Summer blockbusters always seem to be a crowd pleaser. Movies know precisely what people want when they hit theaters as temperatures outside soar. It may not be next Citizen Kane or take home the Palme d’Or, but most moviegoers want to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth with their ticket. Since most production companies save their sure-fire hits for the summer, most movies hitting theaters should at least be entertaining…right?
Unfortunately, some promising blockbusters never seem to get off to a good start. Whether due to production problems or marketing errors, films like The 13th Warrior and battlefield land were seemingly doomed before they even hit theaters. But how bad could a flop be?
10) “Land of the Lost” (2009)
Scientist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell), his assistant Holly (Anna Friel)and go (Danny R. McBride) are transported to a spooky world filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures after a space-time vortex sucks them inside. Together they must navigate the eerie and ruthlessly strange new world as they work together to find a way home on their own terms.
Land of the Lost was another victim of a movie that never really found an audience. The movie was stuck between honoring the original show it was based on and trying to capture the attention of a whole new audience. The film was a critical and commercial flop, losing over $30 million at the box office against a budget of $100 million.
9) “Father’s Day” (1997)
The premise seemed simple enough to become a hit. It was even a remake of a successful French film, Freinds. A woman convinces two of her former boyfriends to search for her runaway son by telling each that they are her son’s father. While working together, the two very different men develop a budding friendship along the way.
With the irreplaceable Robin Williams and billy crystal featuring, Fathers Day seemed like a surefire hit. Each star was at the height of their careers and well known for their respective comedy styles. But the movie was the definition of a dud. It was panned by critics and audiences. With a budget of $85 million, the film was to be the hit comedy of the summer. Instead, the biggest joke was that he only raised $35 million worldwide.
8) “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (2000)
Rocky the flying squirrel (June foray) and his faithful friend Bullwinkle (Keith Scott) live in Frostbite Falls. The duo are relying on royalty checks from reruns of their old TV series to get by. Their mundane lives receive a well-deserved upheaval when they learn that their arch-rivals Boris and Natasha have escaped their cartoon world and entered real life.
Another remake of a beloved childhood favorite for many people, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, just failed to deliver the same charm and spirit as the original. The film had an impressive cast of Hollywood stars such as robert de niro, Rene Russoand Jason Alexander, but moviegoers weren’t impressed. The film lost over $40 million at the box office against a budget of $76 million.
7) “Battlefield Earth” (2000)
In the year 3000, an alien race known as the Psychlos took over the planet and decimated its resources. Johnny “Good Boy” Tyler (Barry Pepper) rises and leads a group of resistance fighters to fight the Psychlos and their leader, Terl (John Travolta) and restore order on Earth.
There’s no nice way to say this: battlefield land was a certifiable mess. It would be easier to count the twelve people who enjoyed the film than to say how many didn’t. Maybe the movie was ahead of its time, or maybe it was behind? It’s hard to say. But critics and audiences agreed that this sci-fi saga was best avoided. With reported losses of over $40 million ($73 million budget), battlefield land flopped harder than John Travolta in the dreads.
6) ‘RIPD’ (2013)
When Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) passes into the afterlife, he finds himself employed by the RIPD, an illustrious police force that patrols the land of the living in search of evil spirits who seek to do harm. Walker teams up with veteran officer Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges) as the duo uncovers a dangerous plot that could threaten all life on Earth.
RIPD is yet another case of a movie that works on paper but fails to deliver in reality. The film was panned by critics and largely ignored by audiences. With a budget of $130 million, the film only managed to rake in $78 million at the worldwide box office, making the film one of the biggest flops of 2013. Even Ryan Reynolds‘ charm couldn’t bring this movie back to life.
5) ‘Osmosis Jones’ (2001)
Featuring Chris Rock as the voice of the main character, Osmosis Jones tells the story of a white blood cell cop living inside the body of Frank Detorre (Bill Murray), a zookeeper who contracts a nasty disease. Jones teams up with Drix (David Hyde Pierce), a cold medicine sent inside Detorre, and fight off the disease. But the duo soon learns that they are about to face a much tougher foe than they imagined.
With a unique premise and talented stars attached, Osmosis Jones seemed like a safe bet to become a big box office earner. However, audiences had no interest in this quirky animated film. Osmosis Jones only managed to make $14 million worldwide (against an impressive budget of $70 million), resulting in a massive loss for Warner Bros. Pictures. There was simply no magic pill available to save this flop.
4) ‘Stealth’ (2005)
A trio of Navy fighter pilots, Kara Wade (Jessica Biel), Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) and Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), are working together to form an artificial intelligence-controlled unmanned fighter jet that will become the future of airborne assault. But the AI fighter soon proves to be more than the Navy can handle and takes on a mind of its own.
With a critical score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film also went on a stealth mission at the box office, flying under most moviegoers’ radars. Stealth only managed $80 million in worldwide box office gross, losing production by over $55 million.
3) “The 13th warrior” (1999)
After being exiled from his homeland, Ahmad ibn Fadlan (Anthony Banners) is sent to a foreign country as an ambassador and finds himself taken in by a colony of Vikings. ibn Fadlan soon finds himself accepted into their community and stands by their side as they are forced to fight a vicious and inhuman enemy who threatens their way of life.
On paper, The 13th Warrior was the perfect movie to cap off the summer blockbuster season. It was action packed and filled with mystery and intrigue. In reality, the film suffered a major box office loss and was cursed with production nightmares. After earning just $61 million worldwide, the production is reported to have suffered a loss of over $100 million. Maybe they should have called the 14th Warrior?
2) “The Lone Ranger” (2013)
Based on the 1950s original, The Lone Ranger focuses on Tonto (Johnny Depp) as he recounts his goofy and explosive adventures with John Reid (Armie Hammer) and how he came to be known as The Lone Ranger. Throughout his story, Tonto explains how he and Reid brought several ruthless outlaws to justice and restored order to a lawless land.
The Lone Ranger was both a critical and box office flop. With a putrid 31% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film also failed to strike a chord with audiences, even those looking to quench their thirst for nostalgic westerns. The film managed to earn over $260 million worldwide, but thanks to its massive budget of $250 million, the production still suffered a loss and is considered a flop.
1) “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)
In the year 2087, Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy), the owner of a successful nightclub on the moon, finds himself in serious trouble after he refuses to sell his club to the mob, which has nefarious plans. Eddie Murphy is no stranger to box office success. He starred in several of the highest-grossing films of all time. Murphy’s films have grossed nearly $4 billion throughout his career.
But The Adventures of Pluto Nash simply never found an audience. Most likely, box office flops will end all flops. With a budget of $100 million, the sci-fi comedy managed to lose over $92 million in the end. Even with the reduced gravity on the moon, this fall must hurt.
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