The Ten Biggest Box Office Flop Movies Of All Time

The Ten Biggest Box Office Flop Movies Of All Time

The Ten Biggest Box Office Flop Movies Of All Time

Everyone loves a popular hit movie, but after that, we all relish a real stinker that united the critics and audience in rating it as two big thumbs down. Here are the ten biggest box office flop movies of all time.

Some of the greatest cult favourites of all time, like Blade Runner and Big Trouble in Little China, did poorly at the box office, yet redeemed themselves critically and financially over the years; even some classics like It’s a Wonderful Life didn’t initially make money and were regarded as flop movies.

But real flopperoos like Ishtar, Showgirls and Brazil have lost so much money and damaged the reputation of everyone involved to the point where you almost have to admire the audacity of the film-makers.

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Unfortunately, classic flop movies like these are now losing out to a new generation of terrible films which are not only excruciatingly badly conceived, but which also have multi-million dollar production and marketing budgets, allowing them to reach stratospheric new levels of financial and critical failure.

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Let’s round up the Top Ten Flop Movies of All Time, and see just how they managed to fail so spectacularly. Estimated losses are adjusted for inflation.

Mortal Engines: 2018 – Loss: $178m

A sci-fi action adventure based on the novels by Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines was a project of Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, but by the time it got made it had been languishing in production hell for 10 years.

Directed by King Kong special effects chief Christian Rivers, the post-apocalyptic tale of mobile cities eating each other disappointed fans of the books and baffled everyone else by shamelessly ripping off Star Wars.

Review: “To the extent that “Mortal Engines” resembles anything, it’s other movies” – New York Times

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Cutthroat Island – keelhaul the lot

Cutthroat Island: 1995 – Loss: $147m

A pirate movie made at the time when no-one was making pirate movies, Cutthroat Island had a notoriously troubled production involving multiple rewrites and recasting.

Critics hated everything about it from the hammy acting to the ridiculous stunts – exactly the sort of things they loved eight years later in Pirates of the Caribbean. Go figure. It finished off production company Carolco and this flop movie probably contributed to the end of the marriage of director Renny Harlin and star Geena Davis.

Review: “Too smutty for children, too cartoonish for adults” – New York Times

The Lone Ranger: 2013 – Loss: $176m

How classic radio and TV cowboy favourite The Lone Ranger could turn into this bloated, charmless mess of a flop movie is one of the mysteries of modern film-making. Blame Johnny Depp, who insisted on portraying sidekick Tonto as a shambling shamanic narrator, and overbalances the entire movie.

Mind you, some critics regard it as a masterpiece of historical deconstructionism.

Review: “A jumbled botch that is so confused in its purpose and so charmless in its effect that it must be seen to be believed, but better yet, no. Don’t see it, don’t believe.” – San Francisco Chronicle

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Titan: AE – titanic fail

Titan: AE: 2000 – Loss: £$148m

Originally intended to be a live action sci-fi extravaganza, Titan: AE somehow turned into a mix of hand-drawn and CGI animation, and was the first movie to be screened entirely digitally.

Fox Animation Studios, facing closure, farmed out much of the work to other production companies, and experienced animator Don Bluth couldn’t seem to get a handle on science fiction plotting; the movie starts with the destruction of Earth, and generally goes downhill from there. A flop movie on a cosmic scale.

Review: “Although crammed with action, little of it produces roller-coaster thrills of adventure and self-discovery.” – New York Times

The Adventures of Pluto Nash – 2001: Loss $136m

A grim illustration of the principle that you can’t successfully send up science fiction, particularly if you know nothing about science fiction, Pluto Nash tries to transpose gangster movie tropes to the Moon.

Eddie Murphy unwisely takes on the parts of both the hero and the villain (don’t ask, one of them’s a clone) and Alec Baldwin wisely asked to have his name taken off the credits.

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Often regarded as one of the most spectacular flop movies ever, Pluto Nash was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards in 2003 including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple (Murphy and himself), but failed to win any.

Review: “The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny.” – Rotten Tomatoes

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