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Box Office Bomb
A Box Office Bomb, or a flop, is a movie for which production and marketing cost greatly exceeds its gross revenue. It doesn't mean, however, that it merely made studios lose money — gross revenue doesn't equal studio profit.note  It means it lost a truly spectacular amount of money. On the other hand, most but not all box office bombs cost their studios money: gross revenue often doesn't include revenue from DVDs and whatnot (justified because the revenue from theaters is much easier to count), or (often) revenue from the world outside America;note  justified, because other countries don't actually exist. (Well, this can be justified since a movie has to be successful in your home turf first rather than overseas. Plus the studios generally get less than 40% of the gross). Of note that most films since the late 1990s tend to at least break even after DVD sales are taken into account.

This is not to be confused with Hollywood Accounting, where the movie is not actually a flop but the real revenue is hidden either for tax evasion or as part of a Springtime for Hitler scheme.

Commonly cited possible reasons for box office failures:
  • Bad word-of-mouth: The movie just happened to be so bad that people avoided it. Those who enjoy cheesy fun usually buy it on VHS/DVD, or simply pirate it later. The importance of this factor has only been increased by the internet, which has drastically increased the speed at which word of mouth (good or bad) spreads, and led to the present day emphasis on opening weekends as an indicator of performance.
  • Competition: This is particularly often in effect with summer blockbusters. People have a limited amount of brainless action they would watch, and if there's a lot of that available, some titles may be neglected. They also tend to be high-budget, and as such if the movie flops, it costs a lot. There is, however, often a principle similar to Award Snub in nature: several good movies (with similar target audiences) are released simultaneously, thus one of them performs truly spectacularly, another one flops, but both are considered great in hindsight (the hit ET The Extra Terrestrial and the flop Blade Runner, for example).
  • Poor marketing: Many a bomb became so despite (or due to) being an excellent movie in general. Incorrect or misleading information about them (or just plain lack of marketing) makes audiences rely exclusively on word-of-mouth, which is generally not enough for a movie to successfully perform. The internet has made this situation a bit better, but not that much. These movies almost always achieve cult status and can later become profitable on DVD.
  • Other circumstances: Sometimes movies flop due to something that's not directly related to the movie itself or the movie industry as a whole. Funny Aneurysm Moments and Too Soon, for example, tend to hit disaster movies' sales very hard when bad timing happens; the 9/11 attacks and the Indian Ocean tsunami, for example, killed a lot of those even though they were obviously filmed prior to the catastrophe. The same effect involves comedies lampooning airports, airlines, and the security process, which all brought down the film adaptation of Big Trouble, which was bumped to the Dump Months from its original position ten days after the 11th. Another example of unfortunate timing is if a movie's genre is killed prior to release.

Note that the figures provided here for budgets and box office returns don't usually tell the whole story. A studio usually only sees about half to a little more than half of a film's box office take, with the rest going to theaters and (often) the actors, director, etc. involved with the production. The budgetary figures provided by the studios, meanwhile, only cover the production costs. Distribution and marketing, especially for summer blockbusters, also eat up substantial amounts of studio money. Unless noted otherwise, it's safe to assume that a film on this list cost a lot more than the studio said it did; the general rule in the Hollywood business press is that a film's real budget can be up to twice its stated budget.

Plus, remember to take inflation into account when looking at films made decades in the past. Cleopatra's $44 million budget in the early '60s, while nothing impressive today, would be equivalent to $325.6 million in 2012 dollars. Furthermore, an independent film or studio is less able to absorb huge losses than a major studio, so the threshold for a bomb is lower for them. The lower figures (both budget and box-office) for older films and indie films can be deceptive.

Flops tend to become Franchise Killers, Genre Killers, and Creator Killers, or "spawn" a Stillborn Franchise.

Critical Dissonance is often at full force here if critics liked it. Vindicated by Video often helps (especially with Better on DVD thrown in), as does Vindicated by Cable. For when the critics and the audience love the movie, yet it still fails commercially, see Acclaimed Flop.


Rules of thumb in bombing


Standalone bombs

  • The 13th Warrior (1999) — Budget, $85 million (not counting marketing costs), $160 million (counting them). Box office, $61,698,899. When adjusted for inflation, this is the biggest flop of all time.note 
  • 47 Ronin (2013) — Budget, $175 million (not counting marketing and editing costs), $225 million (counting them). Box office, $37,597,000 (domestically), $116,097,000 (worldwide). As a result of rising costs during filming and editing, Universal pulled the director Carl Rinsch from the film and had their executives complete the movie. Adding insult to injury, the studio then wrote down the initial budget's costs... before the film got released in the US.
  • 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) — Budget, $47 million. Box office, $11,089,907. Was nearly a Creator Killer for director Ridley Scott, who didn't direct another movie for four years.
  • 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) — Budget, $62 million. Box office, $18,720,175.
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) — Budget, $46.63 million. Box office, $8,083,123.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $15,094,530.
  • The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) — Budget, $100–120 million. Box office, $7,103,973. Sat on the shelf for ages because everyone knew it was a catastrophe. Eddie Murphy himself disowned it.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000) — Budget, $76 million (not counting marketing costs), $98.6 million (counting them). Box office, $35,134,820.
  • After Earth (2013) — Budget, $130 million. Box office, $60,522,097 (domestically), $243,843,127 (worldwide).
  • After the Sunset (2004) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $28,331,233 (domestic), $61,347,797 (worldwide).
  • Against The Ropes (2004) — Budget, $39 million. Box office, $6,614,280.
  • The Alamo (2004) — Budget, $145 million. Box office, $25,819,961.
  • Alex and Emma (2003) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $15,368,897.
  • Alexander (2004) — Budget, $155 million (not counting marketing costs), $201.2 million (counting them). Box office, $167,298,192.
  • Alfie (2004) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $35,150,546.
  • Ali (2001) — Budget, $107 million. Box office, $87,713,825.
  • All the King's Men (2006) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $9,450,897.
  • All The Pretty Horses (2000) — Budget, $57 million. Box office, $18,133,495.
  • An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998) — Budget, $10 million. Box office (get ready to faint), $52,850. Winning six Razzies, it spelt the end of the use of the "Alan Smithee" pseudonym. It also killed Arthur Hiller's direction career (he knew the movie was so bad, he asked the crew to be credited as Smithee).
  • Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $500,000.
  • Amelia (2009) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $19,642,013.
  • An American Carol (2008) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $7,013,191.
  • American Outlaws (2001) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $13,342,790.
  • Another You (1991) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $2,865,916.
  • Around the World in 80 Days (2004) — Budget, $110 million. Box office, $72,178,895.
  • Assassins (1995) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $30,303,072 (domestically), $83,303,072 (worldwide).
  • Astro Boy (2009) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $39,886,986. The losses of the film sucked producer Imagi Studios into a black hole of debt.
  • The Astronauts Wife (1999) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $19,598,588.
  • Atlas Shrugged Parts I and II — Budget, roughly $20 million. Box Office, less than $5 million each. Commentators found it impossible not to comment on the irony of the adaptation of a famous libertarian/"Objectivist" work being rejected by the movie free-market, and then its producers plowing forward with both a sequel and planned Part III — using Kickstarter, of all things, which just adds to the irony.
  • At Long Last Love (1975) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $1.5 million.
  • Australia (2008) — Budget, $130 million. Box office, $49,554,002 (domestically), $211,342,221 (worldwide).
  • The Avengers (1998) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $23,384,939.
  • Baby's Day Out (1994) — Budget, $48 million. Box office, $16,827,402.
  • Bad Company (2002) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $65,977,295.
  • Bait (2000) — Budget, $51 million. Box office, $15.4 million. It nearly ended Jamie Foxx's leading career, as he wouldn't lead again in a theatrical film for four years, but his later resurgence thankfully saved him.
  • Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) — Budget, $70–90 million. Box office, $19,924,033.
  • Bandits (2001) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $67,631,903.
  • Bandslam (2009) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $12,225,023. A definite case of Misaimed Marketing.
  • Bangkok Dangerous (2008) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $42,487,390.
  • Barney's Great Adventure (1998) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $12 million. This film, along with an earlier string of box office failures, led PolyGram to sell out their film division, and eventually themselves, to Seagram, who placed the PolyGram name under Universal a year later.
  • Baseketball (1998) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $7,027,290.
  • Basic Instinct 2 (2006) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $38,629,478. It began the derailment of star Sharon Stone's career and ended Michael Caton-Jones' directing career. It was even dubbed by the Razzies in the 2007 Razzie Awards ceremony as "Basically, It Stinks, Too".
  • Battlefield Earth (2000) — Budget, $75 million (declared), $44 million (actual). Box office, $29,725,663. The egregious case of Hollywood Accounting involved in the production led to Franchise Pictures being sued into bankruptcy.
  • Battleship (2012) — Budget, $209 million. Box office, $65 million (domestically), $302.8 million (worldwide). While it was a hit globally, that didn't prevent the U.S. media from pairing up this film with John Carter as one of the big bombs of summer 2012 after it grossed a weak $25.5 million on its opening weekend.
  • The Beautician and the Beast (1997) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $11.4 million. Fran Drescher's first and only theatrical lead role, and her last theatrical appearance overall.
  • Beautiful Creatures (2013) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $19,452,138 (domestically), $60,052,138 (worldwide).
  • Beloved (1998) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $22,852,487.
  • Betsy's Wedding (1990) — Budget, $26 million. Box office, $19.7 million. Arguably the end of Molly Ringwald's stardom, as afterwards she wouldn't do another theatrical film role for six years.
  • Beyond Borders (2003) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $11,705,002.
  • Bicentennial Man (1999) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $87,423,861.
  • The Big Bounce (2004) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $6,807,176.
  • Big Bully (1996) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $2,042,350. One of the career halting films with Tom Arnold released that year and was also the last theatrical live-action movie that Rick Moranis would star in (though it was less to do with this movie and more to do with his wife's passing).
  • Big Miracle (2012) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $24.7 million.
  • Big Trouble (2002) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $8,493,890.
  • The Big Year (2011) — Budget, $41 million. Box office, $7.4 million. The film's failure might partly explain why Steve Martin isn't currently planned for any theatrical projects in the near future.
  • Big Wednesday (1978) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $4.5 million. Though it had a good reception in Japan.
  • Billy Bathgate (1991) — Budget, $48 million. Box office, $15,565,363.
  • The Black Cauldron (1985) — Budget, $44 million. Box office, $21,288,692.
  • The Black Dahlia (2006) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $49.3 million. Director Brian De Palma took a seven-year sabbatical from Hollywood-level filmmaking.
  • Black Knight (2001) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $39,976,235.
  • Blindness (2008) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $19,844,979.
  • Blood In Blood Out (1993) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $4,496,583.
  • The Blue Bird (1976) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $887,000.
  • Boat Trip (2002) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $15 million.
  • Body of Evidence (1993) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $13.2 million.
  • Bogus (1996) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $4.3 million.
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) — Budget, $47 million. Box office, $15,691,192.
  • Boys and Girls (2000) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $25.8 million. After the huge success of She's All That, director Robert Iscove worked once again with Freddie Prinze Jr. on this movie. Iscove never really had a theatrical hit again, and this movie was part of a rut that Prinze was stuck in during the early '00s.
  • Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011) — Budget, just under $10 million. Box office, $2,529,395. It was taken out of theaters after only two weeks, and quickly derailed Nick Swardson's film career before it could even get started (the Misaimed Marketing didn't seem to help either).
  • Bullet To The Head (2013) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $13,561,515.
  • Bulletproof Monk (2003) — Budget, $52 million. Box office, $37,713,879.
  • Cabin Boy (1994) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $3.6 million.
  • Canadian Bacon (1995) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $178,104. Little wonder this is Michael Moore's only theatrical foray outside the documentary genre to date (admittedly, he has done more than almost anyone to make nonfiction films profitable).
  • Cats Don't Dance (1997) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $3,566,637. It fell through the cracks after Warner Bros. bought Turner just before the movie was released, and proceeded to not promote it at all.
  • The Cat in the Hat (2003) — Budget, $109 million. Box office, $133,960,541 (worldwide), $101,149,285 (domestic). Although it was a success worldwide, it couldn't recoup the budget domestically due to losing audience very quickly. It began the career derailment of Mike Myers (whose career was further damaged with The Love Gurunote ), and was widely panned by fans and critics for the huge amount of crap that went by. The Seuss estate responded by banning any further live-action adaptations of his works.
  • Catwoman (2004) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $82,102,379. Halle Berry quit the X-Men franchise to be in this film; rumor has it she crawled back to the producers for a part in X-Men 3 for a substantially lower paycheck.
  • Chain Reaction (1996) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $21,226,204 (domestically), $60,209,334 worldwide. Morgan Freeman would not get another award-caliber role until Million Dollar Baby in 2004.
  • Chairman of the Board (1998) — Budget, $10 million (estimated). Box office, $181,233.
  • Chill Factor (1999) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $11,263,966.
  • Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $8,251,071. The Creator Breakdown behind the scenes led to the split of the Salkind directing duo, who never did a film together again.
  • City Hall (1996) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $20,340,204.
  • City of Ember (2008) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $17,929,684.
  • Cleopatra (1963) — Budget, $44 million. Box office, $57,777,778. However, 20th Century Fox only got roughly half the film's box office take (the rest went to the theaters), and since $44 million was an exorbitant price tag in 1963's dollars (equivalent to $325.6 million today), they nearly went bankrupt and had to sell off parts of its huge backlot (which turned the remnants of the sold parts to what became known as Century City). Cleopatra’s Troubled Production and ultimate failure were among the decisive moments in the Fall of the Studio System, and the film was considered the example of failure for decades afterwards, only turning a profit for the studio in the '90s thanks to VHS and DVD sales. It only took 30 years!
  • Cloud Atlas (2012) — Budget, $102 million. Box office, $27,108,272 (domestically), $129,787,143 (worldwide). It didn't help that it received criticism from Asians (and Halle Berry) for the decision to have some of the actors, Berry included, play in Yellowface.
  • Collateral Damage (2002) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $78,382,433.
  • Color of Night (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $19,726,050.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $48,795,021.
  • Cool as Ice (1991) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $1.1 million. Was seen as one of the factors of Vanilla Ice's popularity downfall.
  • Cool World (1992) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $14,110,589. Director Ralph Bakshi was so dismayed by the film's reception and Executive Meddling that he eventually retired from filmmaking.
  • The Core (2003) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $31,186,986 (domestic), $73,498,611 (worldwide).
  • The Cotton Club (1984) — Budget, $58 million. Box office, $25,928,721. Suffered an epically Troubled Production, including the gangland-style execution of a would-be backer and a budget-skyrocketing war of egos between producer Robert Evans and director Francis Ford Coppola, both of whose careers were already in trouble from other box office disappointments.
  • Cowboys and Aliens (2011) — Budget, $163 million. Box office, $100,240,551 (domestically), $174,822,325 (worldwide).
  • Cradle Will Rock (1999) — Budget, $36 million. Box office, $2,903,404.
  • Creature (2011) — Budget, $3 million. Box office, $300,000. It was promptly jettisoned from theaters a week later.
  • Crimewave (1986) — Budget, $3 million. Box office, $5,101. Yes, you read that right. In America the movie was released to theaters in only two states, Alaska and Kansas, in order to obtain quick television rights. Star Bruce Campbell likes to say "The movie wasn't released, it escaped."
  • Cry Baby (1990) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $8.2 million. Was almost an end to John Waters' directing career.
  • Cutthroat Island (1995) — Budget, $98 million. Box office, $18,517,322. This film bankrupted Carolco Pictures, derailed Geena Davis' career, her marriage with director Renny Harlin (whose career was also badly damaged), and destroyed the entire swashbuckling adventure genre (and it seems that any pirate movie without the Pirates of the Caribbean name will be destined to fail).
  • D.O.A. (1988) — Budget, $29 million. Box office, $12 million.
  • D-Tox (2002) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $6,337,141.
  • Darling Lili (1970) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $3.25 million.
  • Daylight (1996) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $33,023,469 (domestically), $159,212,469 (worldwide).
  • Dear God (1996) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $7,138,523.
  • Death to Smoochy (2002) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $8,382,938.
  • Deception (2008) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $17,741,298.
  • Delgo (2008) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $915,840. (No, that's not a typo.) It had one of the worst openings ever for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters, earning just $511,920 at 2,160 sites.
  • Delirious (1991) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $5,546,826.
  • Desperate Measures (1998) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $13,806,137.
  • The Devil's Own (1997) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $42,868,348 (domestically), $140,807,547 (worldwide). This served as the final film for director Alan J. Pakula, as he was killed in a car accident the next year after its release.
  • The Dilemma (2011) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $69,721,966.
  • Disorganized Crime (1989) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $7 million.
  • Doctor Dolittle (1967) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $6.2 million.
  • Domino (2005) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $22,944,502.
  • Doom (2005) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $55,987,321.
  • Dreamcatcher (2003) — Budget, $68 million. Box office, $33,715,436 (domestic), $75,715,436 (worldwide).
  • Dream House (2011) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $38,502,340.
  • Driven (2001) — Budget, $72 million. Box office, $54,744,738.
  • Drop Zone (1994) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $28,735,315.
  • Dudley Do-Right (1999) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $9,974,410.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $33 million.
  • Duplex (2003) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $19,322,135.
  • Dutch (1991) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $4,603,929.
  • Ed (1996) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $4 million.
  • EdTV (1999) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $35,319,689.
  • Ender’s Game (2013) — Budget, $110 million. Box office, $61,737,191 (domestically), $125,537,191 (worldwide). The film suffered from poor marketing that couldn't really make clear if the film was targeted to kids or adults. Had the misfortune of coming outnote  at a time when gay rights were a hot issue when creator Orson Scott Card was known far and wide for being a homophobic Jerk Ass.
  • Envy (2004) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $14,581,765.
  • Ernest Rides Again (1993) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $1.4 million. Was the last Ernest movie released theatrically.
  • Escape Plan (2013) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $25,132,228 (domestic), $137,324,564 (worldwide).
  • Evan Almighty (2007) — Budget, $175 million. Box office, $173,418,781.
  • Eve of Destruction (1991) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $5,451,119.
  • Evolution (2001) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $38,345,494 (domestic), $98,376,292 (worldwide).
  • Excess Baggage (1997) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $14.5 million. Was supposed to be the first in a line of movies produced by Alicia Silverstone, but the movie's poor box office made it her only production credit.
  • The Express (2008) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $9,808,124.
  • Extreme Measures (1996) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $17,380,126.
  • Extreme Ops (2002) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $10,959,475.
  • Fair Game (1995) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $11,534,477. Was such a bomb that some of the crew (including director Andrew Sipes) never worked on another movie again.
  • The Fall of The Roman Empire (1964) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $4.75 million. Comparisons with contemporary Roman epic Cleopatra are inevitable, although Fall had a substantially less Troubled Production and was much more well-received by critics. Audiences, however, had lost interest in sword and sandal epics following Cleopatra (and, unlike Cleopatra, Fall has largely faded into obscurity since its initial release in 1964).
  • The Fan (1996) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $18,626,419.
  • Fantasia (1940) — Budget, $2,280,000. Box office, $361,800.
  • The Fantasticks (2000) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $49,666.
  • Fathers Day (1997) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $35,681,080.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas —Budget, $18.5 million. Box office, 10.6 million.
  • Femme Fatale (2002) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $16.8 million.
  • The Fifth Estate (2013) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $8,555,008.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) — Budget, $135–167 million. Box office, $85,131,830. This film's failure led to the collapse of Square Pictures and delayed the merger of Squaresoft with Enix; the latter company was hesitant at merging with a company that had just lost a large amount of money in a high-profile manner.
  • Fire Down Below (1997) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $16,228,448.
  • Flash Gordon (1980) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $27,107,960.
  • Flight of the Intruder (1991) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $14,587,732.
  • Flight of the Phoenix (2004) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $34,586,264.
  • Flyboys (2006) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $17,834,865.
  • For Love Or Money (1993) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $11,146,270.
  • For Love Of The Game (1999) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $46.1 million
  • For the Boys (1991) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $23,202,444. It didn't help that the whole world was waiting in line to see Beauty and the Beast that same day.
  • Freaked (1993) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $29,296.
  • From Justin to Kelly (2003) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $4.9 million. Aside from just about killing Justin Guarini's reputation, the film's failure ensured the impossibility of future American Idol movies.
  • Fun Size (2012) — Budget, $14 million. Box office, $10.9 million. The lowest-grossing movie released by Nickelodeon so far.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $1,576,615. Parental protests over the film's Refuge in Vulgarity led to it being pulled from theaters within weeks of its release.
  • Geronimo An American Legend (1993) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $18,635,620.
  • Get Carter (2000) — Budget, $63.6 million. Box office, $19,412,993.
  • Getaway (2013) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $10,501,938.
  • Getting Even with Dad (1994) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $18,869,594. Coming out the same weekend as The Lion King didn't help either.
  • Ghosts of Mars (2001) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $14,010,832.
  • Gigli (2003) — Budget, $54–74 million. Box office, $7,266,209. Suffered from Executive Meddling that shifted the focus from the crime-comedy elements to the "Bennifer" romance.
  • Glitter (2001) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $5,271,666. This film's failure, along with that of the accompanying soundtrack album, sent Mariah Carey's career into recession for several years. Being released the weekend after 9/11 (in what was already a traditionally poor month) couldn't have helped either.
  • Gods and Generals (2003) — Budget, $56 million. Box office, $12,923,936.
  • The Golden Compass (2007) — Budget, $180 million. Box office, $70 million (domestically), $372,234,864 (internationally). Unfortunately, New Line Cinema had sold off the international distribution rights in order to raise enough money for the film's production, meaning that they only got the domestic gross, and never saw a penny of the international box office. As a result, New Line was absorbed into Warner Bros. soon after.
  • Gone Fishin’ (1997) — Budget, $53 million. Box office, $19,736,932. A tremendously Troubled Production, the movie suffered various delays, confused marketing (Disney couldn't entirely figure out whether to market it to older kids or adults), and a stuntwoman's death during filming. Disney sent it out to die against The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and director Christopher Cain didn't work on another theatrical film for ten years.
  • Graffiti Bridge (1990) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $4.2 million. The film killed off any hope of Prince appearing on the big screen ever again. Also probably one of the turning points which became the foundation for Prince's feud with Warner Bros. in the mid-90s.
  • Grease 2 (1982) — Budget, $11.3 million. Box office, $15.1 million. The film's failure killed off plans for a third movie.
  • The Great Raid (2005) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $10,769,311.
  • Green Lantern (2011) — Budget, $225 million (plus another $100 million for marketing). Box office, $219,851,172. Warner Bros. wanted this to be their big new superhero trilogy, but combined with generally negative reviews and poor box office numbers, this appears to be a Stillborn Franchise (though there are still plans to have Green Lantern in the Justice League film, when and if it ever gets made).
  • Green Zone (2010) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $94,882,549.
  • Grindhouse (2007) — Budget, $67 million. Box office, $25,422,088. A rare film in that it was outperformed by its spinoffs.
  • Gulliver's Travels (2010) — Budget, $112 million. Box office, $42,779,261 (domestically), $237,382,724 (worldwide) and really put a dent in Jack Black's mainstream career.
  • Hanging Up (2000) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $51,880,044. The film served as Walter Matthau's last feature, as he died a few months after its release.
  • Hard Rain (1998) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $19,870,567.
  • Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $7,018,525.
  • Hart's War (2002) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $33,076,815.
  • Havana (1990) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $9,243,140.
  • Heartbeeps (1981) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $2.1 million. The film's failure killed any chances of Andy Kaufman doing a Tony Clifton movie.
  • Heathers (1989) — Budget, $2 million. Box office, $1,108,462.
  • Heaven And Earth (1993) — Budget, $33 million. Box office, $5,864,949.
  • Heaven's Gate (1980) — Budget, $44 million. Box office, $3,484,331. This film's failure led to the bankruptcy of United Artists, the ruination of director Michael Cimino's career and (along with other flops) the end of the auteur period in Hollywood, and became a byword for box office disasters.
  • Hero (1992) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $19,507,345 (domestically), $66,507,345 (worldwide).
  • Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) — Budget, $30 million (not counting marketing costs), $34 million (counting them). Box office, $15,556,340. A notorious critical and commercial flop, noted especially for its Troubled Production and is a notorious example of Executive Meddling.
  • Hollywood Homicide (2003) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $51,142,659.
  • Holy Man (1998) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $12,069,719.
  • Home on the Range (2004) — Budget, $110 million. Box office, $103,951,461.
  • The Honeymooners (2005) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $13,183,426.
  • Honky Tonk Freeway (1981) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $2,004,742. Accusations of stereotyping of American culture and the revelation that the film was funded through a tax avoidance scheme, courtesy of the executive producer, didn't seem to help matters. Many also agree that the film began the erosion of music label EMI's film studio, though some argue that Can't Stop the Music played an earlier role as well.
  • Hot Rod (2007) — Budget, $25.3 million. Box office, $14.3 million.
  • The House of the Spirits (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $6,265,311.
  • Howard the Duck (1986) — Budget, $37 million. Box office, $37,962,774. Allegedly, two Universal executives got into a fistfight while arguing over who was to blame for greenlighting the film; both of them deny this. Company president Frank Price's resignation, meanwhile, has been directly attributed to this same movie. It is also one of the few productions George Lucas has ever admitted regret over.
  • How Do You Know (2010) — Budget, $120 million. Box office, $48,668,907.
  • How To Lose Friends And Alienate People (2008) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $19,151,797.
  • Hounddog — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $131,961. The film was intended to be a break into more adult material for star Dakota Fanning; its failure delayed this by a couple of years. Most notable for the controversy over a rape scene involving Fanning's character, and the subsequent dismissal by critics of said scene as being pure Narm.
  • Hudson Hawk (1991) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $17,218,080. Numerous reports on the film's Troubled Production place the blame on Bruce Willis letting his ego run rampant, causing multiple re-shoots and editing wars.
  • The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $2,816,518.
  • Hugo (2011) — Budget, $156 million (not counting marketing costs), $190 million (counting them). Box office, $185,770,160.
  • The Hunted 2003 (2003) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $45,496,534.
  • I, Frankenstein (2014) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $19,075,290 (domestic), $71,154,592 (worldwide).
  • I Spy (2002) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $50,732,945.
  • Idiocracy (2006) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $495,303. It has been widely speculated that 20th Century Fox deliberately sabotaged the film's release and marketing (giving it a limited release and no advertising), partly because of all the Take Thats the film gives to its parent company's news division, and partly to avoid angering all the companies that had Product Placement in this movie.
  • Ill Do Anything (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $10,424,645.
  • Imagine That (2009) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $22,985,194.
  • Inchon (1982) — Budget, $46 million. Box office, $5,200,986. In 1995, it made the Guinness Book of World Records as "the biggest money-loser in history," later to be surpassed by the aforementioned Cutthroat Island.
  • Inkheart (2009) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $17,303,424 (domestically), $62,450,361 (worldwide).
  • Instinct (1999) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $34,105,207.
  • Intersection (1994) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $21.3 million. Director Mark Rydell wouldn't direct another theatrical film for twelve years.
  • The Invasion (2007) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $40,170,558.
  • The Iron Giant (1999) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $31,333,917.
  • Ishtar (1987) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $14,375,181. Its failure led to Coca-Cola leaving the film business, selling off Columbia Pictures to Sony.
  • The Island (1980) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $15.7 million.
  • The Island (2005) — Budget, $126 million. Box office, $35,818,913 (domestically), $162,949,164 (worldwide).
  • Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) — Budget, $195 million (production alone), $295 million (marketing included). Box office, $65,039,498 (domestically), $197,539,498 (worldwide). This movie did horribly enough that Hollywood is reconsidering its trend of Darker and Edgier Fairy Tale Remakes.
  • Jade (1995) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $9,851,610.
  • Jakob The Liar (1999) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $4.9 million.
  • Jaws: The Revenge (1987) — Budget, $20 million (not counting marketing costs), $23 million (counting them). Box office, $20,763,013 (domestically), $51,881,013 (worldwide). The film's overwhelming Hatedom finally convinced executives that the Jaws hype from the seventies has long come to an end (the film was made purely of Executive Meddling).
  • Jimmy Hollywood (1994) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $3,783,003.
  • Joe Somebody (2001) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $24,516,772.
  • John Carter (2012) — Budget, $250 million (not counting marketing costs), $350 million (counting them). Box office, $263,704,913. Once the movie's dismal American box office numbers came in, Disney anticipated that it would take a $200-million wash on the film; even after the international box office helped to at least partially salvage it, it still went down as one of the biggest flops in history.
  • Johnny Mnemonic (1995) — Budget, $26 million. Box office, $19,075,720.
  • Jonah Hex (2010) — Budget, $47 million. Box office, $10,547,117. Too many people thought "It's Short, so It Sucks ," and coming out the same weekend as Toy Story 3 didn't do it any favors either.
  • Josh and S.A.M. (1993) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $1,640,220.
  • Josie and the Pussycats (2001) — Budget, $39 million. Box office, $14.8 million. Ended up being a huge blow to Rachael Leigh Cook's leading career.
  • Judge Dredd (1995) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $34,693,481 (domestically), $113,493,481 (worldwide). Effectively hamstrung any attempts to establish the Judge Dredd franchise in the U.S.
  • Judgment Night (1993) — Budget, $21 million. Box office, $12 million.
  • Junior (1994) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $36,763,355 (domestic), $108,431,355 (worldwide).
  • Just Visiting (2001) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $16,176,732. Its failure led to Disney shutting down Hollywood Pictures, though they would continue to use the brand for their home video releases. They later reopened the studio five years later.
  • K19: The Widowmaker (2002) — Budget, $100 million (not counting marketing costs), $135 million (counting them). Box office, $65,716,126.
  • Killers (2010) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $47,059,963 (domestic), $98,159,963 (worldwide). Supporting co-star Tom Selleck has not made any theatrical film appearances since then, though he remains a popular television star by reprising his role as the title character in two additional Jesse Stone television movies and playing the lead role in the police procedural Blue Bloods.
  • Killer Elite (2011) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $56,383,756.
  • The King and I (1999) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $11,993,021. The film's negative reception and failure prompted the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein to permanently mandate that animated adaptations of their works are to be completely forbidden.
  • King Arthur (2004) — Budget, $120 million. Box office, $51,882,244 (domestic), $203,567,857 (worldwide).
  • Kingdom of Heaven (2005) — Budget, $130 million. Box office, $47,398,413 (domestically), $211,652,051 (worldwide).
  • Krull (1983) — Budget, $27 million (not counting marketing costs), $50 million (counting them). Box office, $16,519,460.
  • Lady in the Water (2006) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $42,285,169 (domestic), $72,785,169 (worldwide).
  • Ladyhawke (1985) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $18.43 million.
  • Land of the Lost (2009) — Budget, $142 million. Box office, $69,548,641.
  • Larger Than Life (1996) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $8,315,693.
  • Last Action Hero (1993) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $50,016,394 (domestically), $137,298,489.
  • The Last Castle (2001) — Budget, $72 million. Box office, $27,642,707.
  • Last Man Standing (1996) — Budget, $67 million. Box office, $47,267,001.
  • The Last Stand (2013) — Budget, $30-45 million. Box office, $12,050,299 (domestic), $48,330,757 (worldwide).
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) — Budget, $78 million. Box office, $66,465,204 (domestic), $179,265,204 (worldwide). Derailed Sean Connery's mainstream career, as he effectively retired after his work here. Heck, this movie pretty much derailed everybody's careers.
  • Leatherheads (2008) — Budget, $58 million. Box office, $41,299,492.
  • Legend (1985) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $15,502,112.
  • The Legend Of Bagger Vance (2000) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $39,459,427.
  • The Legend Of Hercules (2014) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $44,448,538.
  • The Legend Of The Lone Ranger (1981) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $12.6 million. The bad reputation of the film's Troubled Production and legal issues put a dent in any possible success. Was supposed to be the big debut of leading actor Klinton Spilsbury, yet it ended up being his only film appearance.
  • Leonard Part 6 (1987) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $4,615,255. Bill Cosby was so disgusted with it that rather than promote it, he implored people to avoid it.
  • Let It Ride (1989) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $4,973,285.
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $34,808,403.
  • The Life Of David Gale (2003) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $19,955,598 (domestic), $38,955,598 (worldwide). The film's critical and commercial failure prompted director Alan Parker to retire from filmmaking, despite a high quality track record before it.
  • Life Or Something Like It (2002) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $16,872,671.
  • Life Stinks (1991) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $4,102,526. The film's enormous critical and commercial flop was bad news for star, director, producer, and writer Mel Brooks, whose career took a downturn after this.
  • Lion of the Desert (1981) — Budget, $35 million (estimated). No accurate box office numbers seem to exist, but the revenue could be around $1–1.5 million. The fact that it is a historical epic honoring a Libyan national hero, commissioned and financed by the Muammar Gaddafi dictatorship, results in a very powerful case of Audience-Alienating Premise. This is too bad, because most critics who actually bothered to see it say that it is really good.note 
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $1,368,000.
  • Little Nicky (2000) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $58,292,295.
  • A Little Princess (1995) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $10,015,449. Despite critical acclaim, Warner Bros. barely promoted the movie, and it floundered out during a very competitive month.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013) — Budget, $215–275 million (not counting marketing costs), $380–$450 million (counting them). Box office, $260,002,115. Currently the biggest flop of all-time, and the second-biggestnote  when adjusted for inflation.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $68,514,844. The movie's financial failure led the WB to think audiences no longer were into traditional 2D animation and that the Looney Tunes don't have the lasting appeal that they hoped, canceling the planned Looney Tunes shorts in production. In light of this fiasco, the Looney Tunes will probably never get another theatrical film release in the foreseeable future (ironically, it actually got decent critical reception, particularly vis-ΰ-vis the last Tunes movie).
  • Loser (2000) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $18.4 million. After this film's disappointing results, director Amy Heckerling took a break from movies until 2007's I Could Never Be Your Woman.
  • Lost Horizon (1973) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $3 million.
  • Love Affair (1994) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $18,272,894.
  • The Love Guru (2008) — Budget, $62 million. Box office, $40,863,344.
  • Lucky Numbers (2000) — Budget, $63 million. Box office, $10,890,222.
  • Lucky You (2007) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $8,382,477. In fairness, it faced tough competition that opening weekend.
  • Mad City (1997) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $10,541,523.
  • The Majestic (2001) — Budget, $72 million. Box office, $37,317,558.
  • Mallrats (1995) — Budget, $6.1 million. Box office, $2,454,447. This and the aforementioned Canadian Bacon led to threats by Universal and PolyGram higher-ups to shut down Gramercy Pictures; it soldiered on until 2000.
  • Man on the Moon (1999) — Budget, $82 million. Box office, $47,434,430.
  • Man Trouble (1992) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $4 million. Director Bob Rafelson's career never fully recovered after this.
  • The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) — Budget, $15 million (not counting marketing costs), $20 million (counting them). Box office, $18,416,465. It lost its audience due to its competition, and Universal, who quickly lost confidence with the film, gave it no promotion upon the release date.
  • Marci X (2003) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $1,675,706.
  • The Marrying Man (1991) — Budget, $26 million. Box office, $12,454,758.
  • Mars Needs Moms (2011) — Budget, $150 million. Box office, $38,992,758. Its failure caused Disney to shut down ImageMovers Digital, the production company it had formed with Robert Zemeckis (the film's producer) and the production of a Yellow Submarine remake; he would later reopen the studio at Universal.
  • Mary Reilly (1996) — Budget, $47 million. Box office, $12,379,402.
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $22,006,296 (domestic), $112,006,296 (worldwide).
  • The Master (2012) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $16,258,724 (domestic), $26,248,232 (worldwide). Protests from the Church of Scientology may have had a part in this film's failure (the main character is an Expy of L. Ron Hubbard).
  • Maximum Overdrive (1986) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $7.4 million. Stephen King vowed to never direct another theatrical film again.
  • McHale's Navy (1997) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $4,408,420.
  • Meet Dave (2008) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $50,650,079.
  • Meet Joe Black (1998) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $44,619,100 (domestically), $142,940,100 (worldwide).
  • Meet the Deedles (1997) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $4.3 million.
  • Megaforce (1982) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $5,675,599.
  • Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $14,358,033.
  • The Meteor Man (1993) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $8,023,147. Compare this to director Robert Townsend's directorial debut, Hollywood Shuffle, which was made for $700,000 and grossed nearly $6 million, a huge proportional profit.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $25,105,255.
  • Mighty Joe Young (1998) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $50,632,037.
  • Milk Money (1994) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $18,137,661.
  • Miracle At St Anna (2008) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $9,323,833.
  • The Missing (2003) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $38,364,277.
  • Mixed Nuts (1994) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $6.8 million.
  • The Mod Squad (1999) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $13,263,993.
  • Money Train (1995) — Budget, $68 million. Box office, $35,431,113 (domestically), $77,224,232 (worldwide).
  • Monkeybone (2001) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $7,622,365. The film was significantly changed from its source material, and the resulting film was blasted by critics.
  • Motherhood (2009) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $726,354. Easily the biggest bomb of Uma Thurman's career. Particularly notable for its British release, where it's the second-biggest flop of all time. It was shown in only one UK cinema and took £88 on its opening weekend. On its opening night it took £9. That's one ticket.
  • Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941) — Budget, $713,511. Box office, $214,000. The film received almost no promotion from Paramount in either its 1941 release, nor its 1946 re-release as "Hoppity Goes To Town". The premiere was also delayed by producer Max Fleischer.
  • Mr. Magoo (1997) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $21.4 million. Disney was forced to pull the movie shortly after release due to pressure from blindness advocates. It was a huge blow to director Stanley Tong as well, possibly one of the reasons why he never directed another American film again.
  • Multiplicity (1996) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $21 million.
  • Newsies (1992) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $2,819,485.
  • New York Minute (2004) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $21,289,826.
  • Next (2007) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $18,211,013 (domestic), $76,066,841 (worldwide).
  • 9 (2009) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $53,998,806.
  • Noises Off (1992) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $2.2 million.
  • North (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $7,182,747. Rob Reiner's career has never recovered.
  • Not Fade Away (2012) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $427,000. Paramount basically gave this one the Invisible Advertising treatment as it was dumped onto the market with almost no trailers, TV or Internet spots or posters.
  • Nothing But Trouble (1991) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $8,479,793. This served as star Dan Aykroyd's only directorial effort behind the camera.
  • The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $14,678,086, nearly all of which came from the Russian market.
  • Oldboy (2013) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $4,861,022.
  • On Deadly Ground (1994) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $38.5 million. Considered by some to be the beginning of the end of Steven Seagal's popularity at the time.
  • One For The Money (2012) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $36,893,721.
  • One from the Heart (1982) — Budget, $26 million. Box office, $636,796. This film bankrupted Francis Ford Coppola, with most of his work for the next two decades being done to pay off the debts he accrued from making it. Like Heaven's Gate, it also heavily contributed to the end of the New Hollywood era.
  • One Night Stand (1997) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $2,618,335.
  • The Only Game in Town (1970) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $1.5 million. The film's box office failure led to acclaimed director George Stevens' complete retirement from directing.
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (2012) — Budget, $20 million ($60 million when marketing is factored in). Box office, $1,065,907. The triple-G-rated film produced by Kenn Viselman (who was instrumental in importing Teletubbies to the United States) has become infamous for its absolutely dismal theatrical run. Notably, it underperformed Delgo in its opening weekend, becoming the new worst opening weekend for a film playing in around 2,000 theaters. Despite this, sequels remain desired.
  • Osmosis Jones (2001) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $14,026,418.
  • Outlander (2008) — Budget, $47 million. Box office, $7,033,683, nearly all of which came from overseas.
  • Paranoia (2013) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $13,385,015. Notable for having the lowest-grossing opening weekend in Harrison Ford's career.
  • The Pebble and the Penguin (1995) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $3,983,912. Became victim of constant Executive Meddling, with many of the voices getting rerecorded and characters heavily edited. It was the last production of Don Bluth's studio before he and co-director Gary Goldman moved to 20th Century Fox. Bluth was so embarrassed with the film's final results that he had his name removed from the credits.
  • The Pest (1997) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $3.5 million.
  • Peter Pan (2003) — Budget, $100 million (not counting marketing costs), $130.6 million (counting them). Box office, $48,462,608 (domestically), $121,975,011 (worldwide). The film's failure, thanks to a much bigger adventure film released the same month, caused distributor Universal's parent company to sell off 80 percent of the studio's stake to NBC's parent, General Electric, which formed a partnership that later became NBC Universal.
  • The Phantom (1996) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $17,323,326.
  • Pirate Radio (2009) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $36,348,784.
  • Pirates (1986) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $1,641,825.
  • Play It To The Bone (1999) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $8,434,146.
  • Pompeii (2014) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $83,906,954.
  • Poseidon (2006) — Budget, $160 million. Box office, $60,674,817 (domestically), $181,674,817 (worldwide). Suffered the unfortunate fate of being a film about a disaster at sea released when the Indian Ocean tsunami was still fresh on everyone's mind. Between that and the film's negative reviews, this marked the derailment of director Wolfgang Petersen's career, as he hasn't helmed another feature since.
  • The Postman (1997) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $17,626,234. Where Waterworld failed (since its gross actually exceeded its budget), The Postman succeeded in ending Kevin Costner's A-list status and his run as producer-director of his own movies. He would continue finding work as an actor (and even direct again), to relative success.
  • Priest (2011) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $29,136,626 (domestic), $78,309,131 (worldwide).
  • Proof Of Life (2000) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $62,761,005.
  • The Quick and the Dead (1995) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $18.6 million. Started a slump of underperforming Sam Raimi movies for the next several years.
  • Radio Flyer (1992) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $4,651,977. This could have been Richard Donner's last movie had it not been for Lethal Weapon 3 just three months later.
  • Raise the Titanic! (1980) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $7 million. The movie's failure helped bring about the demise of Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment, which was ensured by the failure of The Legend of the Lone Ranger the following year. You can thank the producers' lawsuit against Clayton Moore for that.
  • Random Hearts (1999) — Budget, $64 million. Box office, $31,502,583 (domestic), $74,608,570 (worldwide).
  • Rebound (2005) — Budget, $33.1 million. Box office, $17,492,014.
  • Red Planet (2000) — Budget, $80–100 million. Box office, $33,463,969.
  • Red Sonja (1985) — Budget, $17.9 million. Box office, $6,948,633.
  • Redacted (2007) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $65,000. That's sixty-five thousand dollars. International revenues added another … $700,000.
  • Reindeer Games (2000) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $32.1 million.
  • Renaissance Man (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $24,332,324.
  • The Rescuers Down Under (1990) — Budget, $37,931,000. Box office, $27,931,461 (domestically), $47,431,461 (worldwide). This is unsurprising, given what it was up against. However, thanks to worldwide gross, it luckily didn't hamper Disney's then-fledgling Renaissance. It did however prompt Disney to make all its future sequels Direct-to-Video. It's remembered fondly, however, for being popular with critics and for performing well in the VHS market.
  • Return To The Blue Lagoon (1991) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $2,807,854.
  • Revolution (1985) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $358,574.
  • Rhinestone (1984) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $21 million. Possibly a Creator Killer for director Bob Clark, whose theatrical career turned low-key from then on after this film.
  • Richie Rich (1994) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $38,087,756. One of three films that year that prompted star Macaulay Culkin to retire from acting for a couple of years.
  • The Right Stuff (1983) — Budget, estimated between $19 million to $27 million. Box office, $21,192,102. The triple-hit knockout of this film, Twice Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in America (the third of which became the unfortunate victim of Executive Meddling) led to the film's executive producer Alan Ladd, Jr. to shut down his production company and leave Warner Bros., and while he was appointed executive of MGM/UA just a year after the third aforementioned film's release, he would not return to his own and produce another film until Braveheart.
  • R.I.P.D. (2013) — Budget, $130 million. Box office, $76,249,509.
  • Ride With The Devil (1999) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $635,096.
  • The Road to El Dorado (2000) — Budget, $95 million. Box office, $76,432,727. Plans for sequels were cancelled due to its lackluster take.
  • RoboCop (2014) — Budget, $100 million (not counting marketing costs), $130 million (counting them). Box office, $57,107,906 (domestic), $239,207,906 (worldwide). Despite being rescued by foreign gross, it may go down as one of the biggest box office flops of 2014, grossing only a muggy $21.5 million on its opening weekend domestically.
  • Robot Jox (1990) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $1.2 million.
  • Rock-A-Doodle (1991) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $11,657,385. This film sank Don Bluth's studio into bankruptcy, though it would survive to make three more critical and commercial busts (Thumbelina, A Troll in Central Park, and The Pebble and the Penguin), and turned star Glen Campbell into a laughingstock.
  • Rock and Rule (1983) — Budget, $8 million. Box office, $30,379. Yes, only thirty thousand bucks. The film received no promotion from MGM in either its original American release, nor its home video release.
  • Rock of Ages (2012) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $59,418,613.
  • Rollerball (2002) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $25,852,764. It promptly ended Chris Klein's mainstream career.
  • Run (1991) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $4,409,328.
  • The Rundown (2003) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $80,916,492.
  • Sabotage (2014) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $9,708,131 (so far).
  • Sahara (1984) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $1,402,962.
  • Sahara (2005) — Budget, $241.1 million.note  Box office, $119,269,486. After a lawsuit put several documents relating to the film's production into the public domain, the Los Angeles Times did a report using the film as a case study in Hollywood Accounting and production costs run amok.
  • Santa Claus The Movie (1985) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $23,717,291.
  • Save the Green Planet! (2003) — Budget, $3 million. Box office $15,516.
  • The Scarlet Letter (1995) — Budget, $46 million. Box office, $10,382,407.
  • School For Scoundrels (2006) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $23,947,685.
  • Scorched (2002) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $8,000. That's right, 8,000 dollars.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) — Budget, $85–90 million ($60 million after tax rebates). Box office, $47,664,559.
  • September Dawn (2007) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $1 million. The controversial film lasted in theaters for two weeks before being pulled. It's the last theatrical release that Christopher Cain has directed so far.
  • Serenity (2005) — Budget, $39 million. Box office, $38,869,464.
  • Shadow Conspiracy (1997) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $2,312,463.
  • Shanghai Surprise (1986) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $2,315,683. Derailed Madonna's film career, but Sean Penn's mainstream career managed to recover (though their relationship did not). Director Jim Goddard, however, was much less fortunate.
  • Shoot 'em Up (2007) — Budget, $39 million. Box office, $26,820,641.
  • Showgirls (1995) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $20,350,754. Derailed the Hollywood career of star Elizabeth Berkley, and the viability of NC-17 rated films in general.
  • Silent Fall (1994) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $3,180,674.
  • A Simple Wish (1997) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $8.3 million.
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $26,483,452 (domestic), $80,767,884 (worldwide).
  • Sing (1989) — Budget, $11.5 million. Box office, $2.2 million.
  • Slither (2006) — Budget, $15 million (not counting marketing costs), $29.5 million (counting them). Box office, $12,834,936.
  • Smillas Sense Of Snow (1997) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $2,372,903.
  • Soldier (1998) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $15 million.
  • Son of the Mask (2005) — Budget, $84 million. Box office, $57.5 million. Nearly every major cast and crew member who worked on this movie never recovered from it.
  • Son of the Pink Panther (1993) — Budget, $25 million (not counting marketing costs), $28 million (counting them). Box office, $2,438,031. This attempted reboot of the troubled franchise ended up becoming stillborn instead, nearly killing Roberto Benigini's then-fledgling American reputation and forcing producer Blake Edwards to retire. Famed Czech actor Herbert Lom, who reprised his long-running role as Inspector Dreyfus in the film, became blindsided by the film-making process after the film's failure that he retired from acting, though he would make two final appearances on the television series Agatha Christie's Marple, eleven years later.
  • Sorcerer (1977) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $12 million. (It didn't help that everyone on Earth was standing in line to watch Star Wars that year.)
  • A Sound of Thunder (2005) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $11,665,465.
  • Spanglish (2004) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $55,041,367.
  • Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) — Budget, $160 million. Box office, $48,608,066 (domestically), $164,508,066 (worldwide).
  • Speed Racer (2008) — Budget, $120 million (not counting marketing costs), $200 million (counting them). Box office, $93,945,766. Damaged the careers and reputation of the Wachowskis (though their fall was actually signalled much earlier, with The Matrix Revolutions).
  • Sphere (1998) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $37,020,277.
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $67.3 million. Though it opened against stiff competition, its poor performance halted the Star Trek film franchise until the reboot seven years later.
  • Stay (2005) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $8,342,132.
  • Steal Big Steal Little (1995) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $3,150,170.
  • Stealth (2005) — Budget, $135 million. Box office, $76,932,872.
  • Steel (1997) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $1,710,972.
  • Stolen (2012) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $2,106,558.
  • Stop-Loss (2008) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $11 million.
  • Strange Days (1995) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $7,959,291.
  • Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $12,764,201.
  • Stuart Saves His Family (1995) — Budget, $6.3 million. Box office, $912,082. This movie's failure put a temporary halt on the previously successful Saturday Night Live films until Night at the Roxbury three years later.
  • The Stupids (1996) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $2 million. Was critically blasted as well.
  • Sucker Punch (2011) — Budget, $82 million. Box office, $36,392,502 (domestic), $89,792,502 (worldwide).
  • Sugar & Spice (2001) — Budget, $27 million. Box office, $16.9 million. Was director Francine McDougall's theatrical debut; since its failure she has yet to do another one, mainly sticking to television features now.
  • The Super (1991) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $11 million.
  • Super Capers (2009) — Budget, $2,000,000. Box office, $30,955. Yes, that's around 1.5% of its budget made up.
  • Super Mario Bros. (1993) — Budget, $42 million (not counting marketing costs), $48 million (counting them). Box office, $20,915,465.
  • Supercross (2005) — Budget, $9 million. Box office, $3 million (domestic). Apparently fared a little better outside America.
  • Supergirl (1984) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $14.2 million. The film's failure was possibly a reason why superheroine movies were a wasteland for decades.
  • Supernova (2000) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $14,828,081.
  • Suspect Zero (2004) — Budget, $27 million. Box office, $11,416,075.
  • Swept Away (2002) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $598,645. Madonna was so dismayed by the reception that she hasn't appeared in a starring live-action role since.
  • Switching Channels (1988) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $9.1 million.
  • Take Me Home Tonight (2011) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $6.9 million.
  • The Taking Of Beverly Hills (1991) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $939,277.
  • Tall Tale (1995) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $11,047,627.
  • Tank Girl (1995) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $4,064,495.
  • Tempest (1982) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $5 million.
  • Terminal Velocity (1994) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $16,487,349.
  • Texas Rangers (2001) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $763,740. Sat on a shelf for two years before being shoved out to theaters. Director Steve Miner wouldn't direct another theatrical film for nine years.
  • That's My Boy (2012) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $57,719,093.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler (1993) — Budget, $28 million. Box office, $669,276 (no, we didn't mistype it). What Could Have Been perhaps a milestone in animation turned into one of the biggest flops of all time. The film sat on the shelf for decades because Richard Williams tried to completely finance it independently (a technique he was noted for in many of his projects) and failed to complete it on the deadline the studio set for him. It was then taken from him and then turned into a saccharine musical. He refuses to acknowledge any part of it and regrets having completion insurance for it.
  • The Thing (2011) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $27,428,670.
  • The Thing Called Love (1993) — Budget, $14 million. Box office, $1,029,721.
  • A Thousand Words (2012) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $22,044,277. Filmed in 2008, but was shelved for four years due to Dreamworks breaking away from Paramount.
  • Thunderbirds (2004) — Budget, $57 million. Box office, $28,283,637.
  • Tigerland (2000) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $139,692.
  • Timeline (2003) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $43,935,763.
  • Titan A.E. (2000) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $36,754,634. The film's failure, caused by lack of promotion due to 20th Century Fox's lack of confidence, led to the closure of Fox Animation Studios, the company Fox formed with the film's directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Fox later returned to the animation industry by appointing Blue Sky Studios as their animation division beginning with Ice Age (which was initially going to be a 2D animated feature, until Titan A.E. bombed). It is both Bluth and Goldman's last major film project to date. It was also a major factor to ending The Renaissance Age of Animation (with the failures of the aforementioned Treasure Planet and Home on the Range serving as the final blows), as the film's failure convinced the major animation studios (Disney and DreamWorks to be more specific) that the traditional animation industry was no longer being classified as relevant thanks to the ever-growing popularity of computer animation (though there still are hopes for yet another renaissance).
  • Total Recall (2012) — Budget, $125 million. Box office, $58,877,969 (domestic), $198,467,168 (worldwide).
  • Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $858,250. Ryan O'Neal's infamous acting in this film ("OH GOD, OH MAN!") ended up denting what was a promising leading career for him. His acting career never fully recovered.
  • The Tournament (2009) — Budget, $8 million. Box office, $490,000. A Troubled Production (the original budget was $4 million and ended up drying out the budget twice) and a release to theaters delayed by two years didn't do many favors.
  • Town & Country (2001) — Budget, $90 million (not counting marketing costs), $105-110 million (counting them). Box office, $10,372,291. Warren Beatty has had no affiliation with any movie since.
  • Treasure Planet (2002) — Budget, $140–180 million. Box office, $109,578,115. This and the failure of Home on the Range led Disney to (temporarily) abandon the traditional animation format.
  • Trespass (2011) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $9,612,469.
  • A Troll in Central Park (1994) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $71,368. You read that right, the film grossed less than one third of 1% of its budget, making it, proportionally, one of the biggest (maybe the biggest) box office flops in the history of animated films. Warner Bros. deliberately gave the film no promotion because they were certain it would fail.
  • Troop Beverly Hills (1989) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $8.5 million. Though it did become a bit of a cult classic.
  • True Crime (1999) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $16,649,768.
  • True Identity (1991) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $4.6 million. British comedian Lenny Henry's foray into the American public, the film's bombing put a halt to his plans, and since then his only movie roles have been voiceovers.
  • Turbo (2013) — Budget, $135 million. Box office, $83,028,128 (domestically), $282,570,682 (worldwide). This is DreamWorks Animation's biggest flop in a decade, following Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
  • Turbo A Power Rangers Movie (1997) — Budget, $8 million. Box office, $9,615,840. Compared to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, which grossed over $60 million on a $15 million budget, its rather poor showing coupled with the franchise's decline would lead this movie to be the last big-screen showing for the franchise and a movie of any sort wouldn't happen until 2012's Direct-To-TV's "Clash of the Red Rangers".
  • Turbulence (1997) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $11,538,235.
  • Turk 182 (1985) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $3.5 million. It put Robert Urich's theatrical career to a screeching halt.
  • Twilight (1998) — Budget, $37 million. Box office, $15,055,091.
  • Twisted (2004) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $40,954,603.
  • Under the Cherry Moon (1986) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $10 million. Though the film flopped, it did well enough in Europe to allow Warner Bros. to greenlight Prince's next film project, Graffiti Bridge. Later became a Cult Classic on home video.
  • Until The End Of The World (1991) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $829,675.
  • V.I. Warshawski (1991) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $11.1 million. Arguably a Star-Derailing Role for star Kathleen Turner.
  • Virus (1999) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $30.6 million.
  • Walk Hard The Dewey Cox Story (2007) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $18,317,151.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs (2013) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $34,436,338 (domestic), $106,036,338 (worldwide).
  • Wanderlust (2012) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $24 million.
  • Warriors of Virtue (1997) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $3,277,084.
  • The Warrior's Way (2010) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $11,087,569.
  • Waterworld (1995) — Budget, $175 million (with marketing: approximately $235 million). Box office, $264,218,220. Although the estimate gives the assumption that it broke even, studios often split the grosses with the theaters, generally 50/50. Thus, this infamous Troubled Production did, indeed, lose money at the box office.
  • The Watch (2012) — Budget, $68 million. Box office, $68,267,862. Its marketing campaign received controversy for allegedly being connected (in a way) to the Trayvon Martin case.
  • We Are Marshall (2006) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $43,545,364.
  • Were No Angels (1989) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $10,555,348.
  • What Planet Are You From (2000) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $14,145,677.
  • Whats The Worst That Could Happen (2001) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $38,464,131.
  • Where the Heart is (1990) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $1 million.
  • White Dog (1982) — Budget, $7 million (estimated). Box office, $46,509 (no, you didn't read it wrong). Noted for its especially Troubled Production, suffering from Executive Meddling from Paramount because of its racist characterizations (the film centered around a white dog terrorizing and maiming African Americans), and destroyed Samuel Fuller's mainstream career. The general public has repeatedly criticized Paramount for not allowing a wide release of the film, given that the film gives an important lesson of the African Americans' Dark and Troubled Past.
  • White House Down (2013) — Budget, $150 million. Box office, $73,103,784 (domestic), $203,185,194 (worldwide).
  • White Squall (1996) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $10,292,300.
  • The Whole Ten Yards (2004) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $26,155,781.
  • Wicker Park (2004) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $21,568,818.
  • Wild Bill (1995) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $2 million.
  • Wild Wild West (1999) — Budget, $170 million. Box office, $113,804,681 (domestic), $222,104,681 (worldwide).
  • Windtalkers (2002) — Budget, $115 million. Box office, $77,628,265.
  • Winters Tale (2014) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $12,315,000.
  • The Wolfman (2010) — Budget, $150 million. Box office, $139,789,765.
  • Wyatt Earp (1994) — Budget, $63 million. Box office, $25,052,000.
  • XXX: State of the Union (2005) — Budget, $87–113 million. Box office, $71,022,683.
  • Year One (2009) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $43,337,279 (domestic), $62,357,900 (worldwide). This film killed Harold Ramis' direction career, and also tarnished the star power of Jack Black and Michael Cera. It didn't help that audiences accused both actors of Typecasting.
  • Yes Giorgio (1982) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $2,279,543.
  • Your Highness (2011) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $24,856,478.
  • Zathura (2005) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $64,321,501.
  • Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006) — Budget, $75.6 million. Box office, $12,506,188.
  • Zyzzyx Road (2006) — Budget, $2 million. Box office — $30. Yes, thirty bucks, or six tickets (two sold to actors who appeared in the film; the director returned their money, so the film had a net box office of $20). The film received only a one-week domestic release (playing one screen in Dallas) to comply with Screen Actors Guild rules. The producer had no intention otherwise of opening it in the U.S. until after it had foreign distribution. (Foreign gross to date: $368,000.)

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