18. Samr

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    In his defense (yes, laugh at me, but he almost had a point), IHTSBIH could be funnier than "The Hangover" in the long run. There's a difference between a movie that is immediately-funny, and a movie that grows funnier/retains a certain level of humor over a period of time.

    Consider the differences between "Office Space" and "The Hangover." Both are great movies. Both are comedies. Hangover nearly made me piss myself the first time I saw it. But a singing Mike Tyson lost his luster, and -- despite popular belief -- naked, short, crowbar-weilding chinese men do eventually get old.

    "Office Space," meanwhile, was "meh, pretty good" the first time I saw it. But the 15th time I saw it, I still enjoyed it at that same level. In contrast, I've seen Hangover twice now. I own it on dvd, and I don't expect to watch it a third time anytime soon. "The Hangover" started at a very high level of humor, because of the type humor it utilized, and the level of enjoyment I got out of it tanked in a very short number of views. "Office Space," on the other hand, started out as being just pretty decent, but stayed (if not became increasingly) enjoyable over an extended period of time.

    I am NOT saying IHTSBIH is like either one, but I'm saying that Tucker's prediction, if he meant "funnier in the long run" might actually be correct. If he meant "upon first viewing," then it is clearly, undeniably wrong. But it's apples to oranges -- they're both fruit, just different types.

    Where this relates back to the focus, there are some movies -- like IHTSBIH -- which are mistakenly billed to be an orange when in fact they are an apple. It's this mistaken identity which, I believes, leads to some movies being "flops."

    "Office Space" is a success in hindsight, but it would not have been labeled as such if this thread was started when it first came out (if I remember correctly, I believe it even went straight-to-dvd, or close). Not to get political, but it's the similar case with presidents: their ultimate legacy, good or bad, cannot be determined immediately after they leave office; you have to wait. Was Obama a flop during his first year? Maybe. Was Bush a box office hit after 9/11? Can't debate that. But some guys are oranges, and some are apples (and some, admittedly, are stale fruit altogether).

    So when it comes to calling a movie a "flop" or not, we might have to again clarify our parameters: do we mean to categorize it after the first viewing? The third? The 15th?

    "The Hangover" was great, but I can barely stand it now. Now, was it a flop when I first saw it? Hell. fucking. no.

    But, do I still respect the movie as a legitimate piece of cross-generational comedy? "Caddyshack" spits on its grave.
     
  19. KIMaster

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    I thought Tucker's film was funnier than The Hangover. Both were good, but not great comedies, and Tucker's was slightly better.

    Honestly, it doesn't deserve to be labeled a flop by any definition; Tucker is a natural salesman fond of hyperbole, so my expectations were pretty much the same when the film was announced as when I was at the premiere. And it was a good comedy, so I was satisfied.

    Financially, it made $1.5 million on a $6 million budget; in other words, a completely average indie at the box office.
     
  20. snobes

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    Focus: By the domestic take and time spent on my DVD shelf, I nominate "Alexander"

    $34 mil US
    $155 mil to make
    still in the wrapping with the $5 tag from Blockbuster