When a movie earns less than the cost of its production in terms of box office sales local and abroad, it is deemed as a bomb or flop. Film producers and movie studios divide the total sales with theater owners. This means that when a movie breaks even with production cost, it would still be losing, and you have not even considered the marketing expenses. A movie ought to earn more than twice its production budget in order to be tagged as a bonafide hit or flop , monetarily-speaking. A lot of massive box-office flops are summer releases because they need to be expensive and they are expected to battle it out with other equally expensive movies. There are various grounds on why a film can flop or bomb out. They include lack of movie advertisement and promotion, intense competition with other films shown simultaneously, excessive productions expenses that is hard to regain, and other production issues. Let us take a look at the top ten flop movies of all time starting with…
10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
One of the most respected American movies, it is difficult to think that back in 1946, when it was released, that it will become unsuccessful in recovering its almost $4 million production cost. This Frank Capra magnum opus was aired as a Christmas special back in the early 70’s and it became an instant constant holiday darling show.
The story is about an unselfish good man named George Bailey who is played by James Stewart. He was saved by an angel played by Henry Travers from. Today, it is considered by many as an original American classic that is now included in the top flop movies in the history of film making.
9. Gigli (2003)
Gigli is a vicious chronicle about a lesbian criminal, a hooligan hit-man who is strangely kind, and a mentally challenged guy who all became close to each other via a hostage incident
This movie has become the vehicle for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s career to blossom even after negative comments. When the movie flopped, the two actors went off their separate ways, breaking off their real-life relationship. The producers spent $54 million on the movie and it did not earn even half of that, but its way to the flop movie list.
8. Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s science fiction did not do well in terms of viewership probably because of the release of E.T. a couple of weeks earlier. Because it is more fun and positive, E.T. may have also caused the slow start of the movie The Thing by John Carpenter which was released on the same date alongside Blade Runner.
Luckily, Blade Runner became quite popular on the movie rental market and it became one of the very first movies ever released on DVD, but also cited as one of the biggest flop movies. Two succeeding versions came out, a Director’s Cut in 1992 and a final cut in 2007. Ridley Scott still intends to run a follow-up with main man Harrison Ford still acting as Deckard, the chief character in the movie.
7. Once upon a Time in America (1984)
This movie is quite long, in fact it is longer than Heaven’s Gate after it has already undergone extensive cuts. The 230 minute edition was first shown the Cannes Film Festival and it was slashed down to 140 minutes for the American market. However, the DVD version is the original uncut edition.
Critics believe that the movie should receive the same adulation as The Godfather. It is the story about two brothers played by James Woods and Robert de Niro. It did not do well in the box office despite great reviews. It is considered as a box office flop because of the results.
6. Alexander (2004)
The movie is Oliver Stone’s enormous historical story bombing out at the box office. Despite a massive $150 million budget, the movie starring Colin Farrell, flopped big time. Farrell’s Alexander was presented in the movie as a bisexual, and that may have disappointed a number of potential viewers. Even Farrell was surprised that the movie did not earn as was projected, and he even thought he would win awards instead of reassessing his career options.
5. The 13th Warrior
Starring Antonio Banderas, the producers of The 13th Warrior spent a whopping $160 million only to get back $60 million making it one of the biggest flop movies in the history of movie-making. One of the reasons behind the failure of the movie may have been the huge revisions on the film. Even Omar Sharif who acted in the movie, felt so humiliated by the film, actually stopped working as an actor in 2003.
4. Cutthroat Island (1995)
It was a time when Director Renny Harlin was making every great action movie and Geena Davis was present in most movies when Cutthroat Island was made. And, this movie placed both their careers at the cellar. With a $90 million budget, the movie only grossed $10 million. Because of this, movie outfit Carolco Pictures which produced big time hits such as the ‘Terminator’ series, closed shop. The movie is deemed as the biggest Depp and Disney tandem that used the pirate theme successfully in cinemas, but still part of top flop movies.
3. The Postman (1997)
Filmed in 1997, The Postman depicted a post-apocalyptic 2013. With an $80 million budget, the movie only brought in less than $20 million. Reeling from another equally costly bomb, Waterworld, Kevin Costner seems to have not learned from the past as he starred and directed this biggest movie flop. It seems that people do not like to see a movie where Costner recites ‘MacBeth’ to a donkey in the beginning of the movie.
2. Battlefield Earth (2000)
Probably one of the most loathed movies ever, ‘Battlefield Earth’ failed to regain over $70 million in the box office and at the same time nearly destroyed John Travolta’s profession one more time after his successful ‘Pulp Fiction’ reappearance.
This was Travolta’s pet project, his variation of the sci-fi book by L. Ron Hubbard. He planned it to be the next ‘Star Wars.’ However, it was criticized for its weird conversations, so-so acting, dreadful special effects and a cornucopia of dread locked personalities which made its way to movie flops list.
1. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Eddie Murphy’s career has seen so many ups and downs in the last decade. He made us laugh in hits such as ‘The Nutty Professor’ series and the most recent ‘A Thousand Words.’ However, he hit the cellar big time in this sci-fi comedy which is ranked as the biggest flop movie of all time. With a hundred million dollar budget, it only earned $7 million.