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    U 
  • Uglydolls (2019) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $32,450,241. This animated feature based on the line of dolls didn't do so beautifully in theaters, with families either continuing to see last week's smash Avengers: Endgame or waiting it out for Pokémon Detective Pikachu instead, which was released the following week to great success. On average, it received a 30% "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics calling it "well-meaning but derivative". In spite of all this, distributor STX Entertainment is planning an animated series for Hulu.
  • UHF (1989) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $6,157,157. This "Weird Al" Yankovic vehicle had the misfortune of opening during an absolutely brutal summer blockbuster season, facing competition with the likes of Lethal Weapon 2, When Harry Met Sally..., Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Ghostbusters II, Licence to Kill, Dead Poets Society, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Tim Burton's Batman. UHF got lost in the shuffle, and has since become a scapegoat for the demise of Orion Pictures. Despite this, it sold well on home video and is considered a Cult Classic by Weird Al fans.
  • Ultraviolet (2006) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $18,535,812 (domestic), $31,070,211 (worldwide). This too is an Old Shame for star Milla Jovovich (along with the previously mentioned Return to the Blue Lagoon), who, according to the DVD Commentary, saw the movie as the start of a possible franchise. This is also an Old Shame for its director/writer, Kurt Wimmer; due to the insane amount of Executive Meddling the movie endured only to bomb, he retired from film directing.
  • Unaccompanied Minors (2006) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $21,949,214. Based on a story featured in This American Life, this family movie's critical and financial takedown sent Paul Feig to "movie jail." He was let out five years later to do Bridesmaids.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $10,006,806. An Acclaimed Flop. Director Philip Kaufman would thankfully have better success the following decade.
  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $20,300,157 (domestic), $28,584,282 (worldwide). This meta comedy starring Nicolas Cage As Himself received glowing reviews, but struggled to compete with more high-profile competition.
  • Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) - Budget, $4.9 - 6 million. Box office, $6.2 million. This sequel to 2014's Unbroken had almost none of the cast or crew of the original film and was greeted with an even worse critical reception than the first film.
  • The Undefeated (2011) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $116,381. The documentary was ripped to pieces and only got a limited release in ten AMC theatres. Sarah Palin's agenda in creating the movie was also undermined when she opened this film the same day as the final Harry Potter film. This was also one of the last films by ARC Entertainment that saw a US theatrical release; Most of their work since has been straight-to-video or foreign releases.
  • Under Capricorn (1949) — Budget, $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Box office, $1,500,000-$2,668,000. Alfred Hitchcock's costume drama was both a critical and commercial failure in large part due to expectations that it would be a thriller like a number of his other films, and was a Creator Killer for Transatlantic Pictures, Hitchcock's production company, In France, it's been hailed as one of Hitchcock's masterpieces, but remains for the most part the director's lesser-known films.
  • Under Fire (1983) - Budget, $9.5 million. Box office, $5,696,391. An Acclaimed Flop, though director Roger Spottiswoode (Turner & Hooch) and co-writer Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) would both do better later in the decade.
  • Under Suspicion (1991) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $221,295. Simon Moore would only direct one more film after this one, afterwards sticking to TV work.
  • Under Suspicion (2000) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $260,562. It's an understandable gross considering that its widest release was in 19 theaters and it got a mixed reception from critics. Director Stephen Hopkins wouldn't helm another theatrically-released film in seven years until The Reaping.
  • 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.
  • Under the Rainbow (1981) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $18,826,490. Director Steve Rash didn't direct again for another 6 years until Can't Buy Me Love.
  • Under the Skin (2014) — Budget: £8 million ($13.3 million). Box office: $7.2 million. This sci-fi thriller received glowing reviews ever since it debuted at the Telluride Film Festival the previous year but it never left a limited release.
  • Underclassman (2005) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $5,879,555. One of several Miramax films that were placed on The Shelf of Movie Languishment due to Miramax's financial difficulties and the Weinsteins' split from Disney. It was given a limited release of 1,132 theaters and dropped out after seven weeks. Director Marcos Siega made one more feature film before he went to TV and music videos.
  • Undercover Blues (1993) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $12,324,660. This was Herbert Ross' penultimate film and part of a string of busts for Kathleen Turner. It didn't help that the critics didn't like it to begin with.
  • The Underground Comedy Movie (1999) — Budget, $500,000. Box office, $856. This only played on a single movie screen and the critics who saw it ripped it from head to toe for childish Toilet Humor and bad sex skits. The film's director and writer, Vince Offer, then attempted to regain traction by suing Fox and the Farrelly Bros. for "Taking scenes from his movie and putting them in There's Something About Mary". The Farrellys' response: "We've never heard of him, we've never heard of his movie, and it's all a bunch of baloney." The suit was crumpled within a year and cost Offer an additional $66,000, though he was able to sue Anna Nicole Smith for refusing to be in this film. Offer didn't direct another film for 14 years (though he managed to become a popular TV commercial pitchman in the interim) before returning to the director's chair with the equally hated InAPPropriate Comedy in 2013. Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, who was in the film, didn't try to go on a stage that wasn't a concert stage for a while after this.
  • The Underneath (1995) — Budget, $6.5 million. Box office, $536,023. One of several films in 1995 that earned Gramercy Pictures closure threats from Universal.
  • Underwater (2020) — Budget, $50-80 million. Box office, $17,291,078 (domestic), $40,882,928 (worldwide) This sci-fi thriller was filmed in 2017 but sat on the shelf until January 2020, where it quickly sunk towards the bottom of the box office charts. It was also the final film from 20th Century Fox to be released under that name before their new parent company Disney renamed them to 20th Century Studios to distance them from Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corp, and in particular, Fox News.
  • Undiscovered (2005) — Budget, $9 million. Box office, $1,069,318. According to Box Office Mojo, this film has the second largest second-weekend drop of any "wide release".
  • Undisputed (2002) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $15,220,548. The film did well enough on home video to spawn a few direct-to-DVD sequels. Walter Hill wouldn't direct another theatrically released film for 11 years until Bullet to the Head. It was also the final film written by David Giler before his death in 2020.
  • Unfinished Business (2015) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $14,431,253. This marked the lowest opening for Vince Vaughn's career and its critical and financial drubbing took it down after six weeks.
  • An Unfinished Life (2005) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $18,618,284. Its widest release was in 888 theaters for six weeks.
  • Unforgettable (1996) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $2,483,790. Critics and audiences found this sci-fi thriller forgettable and it killed off producer Bill Geddie's writing career after one movie (his TV career survived).
  • Unforgettable (2017) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $11,368,012 (domestic), $17,768,012 (worldwide). Critics found this erotic thriller entirely forgettable and it withered away after six weeks.
  • A United Kingdom (2017) — Budget, $14 million. Box office, $3,902,185 (domestic), $13,819,139 (worldwide). Critics liked it though.
  • United Passions (2015) — Budget, $30 million ($25 million from FIFA's own coffers). Box office, $607 (domestic), $171,511 (worldwide). Effectively a propaganda piece for the FIFA sports organization, the film premiered just after several FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges, which made it all the more reviled for its melodramatic attempts to paint FIFA executives as saint-like figures (in one scene, Sepp Blatter hands Nelson Mandela a FIFA cup thanks to greenscreen technology). It only showed in ten theaters in the USA, and earned the rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Tim Roth, who played Sepp Blatter in the film, expressed his hatred for it and stated he only took the role for the money. Director Frédéric Auburtin has not directed another film.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $10,717,421. The damage that action star Jean-Claude Van Damme took from the Street Fighter movie peaked when this film bombed heavily. JCVD didn't return to the big screen again until his self-titled movie, and wouldn't be fully visible again until the second Expendables adventure from Sylvester Stallone. The movie has also since been Retconned out of existence.
  • Unleashed (2005) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $24,537,621 (domestic), $50,871,113 (worldwide). It was an Acclaimed Flop and its box-office numbers, while not impressive, exceeded distributor Rogue Pictures' expectations. It's a Cult Classic in Asia thanks to Jet Li.
  • Unstoppable (2010) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $81,562,942 (domestic), $167,805,466 (worldwide). In spite of positive reviews, opening between Megamind and Harry Potter hurt its chances. This was the last film by Tony Scott before his suicide two years later.
  • Until the End of the World (1991) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $829,675. This was hit with Invisible Advertising by Warner Bros. and was buried in an extremely limited release. Contemporary reviewers like Roger Ebert criticized the film for its length and slow-narrative, though time has been kinder to the film. A nearly five-hour director's cut was released in 2015.
  • Untraceable (2008) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $28,687,835 (domestic), $52,659,594 (worldwide). This pulled the plug on Gregory Hoblit's directorial career.
  • Used Cars (1980) — Budget, $8 million. Box office, $11.7 million. This Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale comedy scored highly with critics and audiences note  but it still didn't break even. That it was released a week after the similarly zany Airplane! didn't help its case. It still became a Cult Classic.
  • Used People (1992) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $17,957,265 (domestic). Co-executive producer Lloyd Levin did not get a producer credit on another theatrical film for 5 years.
  • USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $1.2 million. This World War II drama was released digitally in October and in a limited theatrical release on Veterans Day. It was heavily panned by critics and quickly faded away at the box office.
  • U Turn (1997) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $6,633,400. This was the first released film written by John Ridley, which was based on his novel, Stray Dogs. His actual debut as a screenwriter and director, Cold Around the Heart, was actually shot first, but was released a month later. Its financial failure continued an unlucky streak for director and co-writer Oliver Stone.
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    V 
  • The Vagrant (1992) — Budget, Unknown. Box office (hold your breath), $5,900. The film only played in eight theaters and was pulled after a week.
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) — Budget, $180-$220 million. Box office, $40,479,370 (domestic), $224,648,882 (worldwide). Costing €197,470,000, this film holds the record for the most expensive French film ever produced. It unfortunately couldn't make its budget back in the US due to the obscurity of the original source material, the lack of star power, middling reviews, and being compared to not only a slew of earlier sci-fi films (even though the source material influenced many of them), but also Luc Besson's better reviewed The Fifth Element. Part of a bad string for star Dane DeHaan, another low-rated film for Cara Delevingne's burgeoning film career, and a bad year for distributor STX Entertainment. It was already being called a bomb during its first week of release by news publications and its numbers sadly didn't increase well from there. The film bombing also caused Edouard de Vesinne to lose his job as CEO of EuropaCorp, and the company still hasn't recovered from the losses and got bought out. Besson also lost control of the company.
  • Valiant (2005) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $19,478,106 (domestic), $61,746,888 (worldwide). This World War II animated film was the first film by Vanguard Animation. It was also the lowest-grossing CGI-film of all time until Doogal beat it the following year.
  • Valmont (1989) — Budget, $33 million. Box office, $1,132,112. The second film version of Dangerous Liaisons released within a year. It got decent reviews but bombed hard enough to not exit out of limited run. Milos Forman would not work again until 1996.
  • Vampire Academy (2014) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $15,391,979. A young adult Paranormal Romance, it came out when the genre was dying.
  • Vampires (1998) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $20,308,772. Part of a string of directing career-ending bombs for John Carpenter, and the next one, Ghosts of Mars, is the final film in that string. After that, he would not direct again until 2010.
  • Vampire's Kiss (1989) — Budget, $2 million. Box office, $725,131. Robert Bierman's directorial debut fell by the wayside in its limited run during a packed summer, but it became a Cult Classic down the line thanks to Nicolas Cage's over-the-top performance.
  • The Vanishing (1993) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $14,543,394. This English remake of the Dutch film, both directed by George Sluizer, was heavily criticized for its Adaptational Alternate Ending.
  • Vanishing on 7th Street (2010) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $1,068,682. This film was a setback to Brad Anderson's directing career and put the overall careers of the brothers Christensen, Hayden and older brother Tove, on life support for a few years.
  • Vanity Fair (2004) — Budget, $23 million. Box office, $19,463,155. This adaptation of the William Makepeace Thackeray novel got a mixed reception from critics and debuted on Labor Day weekend on 1,051 theaters. It only topped out at three more theaters before it ended its run a few months later.
  • Vatel (2000) — Budget, $37 million. Box office, $51,080. Roland Joffe wouldn't work in cinema again until Captivity seven years later.
  • The Vatican Tapes (2015) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $1,784,763 (domestic), $11,680,747 (worldwide). Mark Neveldine's (of Neveldine/Taylor) first solo film as director lasted four weeks in theaters before it was exorcised.
  • Vegas Vacation (1997) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $36,400,360 (domestic), $37,327,592. The fourth film in the Vacation series knocked Chevy Chase off the A-List and prevented the production of further films in said franchise for 18 years.
  • Velvet Goldmine (1998) — Budget, $9 million. Box office, $4.3 million. This ode to the 1970s glam rock scene got mixed reviews and was buried in a limited release. Nonetheless, it managed to pick up a strong cult following in the years since its release.
  • Veronica Guerin (2003) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $9,439,660. This biopic of the Irish journalist received mixed reviews and struggled in its limited release. It still got Cate Blanchett a Golden Globe nomination.
  • Veronica Mars (2014) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $3,517,027. This crowdfunded film sequel to the cult TV series got generally good reviews, but its box office gross was thwarted by a simultaneous limited theatrical and VOD release.
  • Very Bad Things (1998) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $9,898,412 (domestic), $21,094,974 (worldwide). Peter Berg's directorial debut was given mixed to negative reviews for its overwhelming apathy (its Rotten Tomatoes consensus being: "Mean-spirited and empty.").
  • V.I. Warshawski (1991) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $11.1 million. Arguably a Star-Derailing Role for star Kathleen Turner. Any attempt to make a franchise out of Sarah Paretsky's crime novels were shot down when this film failed at the box office.
  • Vibes (1988) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $1,883,811. One of the biggest critical and commercial duds of 1988, Gene Siskel accused it of ripping off Romancing the Stone. It put a B-list handicap on director Ken Kwapis's career right away and prompted Cyndi Lauper to not take a leading role in another major movie.
  • Vice (2018) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $47,836,282 (domestic), $76,073,488 (worldwide). Adam McKay's biopic of former Vice President Dick Cheney received a polarized response from critics, who deemed it either an Anvilicious, clumsy satire, or a brilliant, sharp one, while praising Christian Bale's performance as Cheney and the film's Oscar-winning makeup. It also contributed to a bad year for Annapurna Pictures.
  • Victor Frankenstein (2015) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $34,227,298. Managed to set the new record for lowest opening gross in 2,500+ theaters, taking that title from Won't Back Down. It may very well have electrocuted the careers of its makers (one of whom was coming off the box office underperformance of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.).
  • Videodrome (1983) — Budget, $5,952,000. Box office, $2,120,439. This film got great reviews, but was also noted for its bizarre horror content (a trend with David Cronenberg films).
  • View From the Top (2003) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $19,526,014. This was supposed to have been released in December 2001 but it was booked into The Shelf of Movie Languishment because of 9/11. It was finally released the week the Invasion of Iraq began. The terrible reviews ensured it an unhappy flight at the box office.
  • Vikingdom (2013) — Budget, 15.6 million RM (approx $3.9 million). Box Office, 550,796 RM (approx $138,000). Yes, the movie barely scraped back a fraction of its budget, despite being billed as Malaysia's biggest blockbuster ever made with an International audience in mind. KRU studios will focus its subsequent projects as music videos instead of films.
  • Village of the Damned (1995) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $9.4 million. Part of a string of directing career-ending bombs for John Carpenter, and it's one of the final theatrical roles taken by Christopher Reeve (the film was also released a month before Reeve's severe horseriding accident).
  • Violets are Blue (1986) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $4,743,287. Jack Fisk's second film as director was the last one which starred his wife, Sissy Spacek.
  • Virgin Territory (2007) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $5,410,749. This film version of The Decameron was the last film directed by David Leland and the last film for legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis. It crashed and burned so badly in the international box-office that it was released Direct to Video in the US.
  • The Virginity Hit (2010) — Budget, $3.4 million. Box office, $636,706. It got booted out of theaters after two weeks.
  • Virtuosity (1995) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $24 million. Critics and audiences didn't care for it upon release but it later became a Cult Classic primarily for Russell Crowe's scenery-chewing performance as the Big Bad in one of his first American films.
  • Virus (1999) — Budget, $75 million. Box office, $30.6 million. This adaptation of the obscure graphic novel was universally panned by critics for being derivative of other sci-fi works. This was the only feature film directed by visual effects supervisor John Bruno and it ended Dennis Feldman's writing career. Jamie Lee Curtis has nothing nice to say about it.
  • Voiceless (2016) — Budget, $500,000. Box office, $419,952 (domestic). A limited release compared to other Christian films aborted its chances of making money.
  • Volcano (1997) — Budget, $90 million. Box office, $49,323,468 (domestic), $122,823,468 (worldwide). This movie was mocked and scorned by critics and geologists for attempting to have a volcano appear in L.A's La Brea Tar Pits, and it came out only two months after another volcano disaster film, Dante's Peak (which got a slightly better reception overall). Volcano liquidated the cinematic directing career of Mick Jackson, resulted in writer Billy Ray not getting another theatrical writing credit for 5 years, and was one of a handful of late 90's films that, along with studios blackballing her for coming out of the closet, derailed the top tier career of Anne Heche.
  • Voyagers (2021) — Budget, $29 million. Box office, $4,269,415. This was one of a handful of films to get a wide theatrical release in April 2021 when movie theaters were just starting to recover from the still-ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic (only Mortal Kombat and the US release of Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugan Train saw any real success that month), but whatever minor chance it had at making its budget back was shot when Lionsgate dumped this just a week after Godzilla vs. Kong was dominating the otherwise-weak box office with Invisible Advertising, resulting in the film flopping hard enough to get pulled after only five weeks in favor of Spiral. The poor reviews didn't help either.

    W 
  • Wagons East! (1994) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $4.4 million. Lead star John Candy died six days before filming wrapped up; even with the film's posthumous release, it was universally panned by critics. One of several bombs that eventually killed Carolco Pictures.
  • Waiting for Guffman (1996) — Budget, $4 million. Box office, $2,923,982. This Acclaimed Flop never got past a limited release spanning 59 theaters.
  • Waking the Dead (2000) — Budget, $8.5 million. Box office, $327,418. One of the movies that led to Gramercy Pictures winding up in the morgue until 2015. Director Keith Gordon didn't direct for 3 years and has never produced another film.
  • The Walk (2015) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $10,137,502 (domestic), $61.2 million (worldwide). What caused this film to underperform in the United States in spite of critical acclaim wasn't that the film took place on the Twin Towers (this film takes place when the towers were first completed and opened and has nothing to do with 9/11 besides a tribute to the victims of the attack at the end of the film). It was that "The Walk" in particular was Philippe Petit's walk on a cable between the roofs of the towers, which was 1,365 feet in the sky, give or take 3 feet. The titular walk and the effects that came with it literally dizzied audiences and caused hundreds if not thousands to walk out on the film due to getting physically ill at watching this. This actually earned a CBS advisory to avoid eating huge meals before viewing the film. It fared much better with foreign audiences. The first of three commercial failures in a row for Robert Zemeckis.
  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $18,317,151. It failed to surpass its budget despite a major marketing push and being one of the more highly praised parody films. The crowded holiday competition that year didn't help either.
  • Walker (1987) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $257,043 (domestic). This film and Straight to Hell's very poor performances immediately sentenced Repo Man director Alex Cox to the C-list of Hollywood moviemakers; he has only been able to scrape enough money to make Direct to Video films since.
  • Walking Tall (2004) — Budget, $46 million. Box office, $46,437,717 (domestic), $57,223,890 (worldwide). A remake of the 1973 Cult Classic starring Dwayne Johnson. Director Kevin Bray did only one other film after this before sticking to TV.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs (2013) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $36,076,121 (domestic), $126,546,518 (worldwide). This film got swept under the avalanche that was the runaway success of Frozen, and critics generally panned how out-of-place the dialogue was (it was intended to have only narration and no dialogue).
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) — Budget, $70 million. Box office, $52,474,616 (domestic), $134,748,021 (worldwide). This sequel to 1987's Wall Street was greeted with a mixed reception from critics, who derided the Sequelitis but praised the acting.
  • Wanderlust (2012) — Budget, $32 million. Box office, $24 million. This Judd Apatow produced comedy saw its release date shoved from October 2011 to February 2012 with a month to go. It was still a generally Acclaimed Flop that came and went after six weeks. This film is best known for Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux falling in love while making it.
  • The War at Home (1996) — Budget, $3 million. Box office, $44,000. Emilio Estevez told Disney that he would only do D3: The Mighty Ducks if they bankrolled this film. They did, but sadly, they didn't promote it at all. Not to mention it was released during one of the craziest months of the year (competing with films like Space Jam and Sling Blade) and was buried as a result.
  • Warrior (2011) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $23,057,115. An Acclaimed Flop, but this still ensured director Gavin O'Connor wouldn't direct again for 5 years.
  • Warriors of Virtue (1997) — Budget, $36 million. Box office, $6,633,341. This was the only film financed by toy and plastics magnate Joe Law, whose sons (Dennis, Ron, Christopher and Jeremy), were the producers. Although a Direct to Video sequel was made to this film, any attempts to make a franchise out of Warriors of Virtue went up in smoke and the Law brothers never produced another film after the sequel came out. This film knocked out the career of lead Mario Yedidia, who never appeared in another full-length theatrical film, and director Ronny Yu's next producing credit came in 2006.
  • The Warrior's Way (2010) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $11,087,569. This martial arts fantasy spent two years on The Shelf of Movie Languishment due to financial difficulties before it was dumped on the post-Thanksgiving weekend. It ended up being one of the year's biggest bombs. This is the only film for writer/director Sngmoo Lee and the only Hollywood film for star Jang Dong-gun.
  • The Watch (2012) (2012) — Budget, $68 million. Box office, $35,353,000 (domestic), $68,267,862 (worldwide). The film's marketing campaign received controversy for allegedly being connected (in a way) to the Trayvon Martin case. The film itself received controversy for it having an invading alien race's weakness be their genitals, which prompted a bunch of dick jokes in the movie and at it. Further jeopardizing the film's chances of success was the fact that it came out around the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and a week after The Dark Knight Rises was released, with a survey from researcher NRG indicating 20-25 percent of moviegoers being reluctant to visit movie theaters following the mass shooting that took place at a midnight screening of said movie in Aurora, Colorado.
  • The Watcher (2000) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $28,946,615 (domestic), $47,267,829 (worldwide). Keanu Reeves was roped into starring in this thriller when his assistant forged his signature on a contract. Unsurprisingly, he views this as an Old Shame. It spent its first two weeks at number one before its heavy panning by critics insured its quick death at the box office.
  • The Watcher in the Woods (1980/1981) — Budget, $9 million. Box office, $5 million (approximate). Disney initially rushed this film into release to coincide with star Bette Davis' 50th anniversary in show business, leading to a key special effects sequence unfinished before its New York premiere in 1980. After the premiere screenings received negative reviews, Disney pulled the film from release and rereleased the film the following year with a new ending. The studio wrote off $6.7 million as a result of the film's commercial failure, but became a Cult Classic, inspiring a made-for-TV remake in 2017.
  • Watchmen (2009) — Budget, $130 million. Box office, $107,509,799 (domestic), $185,258,983 (worldwide). The film version of the classic graphic novel received mixed reviews for, among other things, its fidelity (or lack thereof) to the source material, its bleak tone and excessive length. Mainstream audiences expected it to be another superhero romp but instead got a complex, cerebral Deconstruction, pushing them away. Alan Moore, who wrote the graphic novel, hated the final product, but none of this stopped director Zack Snyder from playing a major creative role in the DC Extended Universe. Watchmen has since become a Cult Classic.
  • The Water Diviner (2015) — Budget, $22.5 million. Box office, $15,536,641. Russell Crowe's directorial debut was this historical drama set in the aftermath of the Battle of Gallipoli. It got generally good reviews but was accused of glossing over the atrocities that happened during the aforementioned battle.
  • Waterland (1992) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $1,100,218.
  • Waterloo (1970) — Budget, $25-40 million. Box office, $1.4 million (domestic). The exact budget has never had an single concrete confirmation (Roger Ebert says he was told $25 million, other sources say it went at high as $38-40 million) but nevertheless, it was reported to be gigantic. Producer Dino De Laurentiis blamed it on the studios not letting him use the actors he wanted and sticking him with cast that had "no star power". It was rumored that this film's failure was what caused MGM to scrap their plans for funding Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon movie; MGM denied this, however.
  • 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, the film did indeed lose money at the box office. The infamously Troubled Production and massive budget overruns made this the most expensive film in history for a short time (Titanic (1997) took that crown just two years later), and the toxic press coverage generated by the behind-the-scenes drama arguably coloured reviews of the film for the worse. This was one of three major films that sunk Kevin Costner's A-list status in the mid 1990's (Wyatt Earp and The Postman were the others). The movie didn't stop a popular attraction from opening at Universal Studios, which still runs to date, and the film eventually moved into profit on the back of video, DVD and streaming sales.
  • The Way Back (2011) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $20,348,249. Acclaimed director Peter Weir hasn't made another movie since.
  • The Way Back (2020) — Budget, $21-25 million. Box office, $14,690,514. This Ben Affleck sports drama received very good reviews, but was one of many films released in March 2020 to flop due to coming out right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US.
  • The Way of the Gun (2000) — Budget, $21 million. Box office, $13,069,740. Christopher McQuarrie's first directorial outing after his Oscar win for writing The Usual Suspects, he would take over a decade to direct another film with Jack Reacher. Part of a 2000/2001 slate that put production company Artisan Entertainment on life support; they would rebound the next year before being absorbed by Lionsgate. Later gained a cult following for its Black Comedy take on Neo-Noir tropes and realistic firearms handling.
  • Wayne's World 2 (1993) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $48.2 million (domestic). While this take on Wayne and Garth had a budget that was double that of the original sleeper hit, it was not considered as fresh as the original, and it didn't have the same director because she had fallen out with star Mike Myers over the difficulty of working with him (she directed The Beverly Hillbillies instead, which was a financial success but was actually disdained by critics). Paramount and NBC let the Wayne's World sketch lie in the culture nostalgia corner after this film, but this would be one of the last times an SNL-based film would be taken seriously before it started getting derailed with It's Pat! the next year. As for Myers, this and So I Married An Axe Murderer led to him not appearing in another movie until 1997's Austin Powers.
  • W.E. (2011) — Budget, £11 million ($15 million U.S.). Box office, £560,645 ($868,439 U.S.). Writer Alek Keshishian's career got put on hold pending several David Fincher projects, and Madonna has yet to make another feature-length film, though she won a Golden Globe for her song "Masterpiece".
  • We Are Marshall (2006) — Budget, $65 million. Box office, $43,545,364. This football drama was tackled by a tough crowd during the holiday season. It went Direct to Video virtually everywhere else after its financial takedown in the United States.
  • We Are Your Friends (2015) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $3,591,417. On its opening weekend, it only averaged $758 per theater. Upon its release it became the fourth-worst wide-release debut of all time... sitting right below The Oogieloves, Delgo, and a re-release of Saw.
  • The Weather Man (2005) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $19,039,770. This Nicolas Cage dramedy was held back for a year before it was released to a mixed reception from critics and a scathing reaction from audiences. Its cinematic run lasted for 54 days.
  • The Weight of Water (2000) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $321,279. The movie sat on the shelf for two years in the United States before being dumped out to theaters in 2002. Released during a packed season and competing with films such as Jackass and The Santa Clause 2 gave it no chance.
  • Welcome Home (1989) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $1,048,322. This was released two months after the death of director Franklin J. Schaffner and eight months after the death of co-star Trey Wilson.
  • Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $3,989,287. Karen Leigh Hopkins didn't get another screenwriting credit until 1998. Director Jim Abrahams, however, recovered the following year with Hot Shots!.
  • Welcome to Marwen (2018) — Budget, $39 million. Box office, $12,463,520. This combination of live-action humans and CGI dolls got generally negative reviews and was tied with fellow bomb Action Point for the worst opening weekend of the year and lasted just four weeks in cinemas. Steve Carell's career might survive this, but it might be more problematic for director Robert Zemeckis to recover.
  • Welcome to Mooseport (2004) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $14,615,099. The film's failure prompted Gene Hackman to retire from acting altogether.
  • Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) — Budget, $9 million. Box office, $334,319. It received strong reviews and several awards but it never left a limited release. This didn't slow down director Michael Winterbottom's career in the slightest.
  • Welcome to the Rileys (2010) — Budget, $10 million. Box office, $317,382. Possibly the lowest performing film to involve Ridley and Tony Scott. Writer Ken Hixon's career was thrown out the window after this movie, and Ridley's son Jake Scott has yet to make another feature film, plus co-producer Scott Bloom's career took up residence in Development Hell.
  • The Wendell Baker Story (2005) — Budget, $8 million. Box office, $153,169. Originally premiering at Austin's South By Southwest, it did not get a theatrical release until 2007. It's one of the lowest (perhaps THE lowest) grossing films that Luke and Owen Wilson, Eva Mendes, and Will Ferrell have ever been in.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $9,315,576. This movie began the dominoes falling to the closure of Steven Spielberg's Amblimation studio (it only made one more film, Balto, for a total of 3 movies; the other film was An American Tail: Fievel Goes West) and its succession by DreamWorks Animation. On top of that, it's the only movie with Spielberg's name on it to go Direct to Video in the U.K.
  • We're No Angels (1989) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $10,555,348. This remake of the 1955 film of the same name, itself based on the play My Three Angels, was Neil Jordan's first American film. It got a mixed reception from critics, many of whom felt the humor fell flat and that the talent (including stars Sean Penn and Robert De Niro and screenwriter David Mamet) were wasted.
  • West Side Story (2021) - Budget, $100 million. Box office, $38 million (domestic), $72 million (worldwide). Steven Spielberg’s take on the iconic musical received near-universal praise from critics, with many declaring it an equal (and in some cases, superior) to the 1961 film. Unfortunately, the film’s dreams of box office success were gutted by the one-two punch of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 scaring away older audiences and younger audiences preferring to go to the hotly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home instead.
  • Wet Hot American Summer (2001) — Budget, $1.8 million. Box office, $295,206 (domestic). This suffered a limited release in 30 cities and some negative reviews note , but has since become a Cult Classic with both a sequel series and a prequel series on Netflix in 2015 and 2017. It's also notable for being Bradley Cooper's film debut.
  • What Dreams May Come (1998) — Budget, $85 million. Box office, $71,382,927. This film adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel received mixed reviews which derided its "morose sentimentality" and "insubstantial plot" but praised its elaborate, Academy Award winning Visual Effects. Director Vincent Ward saw his career stuck in purgatory for seven years.
  • What Planet Are You From? (2000) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $14,145,677. This Sci-Fi Sex Comedy was the first and only film with Garry Shandling in the lead role. Critics found no signs of intelligent humor in the film and it was cast out of theaters after four weeks.
  • Whatever It Takes (2000) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $9,902,115. Director David Raynr hasn’t helmed a theatrical feature film since, mostly working on documentaries and direct-to-video movies now.
  • Whatever Works (2009) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $5,306,706 (domestic), $35,097,815 (worldwide). One of Woody Allen's less critically received movies.
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) — Budget, $11 million. Box office, $10,032,765. While it was acclaimed by critics and earned Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination, it did well in neither a limited nor a wide release.
  • What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) — Budget, $45 million. Box office, $38,464,131. The second of three underperformers for director Sam Weisman; after the next one, which did exceed its original budget at least, he disappeared from Hollywood.
  • What's Your Number? (2011) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $14,011,084 (domestic), $30,426,096 (worldwide). It’s so far the last theatrical film that director Mark Mylod has worked on, since then he's mostly worked on TV shows.
  • When in Rome (2010) — Budget, $55 million. Box office, $43,042,835. This kickstarted a lousy year for Touchstone Pictures that would relegate the label to being a distributor for DreamWorks' live-action films.
  • When Time Ran Out... (1980) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $3,763,988. This film was released one year after another Irwin Allen bust, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and after THIS bombed, Allen's career sank for good. It also liquidated the careers of writers Stirling Silliphant and Carl Foreman along with director James Goldstone and the man behind the movie's infamous special effects, L.B. Abbott (Silliphant would remain a B-level writer for 7 years before another flop shot him down altogether).
  • Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) — Budget, unknown. Box office, $6,659,377. This semi-biographical film of Hunter S. Thompson was shredded by critics for its bizarre and episodic plot and was quickly vanquished from theaters. Thompson despised the film except for the performance of Bill Murray as Thompson himself.
  • Where the Day Takes You (1992) — Budget, $3 million. Box office, $390,150. Perhaps best known today for being Will Smith's film debut.
  • Where the Heart Is (1990) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $1,106,475. This critically panned comedy dealt a huge blow to John Boorman. He directed two short films before his next feature film, 1995's Beyond Rangoon.
  • Where The Money Is (2000) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $7,243,669. One of the last-credited movies for Gramercy Pictures until 2015; Universal had already sold the company to the USA Network around this time. This failed to attract its intended senior citizen demographic despite the presence of Paul Newman; this ended up being the legendary actor's last starring role in a film. Director Marek Kanievska didn't direct again for 4 years, and writer E. Max Frye's writing career was put in its own cemetery until 2014. Also one of the films that helped signal the end of Linda Fiorentino's career.
  • Where the Wild Things Are (2009) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $77,233,467 (domestic), $100,086,793 (worldwide). This was a critical darling, and the original book's author Maurice Sendak wholeheartedly approved of it, but its themes and imagery had many asking "What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?".
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (2019) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $9.6 million.
  • Whip It (2009) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $13,043,363 (domestic), $16,633,035 (worldwide). Fox dumped this roller derby dramedy in less then 1,750 theaters in favor of promoting Jennifer's Body (which itself didn't do much better). This was Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, and she hasn't gone back to director's chair since.
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $23,083,334. One of a handful of flops in 2016 that ultimately helped end Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman's decade-long run at the company. Got decent reviews, though.
  • Whispers In The Dark (1992) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $11,124,511. This was the last film Christopher Crowe directed, though he had better luck that year as co-writer of The Last of the Mohicans.
  • White Boy Rick (2018) — Budget, $29 million. Box office, $24 million (domestic). This biopic of drug dealer and FBI informant Rick Wershe saw its release date shuffled a few times before landing in September. Part of a flop streak for Matthew McConaughey.
  • The White Countess (2005) — Budget, $16 million. Box office, $4,092,682 (worldwide). This is the last film for producer Ismail Merchant, who died in May of that year.
  • 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 having its American release pulled courtesy of distributor Paramount because of accusations of being racist (the film centered around a white dog terrorizing and maiming African Americans). Said treatment of this film prompted director Samuel Fuller to retreat to France (where his films were much better received) and never made another Hollywood film again. However, it was generally acclaimed by critics, and after it was finally released on DVD in 2008, the general public has repeatedly criticized Paramount for withholding its release, given that it teaches an important lesson of America's damning record of racism.
  • White Fang II: Myth of the White Wolf (1994) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $8,878,839. This sequel to 1991's White Fang was the only theatrical film directed by Ken Olin, who went back to TV afterwards. It did get a slightly better critical reception than the first film.
  • White House Down (2013) — Budget, $150 million. Box office, $73,103,784 (domestic), $203,185,194 (worldwide). This came out the same year as Olympus Has Fallen, another film dealing with a terrorist attack on the White House, and it came up short. This continues the unlucky streak for Roland Emmerich.
  • White Man's Burden (1995) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $3,560,725. Ended up being the only theatrical film Desmond Nakano directed. This was also the final theatrical film released by Savoy Pictures, which ended its interest in film production a few months prior and closed a few years later.
  • White Sands (1992) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $9,011,574. Screenwriter Daniel Pyne waited six years to write his next non-television screenplay.
  • White Squall (1996) — Budget, $38 million. Box office, $10,292,300. It was the second film by Ridley Scott (after 1492: Conquest of Paradise) to bomb at the box office, putting him one step away from complete Creator Killer.
  • White Water Summer (1987) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $300,859. Its poor box-office is due to Columbia Pictures only releasing it in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Whiteout (2009) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $17,840,867. The movie was shelved for two years before getting sent out to die during a bad month.
  • The Whole Ten Yards (2004) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $26,155,781. This example of Sequelitis derailed the cinematic careers of director Howard Deutch and stars Matthew Perry and Natasha Henstridge.
  • Wholly Moses! (1980) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $14,155,617. This biblical spoof was protested by Orthodox Jews for mocking their faith, while critics ripped it apart for ineptly following in the footsteps of Life of Brian.
  • Who's That Girl (1987) — Budget, $17-20 million. Box office, $7,305,209. This and Shanghai Surprise resulted in Madonna minimizing her movie career.
  • Who's Your Caddy? (2007) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $5,713,425. This movie got accused of ripping off Caddyshack, which did not help it. Opening the same week as The Simpsons Movie further cemented its failure.
  • Whose Life Is It Anyway (1981) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $8.2 million. It almost killed Richard Dreyfuss' theatrical acting career, though he ended up bouncing back later on in the decade thanks to Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
  • Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $12,461,773. Gregory Nava only directed one more film after this, nine years later. Also, the only theatrically-released film with a screenplay by Tina Andrews.
  • The Wicked Lady (1983) — Budget, $8 million (estimated). Box office, $724,912. This remake of the 1945 Gainsborough melodrama was shredded by critics and audiences. Its failure killed off plans for a franchise.
  • Wicked Stepmother (1989) — Budget, $2.5 million (estimated). Box office, $43,749. The film's Troubled Production saw Bette Davis, in her final film, walk off the set after a week due to Creative Differences with director/writer Larry Cohen, though he attributed her departure to her failing health note . Cohen salvaged the film by introducing an Nth Doctor situation in which Davis' character swaps bodies with her on-screen daughter, Barbara Carerra, while the other inhabits the body of a cat. While the film was buried on release, it became a Cult Classic down the line.
  • The Wicker Man (2006) — Budget, $40 million. Box office, $38,755,073. The creative decisions made in this remake of the 1973 cult classic led to a narmtastic film that critics laughed at. The over-the-top performance of Nicolas Cage, while frequently cited as one of most entertaining aspects of the film, ruined Cage as a respected star and box office draw virtually overnight. Cage would become a common sight in underperforming films and direct-to-video productions throughout the 2000s and 2010s, both due to the effects of this film and needing to pay off tax debts.
  • Wicker Park (2004) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $21,568,818. This remake of the French film L'Appartment opened on Labor Day weekend and was gone after four weeks.
  • Wide Awake (1998) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $282,175. If you're wondering why it was that low, it only got shown in less than 30 screens across the country. The movie sat on a shelf for three years before the studio dumped it out with minimal marketing. The film's director bounced back very hard the following year...
  • Widows (2018) — Budget, $42 million. Box office, $42,402,632 (domestic), $75,984,700 (worldwide). The film version of the ITV series fell short of its budget despite glowing reviews. It didn't help that the marketing made it look more action-packed then it is and it opened in a busy holiday season, including the same weekend's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
  • The Wild (2006) — Budget, $80 million. Box office, $37,384,046 (domestic), $102,338,515 (worldwide). This solidified Disney's belief that they needed Pixar and John Lasseter.
  • Wild America (1997) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $7,342,923. This adventure film about wildlife photographer Marty Stouffer and his brothers had the misfortune of premiering the same day as Men in Black.
  • Wild Bill (1995) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $2,193,982. Director Walter Hill blamed bad marketing for the film’s failure, specifically the trailers that the studio put together.
  • Wild Card (2015) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $6.7 million. William Goldman's second attempt at adapting his novel Heat, which was filmed by that title in 1986. This was hit with Invisible Advertising (a trailer appeared a month before its release) and had a simultaneous VOD and limited theatrical release. This was Goldman's final film before his death in 2018.
  • The Wild Party (1975) - Budget, $900,000. Box office, unknown. James Ivory's film version of the James Moncure March poem, itself loosely based on the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, played in Boston and Denver before its rancid critical and audience reception killed its plans for a wider release. Ivory blamed its failure on Executive Meddling which re-edited the film into a mess of Mood Whiplash.
  • Wild Target (2010) — Budget, 5 million pounds sterling. Box office, 2.15 million pounds sterling. Director Jonathan Lynn hasn't had his name attached to any movies since this one.
  • Wild Wild West (1999) — Budget, $170 million. Box office, $113,804,681 (domestic), $222,104,681 (worldwide). This movie became an Old Shame to the majority of its cast and crew and derailed the credibility of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Westerns for a decade, and Cowboys & Aliens and The Lone Ranger crashed the genre again after that hiatus.
  • Wilder Napalm (1993) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $84,859. Its widest release was in thirty-five theaters. Part of a string of bombs for director Glenn Gordon Caron.
  • Willard (2003) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $8,546,666. This remake of the 1971 horror film fell flat at the box office despite generally good reviews. Glen Morgan directed only one other film, another horror remake, Black Christmas (2006); the trouble he had working on that lead to him sticking to TV.
  • Willie and Phil (1980) — Budget, $5.5 million. Box office, $4.4 million. This remake/homage to Jules and Jim was one of several flops in the early 80's for Paul Mazursky, who officially recovered with Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) — Budget, $3 million. Box office, $4 million (first release); $21 million (re-release). This film's original production and an uncredited rewrite by David Seltzer when main writer and the creator of the story the film was based on, Roald Dahl, didn't meet a deadline, and the deviations that were made (converting a very minor character named Slugworth into the film's Big Bad and adding the "Fizzy Lifting Drinks" scene) angered Dahl and, along with the film faltering at the box office, shot down the planned sequel, The Great Glass Elevator. This would be the first of many a Roald Dahl adaptation to not initially do well in theaters. Director Mel Stuart and producer David Wolper did not have a serious Hollywood career after this film, and original distributors Paramount Pictures and Quaker Oaks dropped the film into Warner Bros.' hands in 1977. Willy Wonka was Vindicated by Cable and is now considered a cinema classic, with Tim Burton doing his own version in 2005 (this one stuck to Dahl's original plans for the film and eliminated the Sequel Hook).
  • Wilson (1944) — Budget, $4 million. Box office, unknown. Projected loss, $2 million. This Epic Biopic of Woodrow Wilson was a passion project of Fox head Darryl Zanuck and its failure was a soul-crushing experience for him. It was enough of an Acclaimed Flop to win five Oscars that year.
  • Wimbledon (2004) — Budget, $31 million. Box office, $17,001,133 (domestic), $41,512,007 (worldwide). This film played its last match after six weeks in theaters.
  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004) — Budget, $22 million. Box office, $21.2 million. It put a halt to Josh Duhamel's theatrical starring career, though he managed to bounce back with Transformers a few years later.
  • Wind (1992) — Budget, $29 million. Box office, $5,519,569. This is the last movie Jennifer Grey made before her infamous rhinoplasty.
  • The Wind (1928) — Budget and Box office are unknown, but MGM recorded a loss of $87,000. This was a silent film released just as talkies were introduced. It was the final silent film for star Lillian Gish and director Victor Sjöström and one of the last for MGM. It's since been Vindicated by History as one of the all time greatest silent films.
  • Windtalkers (2002) — Budget, $115 million. Box office, $77,628,265. This alleged biopic about the WWII Navajo code talkers was roundly criticized for barely touching on this subject and spending more time on Nicolas Cage's character. This turned out to be an expensive flop for the frequently-troubled MGM, and the commercial results of this film and Paycheck the next year ended John Woo's Hollywood career.
  • Wing Commander (1999) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $11,578,059. A case of Video Game Movies Suck despite having the programmer behind the games, Chris Roberts, directing the movie. It also didn't help that 20th Century Fox rushed the film into theaters to capitalize on Freddie Prinze Jr.'s newfound fame. Wing Commander's failure not only killed Roberts' career for several years, it was also responsible for destroying the actual game franchise (this is one of at least two instances on this list where the main man behind the video game franchise failed to direct a successful movie adaptation of it and saw their careers shelled; the other is Hironobu Sakaguchi and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within). This movie was also the beginning of a rut that Prinze would be stuck in during the early 2000s.
  • Winter Kills (1979) — Budget, $6 million. Box office, $1,083,799. This adaptation of the Richard Condon novel was financed by two mob-connected marijuana dealers, Robert Sterling and Leonard Goldberg. The production proved nightmarish as it shut down multiple times due to financial issues, Goldberg was murdered and Sterling was sentenced to prison. The director and cast made The American Success Company in the interim, which was successful enough to finance the rest of the film. Ultimately, Invisible Advertising and Executive Meddling from Avco Embassy Pictures iced the film. A director's cut re-release in 1983 helped turn the film into a Cult Classic.
  • Winter People (1989) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $2,023,282. This backwoods soap opera was a slight misstep for director Ted Kotcheff, but he rebounded a few months later when Weekend at Bernie's was released. This was the first film produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, but for unknown reasons, the company is not credited onscreen. This and Cat Chaser later that year prompted Kelly McGillis to retreat from Hollywood.
  • Winter's Tale (2014) — Budget, $60 million. Box office, $31,125,231. Akiva Goldsman's directorial debut was this film version of the Mark Helprin novel. It was a critical and financial fiasco which ultimately left theaters after seven weeks.
  • Wired (1989) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $1,089,000 (domestic). Producer Edward Feldman accused backer and talent mogul Michael Ovitz of sabotaging the biography on John Belushi in a 2005 book, and his co-star from The Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd, along with preview audiences, was hostile towards the final version of his portrayal, which bombed heavily. The infamously botched portrayal of Belushi zapped the careers of the majority of the crew (journalist Bob Woodward, who is one of the two reporters credited with unveiling the Watergate scandal, was credited, and never dealt with anything not political again), with Feldman and star Michael Chiklis being the only major names to recover.
  • Wise Guys (1986) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $8,475,466.
  • The Witches (1990) — Budget, unknown. Box office, $15 million. This finished filming in 1988 but was delayed for over a year due to the acquisition of production company Lorimar Productions by Warner Bros.. This ended up being the last film Lorimar produced before their closure three years later. This is also the last film produced by Jim Henson and the last adaptation of a Roald Dahl work to be produced in his lifetime. It is not, however, the last Acclaimed Flop based on a Dahl work, but with a 100% Adoration Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's probably the most acclaimed.
  • Without Limits (1998) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $777,423. One of two competing biopics about track runner Steve Prefontaine, preceded a year earlier by Prefontaine, starring Jared Leto. This film blew down Robert Towne's career; he wrote Mission: Impossible II, but didn't direct again until 2006 with Ask the Dust. It did get great reviews.
  • The Wiz (1978) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $13,600,000. This film adaptation of the musical rendition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the most expensive musical at the time. It departed significantly from the source material to accommodate Diana Ross's casting as Dorothy, a role she actively campaigned for. Her casting bore the brunt of the film's tepid reviews and the film proved a Star-Derailing Role for her acting career. This also proved to be Michael Jackson's only major film role, though his and Ross's music careers survived. Its failure discouraged major studios from producing films with All-Black casts for a good while; it would be a solid four decades before an All-Black tentpole was attempted again (and actually succeeded big time). It also put a dent in Motown Productions' prospects and they only produced one more film after this. Its soundtrack, particularly the single "Ease on Down the Road", became a smash hit, which helped the film become a Cult Classic later down the road.
  • Wolfen (1981) — Budget, $17 million. Box office, $10,626,725. The film’s failure, along with behind-the-scenes turmoil, caused director Michael Wadleigh to retire from filmaking.
  • The Wolfman (2010) — Budget, $150 million. Box office, $139,789,765. Benicio del Toro has yet to take a producer's job past this film. This was also director Joe Johnson's first film since the Michael Eisner career-ending Hildalgo in 2004, and this could have derailed his career for good had it not been for Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the contenders for the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first phase, coming out the next year (that film also took a lot of traits from another Disney comic book/Michael Eisner film, The Rocketeer, 20 years prior). Both Wolfman and Rocketeer have been Vindicated by Cable, playing often on TV.
  • Wonder Boys (2000) — Budget, $35 million. Box office, $33,426,588. Many blame a bad marketing campaign, alongside an oft-lambasted poster (featuring a full, awkward focus on Michael Douglas' character's face) for the movie's underperformance. However, it was met with glowing reviews, nabbing a few dozen awards, including an Oscar for Bob Dylan's Breakaway Pop Hit "Things have Changed", and has become a Cult Classic.
  • Wonder Park (2019) — Budget, $100 million. Box office, $45,216,793 (domestic), $119,559,110 (worldwide). The film was meant as the start of a planned franchise and the launching-on point to an animated TV series, but the film's disappointing returns and lukewarm reviews make the prospects uncertain. Director Dylan Brown being fired over misconduct allegations also doesn't help future franchise prospects either.
  • Wonder Wheel (2017) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $15.4 million. This Woody Allen dramedy opened to a mixed-to-negative critical reception and a limited release. It didn't help that it premiered shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke out, which brought misconduct allegations against Allen back into the public eye.
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) — Budget, $200 million. Box office, $46.5 million (domestic), $166.5 million (worldwide). The COVID-19 Pandemic delayed the movie's release and then ensured it would not be able to make that much money, between not all theaters having reopened and people still unwilling to leave their homes - specially in North America, where it was simultaneously released on Hbo Max.
  • Won't Back Down (2012) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $5,714,913. This film is notable for having the third worst opening gross for a movie in 2,500+ theaters.
  • Woo (1998) — Budget, $13 million. Box office, $8,165,984. This was the only wide release to go against Deep Impact on opening weekend and it was far outmatched ($2.5 million vs the latter's $41.1 million). It did far better once it hit home video.
  • Woody Woodpecker (2017) — Budget, unknown but estimated at $10 million. Box office, $15,234,160. This film wasn't even released domestically; all of its earnings came from overseas in South American territories because Universal made the film specifically for that market (where the character is much more popular).
  • The Work and the Glory (2004) — Budget, $7,500,000. Box office, $3,347,647. Possibly the most expensive LDS film ever made, the film failed to break even because it didn't play in enough theaters to do so. That didn't stop the producers from making two sequels, possibly amplified by DVD sales.
  • The Work and the Glory II: American Zion (2005) — Budget, $6.5 million. Box office, $2,025,032. The sequel failed to even outgross its predecessor and this would be the only release from Vineyard Distribution. Again, the producers relied on DVD sales to justify one more sequel.
  • The Work and the Glory III: A House Divided (2006) — Budget, $6.5 million. Box office, $1,325,092. The lowest grossing film in the series and the final film venture for Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, who would pass away in 2009.
  • The Worlds Fastest Indian (2005) — Budget, $25 million. Box office, $18,297,690. The biopic of Burt Munro was New Zealand's highest grossing local film at the time. It had a very small US release at 251 theaters, though it stayed in theaters for 32 weeks.
  • Worth Winning (1989) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $3,690,400.
  • The Worst Movie Ever! (2011) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $25,206. This American action comedy film written, produced, directed by, and starring Glenn Berggoetz, who has made several low-budget films, premiered at just one theater (Los Angeles's Laemmle Sunset 5) on August 19, 2011.note  The aptly-titled film sold just one $11 paid admission on its sole Saturday screening on opening weekend, and nobody attended the Friday screening. This film beat Zyzzyx Road as having the lowest-grossing opening weekend for any film ever. The director has stated that the low gross was not a publicity stunt. To date, neither the filmmaker nor the theater owner knows who was the person who bought the first ticket.
  • Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $278,720.
  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018) — Budget, $103 million (production only), $203 million (marketing included).note  Box office, $100,478,608 (domestic), $132,675,864 (worldwide). This long anticipated adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's novel received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom deemed it a case of style over substance, and was trampled by fellow Disney release Black Panther's smash success. Disney projected a loss of $100 million.
  • Wrong is Right (1982) — Budget, Unknown. Box office, $3,583,513. This satirical adaptation of Charles McCarry's novel The Better Angels was lambasted by critics at the time, but certain elements of its plot became Harsher in Hindsight 20 years later. McCarry, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Richard Brooks, never wrote for the screen again. Brooks only made one more film, Fever Pitch.
  • Wrongfully Accused (1998) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $9,600,000. Hurt director Pat Proft's theatrical career for a while, though he did rebound five years later with Scary Movie 3.
  • Wyatt Earp (1994) — Budget, $63 million. Box office, $25,052,000. This movie's existence came about when Kevin Costner disagreed with the director of Tombstone over character writing, and he made this with Warner Bros. (another chapter in the Disney vs Warner rivalry; Disney distributed Tombstone through Hollywood Pictures). Costner tried to pressure other studios to not distribute Tombstone before Disney picked that film up, and it ultimately didn't help much when Tombstone beat Wyatt Earp to theaters and did well critically and financially, whereas the latter got mixed reviews and couldn't make up the budget. This was one of at least three major films that sunk Costner's A-list status in the mid 90's (Waterworld and The Postman were the others).

    X 
  • Xanadu (1980) — Budget, $20 million. Box office, $22.8 million. Michael Beck quoted this movie as, "closing the doors that The Warriors opened" note . It was also a Star-Derailing Role for Gene Kelly, who did not play another fictional character for the rest of his life. The failure of this film, along with Two of a Kind three years later, also killed Olivia Newton-John's promising career as a leading lady in feature films. Along with Can't Stop The Music, Xanadu inspired the creation of the Razzies.
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008) — Budget, $30 million. Box office, $20,982,478 (domestic), $68,369,434 (worldwide). This second theatrical spinoff of The X-Files TV series was hit with mixed reviews from critics and audiences, and it was pulverized by the runaway success of The Dark Knight. The X-Files franchise laid dormant until a 2016 revival series.
  • XX (2017) — Budget, $2 million. Box office, $41,067. This horror anthology film had a limited release in 16 theaters and a simultaneous release on Video-On-Demand. Critics generally liked it, though.
  • xXx: State of the Union (2005) — Budget, $87-113 million. Box office, $71,022,683. Killed both director Lee Tamahori's career and the xXx film series after only two installments for 11 years.

    Y 
  • The Yards (2000) — Budget, $24 million. Box office, $889,352. Was shelved for two years until Miramax quietly shoved it out to limited theaters. Director James Gray wouldn’t release another film until We Own the Night seven years later.
  • Year of the Comet (1992) — Budget, $18 million. Box office, $2,791,515. It's one of three 1992 bombs that set William Goldman's cinematic career back by 5 years. The film prompted actor Louis Jourdan to retire, and Peter Yates only directed one more mainstream film.
  • Year of the Gun (1991) — Budget, $15 million. Box office, $1,182,273. This John Frankenheimer thriller helped knock Andrew McCarthy off of the A-List.
  • Yes Giorgio (1982) — Budget, $19 million. Box office, $2,279,543. Luciano Pavarotti's first and last movie, and a critical hit to Franklin J. Schaffner's career; the director wouldn't direct again until 1987, and he only made two more movies before dying in 1989.
  • Yoga Hosers (2016) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $38,784. This Kevin Smith comedy starred his daughter, Harley-Quinn, and Lilly-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny), both reprising their roles from Tusk. It was given a simultaneous limited theatrical release and Video-on-Demand premiere. Its low gross makes it, by far, Smith's worst performing movie. Critics also despised it, though the performances of its leads were generally considered its saving grace.
  • You and I (2011) — Budget, $12 million. Box office, $908,578. This premiered in the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and saw its release date pushed back again and again before it finally debuted in Russia in 2011. It went Direct to Video in the US in 2012. It proved another career-low for director Roland Joffe.
  • Your Highness (2011) — Budget, $50 million. Box office, $24,856,478. This fantasy spoof became one of the year's most critically reviled films due to its reliance on Vulgar Humor. James Franco isn't really proud of it.

    Z 
  • Zabriskie Point (1970) — Budget, $7 million. Box office, $1 million. Michelangelo Antonioni's counterculture drama was shredded by critics and audiences for its droning plot and disaffected characters. It's since been Vindicated by History thanks to its stunning cinematography and soundtrack from the likes of Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead.
  • Zelly and Me (1988) — Budget, $2.3 million. Box office, $55,000. One of several Columbia Pictures films greenlit by outgoing president David Puttnam that the studio left out to dry. This was the first and only feature film by director Tina Rathbone, who directed two episodes of Twin Peaks before leaving the industry.
  • Zero Effect (1998) — Budget, $5 million. Box office, $2,087,741. Jake Kasdan's directorial debut was this Setting Update of the Sherlock Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia. It got generally good reviews but a paltry limited release of 129 theaters. That didn't stop Kasdan from attempting to pitch a TV series based on the movie to NBC, thought it never made it past the pilot. It later became a Cult Classic.
  • The Zero Theorem (2014) — Budget, $8-13 million. Box office, $1.2 million. This Terry Gilliam sci-fi film premiered the previous year at the Venice Film Festival and its US theatrical release spanned all of five weeks at 63 theaters. Critics gave it mixed reviews, while audiences not familiar with Gilliam's style generally stayed away.
  • Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006) — Budget, $75.6 million. Box office, $12,506,188. It also got delayed when Fox and Marvel sued the creators for the film being too similar to X-Men: The Last Stand. This was the final nail in the A-level cinematic coffin of director Peter Hewitt. It may have also played a part in sending Tim Allen and Courteney Cox back to television.
  • Zorro, the Gay Blade (1981) — Budget, $12.6 million. Box office, $5.1 million (domestic). Director Peter Medak didn't work on another theatrical film until The Men's Club five years later. George Hamilton, who played both Zorros, also stuck to TV until The Godfather Part III in 1990.
  • Zyzzyx Road (2006) — Budget, $2 million. Box office, $30. Yes, thirty bucks, or six tickets (two sold to a makeup artist who worked on 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.) How fitting it would be the last on this list.
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