The Biggest Financial Film Flops

Financial Film Flops

Today we’re going to look at the 10 movies that lost the most money at the worldwide box office. We will compare their expenses with their takings, according to the-numbers.com (using Google to convert the figures into pounds), to see how much they lost (as of 28/1/20). As well as getting to know a little about the movies in question. Let’s begin.

10. The Promise (2016)

Expenses: $99,886,000 (£76,399,615)

Box office: $6,230,913 (£4,765,827)

Loss: $93,655,087 (£71,633,788)

A love story set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, prior to the Armenian Genocide, The Promise‘s main financier (Kirk Kerkorian) never intended to make a profit with the film, instead, the film attempts to simply tell a narrative of the tragedy that wasn’t influenced by the Turkish government.

9. Jupiter Ascending

Expenses: $206,582,000 (£158,007,982)

Box office: $110,744,962 (£84,705,289)

Loss: $95,837,038 (£73,302,693)

The movie about a young woman who discovers her intergalactic royal heritage and fights against evil corporations wanting to destroy earth was intended to launch a new franchise that was not directly based on pre-existing work, though the Wachowski’s drew from sources like The Odyssey and The Wizard of Oz.

8. 47 Ronin

Expenses: $189,988,000 (£145,315,761)

Box office: $93,228,679 (£71,307,643)

Loss: $96,759,321 (£74,008,118)

The Hollywood retelling of the Japanese tale of 47 masterless samurai who set out to avenge their master primarily featured a cast of Japanese actors in the starring roles. However, executives chose to give Keanu Reeves more scenes to capitalize on his star power. Unfortunately, that didn’t pay off.

7. How Do You Know?

Expenses: $140,454,000 (£107,428,784)

Box office: $35,567,289 (£27,204,285)

Loss: $104,886,711 (£80,224,499)

This ensemble, romantic comedy accrued around $50 million of its expenses from paying for its cast and directors’ salaries. Reese Witherspoon received $15 million for appearing in the film, Jack Nicholson – $12 million, Owen Wilson – $10 million, Paul Rudd – $3 million and director/writer/producer James L. Brooks earned $10 million.

6. Jack the Giant Slayer

Expenses: $228,504,000 (£174,775,420)

Box office: $123,521,590 (£94,477,724)

Loss: $104,982,410 (£80,297,696)

A contemporary reimagining of Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Slayer had much disagreement behind the scenes regarding who the movie’s audience should be. Eventually, the movie was released with a 12 rating and was considered too dark for kids but too childish for adults. Which explains why it didn’t find a bigger audience.

5. Monster Trucks

Expenses: $149,450,000 (£114,309,538)

Box office: $39,948,907 (£30,555,645)

Loss: $109,501,093 (£83,753,893)

Paramount Pictures’ tale of a young boy who befriends a monster living inside his truck was to be originally released in May 2015 but got pushed back many times, eventually releasing in January 2017 with middling to negative reception.

4. Deepwater Horizon

Expenses: $189,348,000 (£144,826,245)

Box office: $78,201,830 (£59,814,085)

Loss: $111,146,170 (£85,012,160)

Based on the real-world oil rig explosion, unlike other movies on this list, Deepwater Horizon received good reviews from audiences and critics. Many blame the film’s marketing for its failure. Which made the film look like a heroic disaster movie and didn’t attempt to address the incident’s far-reaching consequences.

3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Expenses: $199,580,000 (£152,652,375)

Box office: $84,928,297 (£64,958,945)

Loss: $114,651,703 (£87,693,430)

Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur adaptation at one stage in its development was pitched as the beginning of a King Arthur cinematic universe, with six films planned. Apparently, this films final script was a mash-up of several ideas from unmade King Arthur projects.

2. John Carter

Expenses: $295,824,000 (£226,266,341)

Box office: $180,857,835 (£138,332,389)

Loss: $114,966,165 (£87,933,952)

An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom books (noted as influences for Superman and Star Wars) has been planned since the 1930s. When the film failed at the box office author Michael D. Sellers blamed it on the movie’s marketing not mentioning Mars or Edgar Rice Burroughs, therefore not alerting audiences to its source material.

1. Mars Needs Moms

Expenses: $170,166,000 (£130,154,545)

Box office: $26,754,696 (£20,463,814)

Loss: $143,411,304 (£109,690,731)

When Martians abduct a young boy’s mother he goes on a dangerous journey to get her back. This is considered the worse financial loss in history for a Disney branded film.

So ends our look at films all time 10 biggest money losers. Let’s hope the new decade doesn’t bring any financial failures as big as these movies.

Also Read: Why James Cameron’s Avatar Sequel Has Come At The Right Time

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Posted by
Josh Greally

Writer and filmmaker. I have a masters in directing film and television and have written film reviews for several smaller sites in the past. Films are my life, but I also enjoy writing, reading, listening to music and debating.