The average Hollywood blockbuster costs over $100 million to produce -- and the higher film budgets climb, the bigger the crash when a movie dud fails at the box office.
True to form, Hollywood’s biggest flops had some truly spectacular price tags -- and produced epic amounts of red ink.
Did you see any of these? You have our sympathies! Box office loss figures from Filmsite.org are in the dollars of the time of the film's release, not adjusted for inflation.
10. Ben-Hur (2016)
AKA: A Failed Roman Conquest
When 2016 brought a remake of 1959's Oscar winner Ben-Hur, classic film buffs were baffled. Why remake a film that stands out as a masterpiece of moviemaking and still has a rating of 8.1 out of 10 on IMDb?
It turns out there was no good reason. Ben-Hur, done that.
No amount of CGI could beat the original’s action-packed chariot race scene, and moviegoers complained that the new film tried to follow too many confusing plotlines and failed to build loyalty for any of them.
The 2016 Ben-Hur lost an estimated $76 million to $122 million and is currently rated 5.1/10 on IMDB. Just saying.
9. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
AKA: Bad as Sin
Though they may not like to admit it, parents often take the kids to the movies just to get the ankle-biters to quiet down for a couple of hours and let the screen do the babysitting.
Imagine the dismay of moms and dads when Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas failed to live up to the task!
Swashbuckling Sinbad's newest journey to retrieve the Book of Peace apparently just wasn't interesting enough for its young viewers.
Even with its fairly low budget of $60 million, the movie somehow managed to lose $125 million at the box office.
8. The 13th Warrior (1999)
AKA: The One That Ended Antonio Banderas' Career
Vikings and Muslims clash in this failed action film that was based on Michael Crichton's successful 1974 novel, Eaters of the Dead.
But unlike the book — which was based on the classic tale of Beowulf and the riveting real-life journey of an Arab poet who traveled to Viking lands in the 10th century — the film went for blood-soaked CGI battles over story every time.
Released one year after Banderas' hit movie The Mask of Zorro, this flop lost a whopping $69 million to $129 million and dealt a crushing blow to the actor’s career.
In recent years, he's become known primarily as the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise.
7. Mars Needs Moms (2011)
AKA: … But Did We Need This Movie?
Mars Needs Moms was hailed as "touching" and "sweet," and the story of children rescuing their mothers was pretty cute, I guess.
Unfortunately, the terrible visuals put many people off this one.
Animators had the chance to make the Red Planet look spectacular, but instead they chose to portray it as an endless maze of dark corridors and greasy tunnels.
The film didn't perform well at the box office and lost somewhere between $100 million and $144 million.
6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
AKA: The Guy Ritchie Remake Nobody Needed
The story of King Arthur has been told a thousand times before — so if you’re going to retell it, you’d better have something new to add.
But aside from director Guy Ritchie's crazed and colorful camerawork, this remake failed to add a unique perspective to the story.
Reviewers complained that the movie rushed along so quickly and with so much action that there was no time to absorb what was happening.
The film’s harried filmmaking and lack of originality led to a $114 million to $150 million loss at the box office.
5. Tomorrowland (2015)
AKA: Never, Never, NEVER Land
This film’s laser guns and mind-bending visuals hit a home run for young sci-fi fans, but box office numbers don't lie.
Once reviews about the film’s lack of coherent story and freaky Tom-Cruise-looking evil robots came to light, Tomorrowland lost between $76 million and $150 million.
But don’t worry: Disney recouped some of the money through the popular Tomorrowland areas of its theme parks, where the attractions and rides do an arguably better job of portraying the futuristic world vision in the film.
Saving up to take your family on a theme park adventure? Calculate how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.
4. Pan (2015)
AKA: Panned by Critics
Pan is a modern, artistic take on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale of Peter Pan featuring an almost identical plot and character list to the original story — which is probably why it failed.
After Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991), starring Robin Williams as a Peter Pan in midlife crisis, and the more recent Peter Pan (2003) and Finding Neverland (2004), most viewers felt the juice had been thoroughly wrung from this story.
The movie had a budget of $150 million, and the estimated losses may be as high as $150 million.
3. 47 Ronin (2015)
AKA: Keanu Reeves With a Sword — Again
47 Ronin is another failed remake — although most people expected this Keanu Reeves action flick to do better.
Filmmakers had two existing movies to play from (a 1941 version and a 1962 version), but they failed to sell this popular Japanese tale to modern American audiences.
According to RogerEbert.com, the movie had all the makings of a sword-mace-gun-and-dragon-filled blockbuster, but producers couldn’t balance the film’s desperate need for fun CGI battles with the more restrained and noble samurai culture.
Critics felt the film could have done better with its $175 million budget. The movie lost an estimated $97 million to 150 million.
2. The Lone Ranger (2013)
AKA: Paging Jack Sparrow
After all those Pirates movies, producers clearly thought they could get away with making any movie as long as Johnny Depp's name was on the poster.
Needless to say, The Lone Ranger's $215 million budget couldn’t save the film from a slow plot, public criticism of its racist portrayals, and generally bad reviews.
This movie lost up to $190 million.
1. John Carter (2012)
AKA: An Odd Space Odyssey
The concept seemed foolproof: Take an attractive, relatively unknown actor and send him to space with a bunch of weapons and no shirt.
But even Taylor Kitsch's pecs couldn’t save John Carter, a movie with a Star Wars-esque theme plus civil-war-on-Mars thing that just didn’t add up for viewers.
Ultimately, the film lost up to $200 million, according to Filmsite, making it the biggest Hollywood flop of all-time. Wowza.
We’ll see you soon, though, right Taylor? Come back, Taylor, come baaaaack!
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