For every Dark Knight or Avatar, there’s a Gigli or Battlefield Earth to match. Nowadays production companies pump way too much money into their flicks for many reasons, shooting locations, production teams, special effects, or actors salary. I don’t think there’s a person out there that wasn’t tricked into seeing a movie that was so bad they wanted their money back. Now to not get confused with this list, there’s many movies that have huge budgets, take in a lot of money in theatres, but are still considered massive failures (ie. Waterworld or 1963’s Cleopatra). Now there’s a lot of “Biggest Movie Flop Lists” out there, but many of them don’t take in consideration they do make some money back on world wide ticket or DVD sales. So as accurate as this list is, here are the greatest box office flops in history according to Wikipedia and net loss inflation adjusted values. If you can add to this list in the comment section, please add your opinions.

 

# 6 – Town and Country

Starring – Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Josh Hartnett

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Starring Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty, the movie was expected to do well as an ensemble dramedy but various difficulties began to arise for the movie very early on. First, there was the constant demand of multiple takes, reshoots and rewrites by Warren Beatty, which doubled the original budget from $44 million to $88 million. Scheduling issues also began to occur due to the large number of well-known actors in the movie. Coupled with large salary demands, the cost of the movie eventually reached over $100 million. This is pretty amazing since a movie of this type usually does not cost anywhere near $100 million to make. Most dramedy movies cost around $50 million and usually make the money back in the box office and home video sales.

Released in 2001, this movie only brought in $10,372,291 and ended up losing around $115 million in net losses that have been adjusted for inflation.
So, now you know that not all movie flops are big budget action movies that require a huge amount of special effects. So, now you know the movies that have not only failed, but failed on an epic scale and ruined the careers of many actors. The great thing is that every year, new movies can be added to this list because for every surprise blockbuster, there are a dozen box office bombs.

 

# 5 – The 13th Warrior

Starring – Antonio Banderas

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Starring Antonio Banderas, the 13th Warrior was adapted from a Michael Crichton novel and many expected it to be successful along the same lines as Braveheart, but instead it proved to be a big box office bomb. The budget of the movie was originally $85 million but by the time principal photography began, the cost of the movie had exceeded $115 million. Eventually, the cost of the movie would reach $160 million. By the time it was released, it had received negative reviews, although it was praised for its balanced portrayal of the Arab people. In the end, the movie only brought in $61,698,899 in revenue, meaning that its net losses adjusted for inflation come to $125,887,312.

 

# 4 – Sahara

Starring – Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penélope Cruz, William H. Macy

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It was supposed to launch a new franchise like the Indiana Jones franchise, and help turn Mathew McConaughey into a bone-fide action movie star. It did not turn out that way though and in fact, Sahara is unique among box office bombs. While it is considered to be one of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history, the movie actually opened in first place and earned $18 million on its first weekend. It went on to make $119 million in box office sales but the movie had run into several problems. It had very high costs, roughly $160 million, as well as $81 million in distribution costs. The movie became famous of how a movie can have a successful run, but do poorly financially because of high costs. Released in 2005, the movie cost $241 million to make, which made its adjusted for inflation losses at $133 million.

 

# 3 – The Adventures of Pluto Nash 

Starring – Eddie Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Randy Quaid

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If you want to see a movie that truly brings a whole new level to being a box office bomb, then it is this Eddie Murphy movie. Someone should have had a clue that this movie was not going to work considering that it floated around Hollywood for 15 years before anyone decided to make it. The movie ended up coming out so bad that Eddie Murphy refused to do any sort of publicity for the movie. Most accounts are that nearly everyone associated with the movie was embarrassed and wanted to forget about the movie altogether.

So, how much did the movie cost to make? It only cost $120 million to make, which in 2002 was not too expensive for what was expected to be a blockbuster science fiction movie. However the movie didn’t even make 10 percent of that back. Overall, the movie only brought in $7 million. Yep, you read the right, only $7 million TOTAL. So, adjusted for inflation it comes in third on our list with $134,396,524 million in losses. Save yourself the time and don’t even watch this movie on television.

 

# 2 – The Alamo

Starring – Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric

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Released in 2004, The Alamo was supposed to be a big budget success since it played on one of the most famous battles in American History, featuring some of the legendary figures of American in the 19th century. It did not turn out this way in the least. Starring Dennis Quaid as General Sam Houston, Billy Bob Thornton as Davie Crockett, Jason Patric as James Bowie and Patrick Wilson as William Travis, the movie cost over $145 million to make and it did not even come close to making that money back. In its first weekend it was not able to beat out The Passion of the Christ for top spot and by its second month it had not even brought in $30 million. In all it only made $26 million and when we take the inflation adjusted value the movie lost $134,784,000.

 

# 1 – Cutthroat Island

Starring – Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella

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According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this movie rates as the number one box office bomb of all time. It may seem odd considering how popular pirates have been the past few years but back when Cutthroat Island came out, it was a bomb of epic proportions. It starred Geena Davis as Morgan Adams, a female pirate who is looking for a treasure map while her evil uncle pursues her. Released by Carolco Pictures, the movie bankrupted the company and completely derailed Geena Davis’ career. Pirate movies were more or less ripped off the map for several years until the resurgence brought on by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which are vastly superior to Cutthroat Island.

Mathew Modine played the lead in this box office bomb after Michael Douglas pulled out after being paid $15 million. Other actors to turn down the part included Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Charlie Sheen, Liam Neeson and Tim Robins. So, how much did it lose? Made in 1995, it cost $115,000,000 and only brought in $10 million worldwide. Adjusted for inflation, the net loss was $146 million, making it the biggest bomb of all time.

I think the only one I watched was the 13th warrior and I admit, it kinda sucked.

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