The 50 Biggest Box Office Flops of All Time

Sophie Turner stars in Dark Phoenix (2018).
Sophie Turner stars in Dark Phoenix (2018).
20th Century Fox

Considering the convenience of streaming services—not to mention the unconscionably high price of movie tickets these days—it’s a wonder anybody still makes the trek to the movie theater. But, as Avengers: Endgame proved earlier this year, some flicks still have the power to lure us off our couches and into the cinema.

Others, however, perform so abysmally at the box office that they end up costing their producers millions of dollars. To find out which films had the highest losses, musicMagpie compared production budgets with worldwide box office stats for more than 1000 films on Numbers.com, and created a list of the 50 biggest flops of all time.

The biggest loser was 2011’s Mars Needs Moms, which cost $150 million to make and only earned back about $39.5 million at the box office. If you’re quick with math (or you looked ahead to the chart below), that’s a staggering loss of more than $110 million. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mars Needs Moms featured expensive 3D image-capture technology produced by Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers.

An innovative, high-tech filmmaking process is one of many reasons a movie might have a hefty production budget. Another, of course, is A-list actors’ salaries. Case in point: 2019’s Dark Phoenix, which finished just behind Mars Needs Moms with almost $104 million in losses. The X-Men film starred Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner, along with Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, to name a few.

Also on the list are the Reese Witherspoon-led romantic comedy How Do You Know? from 2010, the 1995 swashbuckling epic Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis and Matthew Modine, and 2004’s The Alamo, which Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson, and Billy Bob Thornton would probably rather not remember.

Just because people weren’t willing to go see a certain movie in theaters doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie itself was bad—maybe it had some serious competition during its opening weekend, or maybe it’s just not the type of movie people are clamoring to watch on a giant screen. If this list of highest-grossing films is any indication, a franchise action movie is much more likely to draw a crowd than pretty much any other genre. Having said that, the dreadful Rotten Tomatoes scores for most of the biggest flops suggests that there’s at least some correlation between the quality of a movie and its audience turnout.

Read on to find out how many of Hollywood’s biggest box office disappointments you’ve seen in theaters (or at all), and explore musicMagpie’s study here.

1. Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Production budget: $150,000,000
Worldwide gross: $39,549,758
Total loss: -$110,450,242

2. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Production budget: $350,000,000
Worldwide gross: $246,356,895
Total loss: -$103,643,105

3. Town & Country (2001)

Production budget: $105,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,364,769
Total loss: -$94,635,231

4. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

Production budget: $100,000,000
Worldwide gross: $7,094,995
Total loss: -$92,905,005

5. The Promise (2016)

Production budget: $90,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,551,417
Total loss: -$79,448,583

6. Renegades (2019)

Production budget: $77,500,000
Worldwide gross: $1,521,672
Total loss: -$75,978,328

7. A Sound of Thunder (2005)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $6,300,451
Total loss: -$73,699,549

8. Cutthroat Island (1995)

Production budget: $92,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,517,322
Total loss: -$73,482,678

9. How Do You Know? (2010)

Production budget: $120,000,000
Worldwide gross: $49,628,177
Total loss: -$70,371,823

10. Monkeybone (2001)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $5,409,517
Total loss: -$69,590,483

11. The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)

Production budget: $90,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,466,016
Total loss: -$69,533,984

12. The Alamo (2004)

Production budget: $92,000,000
Worldwide gross: $23,911,362
Total loss: -$68,088,638

13. Air Strike (2018)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $516,279
Total loss: -$64,483,721

14. Monster Trucks (2017)

Production budget: $125,000,000
Worldwide gross: $61,642,798
Total loss: -$63,357,202

15. The 13th Warrior (1999)

Production budget: $125,000,000
Worldwide gross: $61,698,899
Total loss: -$63,301,101

16. Stealth (2005)

Production budget: $138,000,000
Worldwide gross: $76,416,746
Total loss: -$61,583,254

17. Soldier (1998)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,623,082
Total loss: -$60,376,918

18. The Postman (1997)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,841,123
Total loss: -$59,158,877

19. Osmosis Jones (2001)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $13,596,911
Total loss: -$56,403,089

20. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,294,842
Total loss: -$55,705,158

21. Lucky Numbers (2000)

Production budget: $ 65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,014,234
Total loss: -$54,985,766

22. Timeline (2003)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $26,703,184
Total loss: -$53,296,816

23. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Production budget: $137,000,000
Worldwide gross: $85,131,830
Total loss: -$51,868,170

24. R.I.P.D. (2013)

Production budget: $130,000,000
Worldwide gross: $79,076,678
Total loss: -$50,923,322

25. Blackhat (2015)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $19,665,004
Total loss: -$50,334,996

26. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $29,725,663
Total loss: -$50,274,337

27. Hard Rain (1998)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $19,870,567
Total loss: -$50,129,433

28. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,107,933
Total loss: -$49,892,067

29. The Great Raid (2005)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,597,070
Total loss: -$49,402,930

30. Father’s Day (1997)

Production budget: $85,000,000
Worldwide gross: $35,681,080
Total loss: -$49,318,920

31. Last Man Standing (1996)

Production budget: $67,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,115,927
Total loss: -$48,884,073

32. Beyond Borders (2003)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $11,427,090
Total loss: -$48,572,910

33. Holy Man (1998)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $12,069,719
Total loss: -$47,930,281

34. Hudson Hawk (1991)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $17,218,916
Total loss: -$47,781,084

35. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $13,233,220
Total loss: -$46,766,780

36. Red Planet (2000)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $33,463,969
Total loss: -$46,536,031

37. Flyboys (2006)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,816,379
Total loss: -$45,183,621

38. Supernova (2000)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,816,494
Total loss: -$45,183,506

39. Virus (1999)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $30,626,690
Total loss: -$44,373,310

40. Rollerball (2002)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $25,852,508
Total loss: -$44,147,492

41. 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

Production budget: $62,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,708,848
Total loss: -$43,291,152

42. Live by Night (2006)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $21,774,432
Total loss: -$43,225,568

43. The Last Legion (2007)

Production budget: $67,000,000
Worldwide gross: $25,357,771
Total loss: -$41,642,229

44. Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $34,009,180
Total loss: -$40,990,820

45. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)

Production budget: $76,000,000
Worldwide gross: $35,129,610
Total loss: -$40,870,390

46. Meet Joe Black (1998)

Production budget: $85,000,000
Worldwide gross: $44,650,003
Total loss: -$40,349,997

47. Son of the Mask (2005)

Production budget: $100,000,000
Worldwide gross: $59,918,422
Total loss: -$40,081,578

48. The Invasion (2007)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $40,147,042
Total loss: -$39,852,958

49. The Last Castle (2001)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,541,668
Total loss: -$39,458,332

50. Oliver Twist (2005)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $26,670,920
Total loss: -$38,329,080

16 Biting Facts About Fright Night

William Ragsdale stars in Fright Night (1985).
William Ragsdale stars in Fright Night (1985).
Columbia Pictures

Charley Brewster is your typical teen: he’s got a doting mom, a girlfriend whom he loves, a wacky best friend … and an enigmatic vampire living next door.

For more than 30 years, Tom Holland’s critically acclaimed directorial debut has been a staple of Halloween movie marathons everywhere. To celebrate the season, we dug through the coffins of the horror classic in order to discover some things you might not have known about Fright Night.

1. Fright Night was based on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Or, in this case, "The Boy Who Cried Vampire." “I started to kick around the idea about how hilarious it would be if a horror movie fan thought that a vampire was living next door to him,” Holland told TVStoreOnline of the film’s genesis. “I thought that would be an interesting take on the whole Boy Who Cried Wolf thing. It really tickled my funny bone. I thought it was a charming idea, but I really didn't have a story for it.”

2. Peter Vincent made Fright Night click.

It wasn’t until Holland conceived of the character of Peter Vincent, the late-night horror movie host played by Roddy McDowall, that he really found the story. While discussing the idea with a department head at Columbia Pictures, Holland realized what The Boy Who Cried Vampire would do: “Of course, he's gonna go to Vincent Price!” Which is when the screenplay clicked. “The minute I had Peter Vincent, I had the story,” Holland told Dread Central. “Charley Brewster was the engine, but Peter Vincent was the heart.”

3. Peter Vincent is named after two horror icons.

Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.

4. The Peter Vincent role was intended for Vincent Price.

Roddy McDowall in Fright Night (1985)
Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent in Fright Night (1985).
Columbia Pictures

“Now the truth is that when I first went out with it, I was thinking of Vincent Price, but Vincent Price was not physically well at the time,” Holland said.

5. Roddy McDowall did not want to play the part like Vincent Price.

Once he was cast, Roddy McDowall made the decision that Peter Vincent was nothing like Vincent Price—specifically: he was a terrible actor. “My part is that of an old ham actor,” McDowall told Monster Land magazine in 1985. “I mean a dreadful actor. He had a moderate success in an isolated film here and there, but all very bad product. Basically, he played one character for eight or 10 films, for which he probably got paid next to nothing. Unlike stars of horror films who are very good actors and played lots of different roles, such as Peter Lorre and Vincent Price or Boris Karloff, this poor sonofabitch just played the same character all the time, which was awful.”

6. It took Holland just three weeks to write the Fright Night script.

And he had a helluva good time doing it, too. “I couldn’t stop writing,” Holland said in 2008, during a Fright Night reunion at Fright Fest. “I wrote it in about three weeks. And I was laughing the entire time, literally on the floor, kicking my feet in the air in hysterics. Because there’s something so intrinsically humorous in the basic concept. So it was always, along with the thrills and chills, something there that tickled your funny bone. It wasn’t broad comedy, but it’s a grin all the way through.”

7. Tom Holland directed Fright Night out of "self-defense."

By the time Fright Night came around, Holland was already a Hollywood veteran—just not as a director. He had spent the past two decades as an actor and writer and he told the crowd at Fright Fest that “this was the first film where I had sufficient credibility in Hollywood to be able to direct ... I had a film after Psycho 2 and before Fright Night called Scream For Help, which … I thought was so badly directed that [directing Fright Night] was self-defense. In self-defense, I wanted to protect the material, and that’s why I started directing with Fright Night."

8. Chris Sarandon had a number of reasons for not wanting to make Fright Night.

Chris Sarandon stars in 'Fright Night' (1985)
Chris Sarandon stars in Fright Night (1985).
Columbia Pictures

At the Fright Night reunion, Chris Sarandon recalled his initial reaction to being approached about playing vampire Jerry Dandrige. "I was living in New York and I got the script,” he explained. “My agent said that someone was interested in the possibility of my doing the movie, and I said to myself, ‘There’s no way I can do a horror movie. I can’t do a vampire movie. I can’t do a movie with a first-time director.’ Not a first-time screenwriter, but first-time director. And I sat down and read the script, and I remember very vividly sitting at my desk, looked over at my then wife and said, ‘This is amazing. I don’t know. I have to meet this guy.’ And so, I came out to L.A. And I met with Tom [Holland] and our producer. And we just hit it off, and that was it.”

9. Jerry Dandridge is part fruit bat.

After doing some research into the history of vampires and the legends surrounding them, Sarandon decided that Jerry had some fruit bat in him, which is why he’s often seen snacking on fruit in the film. When asked about the 2011 remake with Colin Farrell, Sarandon commented on how much he appreciated that that specific tradition continued. “In this one, it's an apple, but in the original, Jerry ate all kinds of fruit because it was just sort of something I discovered by searching it—that most bats are not blood-sucking, but they're fruit bats,” Sarandon told io9. “And I thought well maybe somewhere in Jerry's genealogy, there's fruit bat in him, so that's why I did it.”

10. William Ragsdale learned he had booked the part of Charley Brewster on Halloween.

William Ragsdale had only ever appeared in one film before Fright Night (in a bit part). He had recently been considered for the role of Rocky Dennis in Mask, which “didn’t work out,” Ragsdale recalled. “But a few months later, [casting director] Jackie Burch tells me, ‘There’s this movie I’m casting. You might be really right for it.’ So, I had this 1976 Toyota Celica and I drove that through the San Joaquin valley desert for four or five trips down for auditioning. And in the last one, Stephen [Geoffreys] was there, Amanda [Bearse] was there and that’s when it happened. I had read the script and at the time I had been doing Shakespeare and Greek drama, so I read this thing and thought, ‘Well, God, this looks like a lot of fun. There’s no … iambic pentameter, there’s no rhymes. You know? Where’s the catharsis? Where’s the tragedy?’ … I ended up getting a call on Halloween that they had decided to use me, and I was delighted.”

11. Not being Anthony Michael Hall worked in Stephen Geoffreys's favor.

In a weird way, it was by not being Anthony Michael Hall that Stephen Geoffreys was cast as Evil Ed. “I actually met Jackie Burch, the casting director, by mistake in New York months before this movie was cast and she remembered me,” Geoffreys shared at Fright Fest. “My agent sent me for an audition for Weird Science. And Anthony Michael Hall was with the same agent that I was with, and she sent me by mistake. And Jackie looked at me when I walked into the office and said, ‘You’re not Anthony Michael Hall!’ and I’m like ‘No!’ But anyway, I sat down and I talked to Jackie for a half hour and she remembered me from that interview and called my agent, and my agent sent me the script while I was with Amanda [Bearse] in Palm Springs doing Fraternity Vacation, and I read it. It was awesome. The writing was incredible.”

12. Evil Ed wanted to be Charley Brewster.

Stephen Geoffreys stars in 'Fright Night' (1985).
Stephen Geoffreys stars in Fright Night (1985).
Columbia Pictures

Geoffreys loved the script for Fright Night. “I just got this really awesome feeling about it,” he said. “I read it and thought I’ve got to do this. I called my agent and said ‘I would love to audition for the part of Charley Brewster!’ [And he said] ‘No, Steve, you’re wanted for the part of Evil Ed.’ And I went, ‘Are you kidding me? Why? I couldn’t… What do they see in me that they think I should be this?' Well anyway, it worked out. It was awesome and I had a great time.”

13. Fright Night's original ending was much different.

The film’s original ending saw Peter Vincent transform into a vampire—while hosting “Fright Night” in front of a live television audience.

14. A ghost from Ghostbusters made a cameo in Fright Night.

Visual effects producer Richard Edlund had recently finished up work on Ghostbusters when he and his team began work on Fright Night. And the movie gave them a great reason to recycle one of the library ghosts they had created for Ghostbusters—which was deemed too scary for Ivan Reitman's PG-rated classic—and use it as a vampire bat for Fright Night.

15. Fright Night's cast and crew took it upon themselves to record some DVD commentaries.

Because the earliest DVD versions of Fright Night contained no commentary tracks, in 2008 the cast and crew partnered with Icons of Fright to record a handful of downloadable “pirate” commentary tracks about the making of the film. The tracks ended up on a limited-edition 30th anniversary Blu-ray of the film, which sold out in hours.

16. Vincent Price loved Fright Night.


Columbia Pictures

Holland had the chance to meet Vincent Price one night at a dinner party at McDowall’s. And the actor was well aware that McDowall’s character was based on him. “I was a little bit embarrassed by it,” Holland admitted. “He said it was wonderful and he thought Roddy did a wonderful job. Thank God he didn’t ask why he wasn’t cast in it.”

7 Timeless Facts About Paul Rudd

Rich Fury, Getty Images
Rich Fury, Getty Images

Younger fans may know Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, one of the newest members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the actor has been a Hollywood mainstay for half his life.

Rudd's breakout role came in 1995’s Clueless, where he played Josh, Alicia Silverstone's charming love interest in Amy Heckerling's beloved spin on Jane Austen's Emma. In the 2000s, Rudd became better known for his comedic work when he starred in movies like Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Anchorman (2004), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), and I Love You, Man (2009).

It wasn’t until 2015 that Rudd stepped into the ever-growing world of superhero movies when he was cast as Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, and became part of the MCU.

Rudd has proven he can take on any part, serious or goofy. More amazingly, he never seems to age. But in honor of (what is reportedly) his 50th birthday on April 6, here are some things you might not have known about the star.

1. Paul Rudd is technically Paul Rudnitzky.

Though Paul Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey, both of his parents hail from London—his father was from Edgware and his mother from Surbiton. Both of his parents were descendants of Jewish immigrants who moved to England from from Russia and Poland. Rudd’s last name was actually Rudnitzky, but it was changed by his grandfather.

2. His parents are second cousins.

In a 2017 episode of Finding Your Roots, Rudd learned that his parents were actually second cousins. Rudd responded to the discovery in typical comedic fashion: "Which explains why I have six nipples." He also wondered what that meant for his own family. "Does this make my son also my uncle?," he asked.

3. He loved comic books as a kid.

While Rudd did read Marvel Comics as a kid, he preferred Archie Comics and other funny stories. His English cousins would send him British comics, too, like Beano and Dandy, which he loved.

4. Rudd wanted to play Christian in Clueless. And Murray.

Clueless would have been a completely different movie if Rudd had been cast as the suave Christian instead of the cute older step-brother-turned-love-interest Josh. But before he was cast as Cher’s beau, he initially wanted the role of the “ringa ding kid” Christian.

"I thought Justin Walker’s character, Christian, was a really good part," Rudd told Entertainment Weekly in 2012. "It was a cool idea, something I’d never seen in a movie before—the cool gay kid. And then I asked to read for Donald Faison's part, because I thought he was kind of a funny hip-hop wannabe. I didn’t realize that the character was African-American.”

5. His role model is Paul Newman.

In a 2008 interview for Role Models, which he both co-wrote and starred in, Rudd was asked about his real-life role model. He answered Paul Newman, saying he admired the legendary actor because he gave a lot to the world before leaving it.

6. Before he was Ant-Man, he wanted to be Adam Ant.

In a 2011 interview with Grantland, Rudd talked about his teenage obsession with '80s English rocker Adam Ant. "Puberty hit me like a Mack truck, and my hair went from straight to curly overnight," Rudd explained. "But it was an easier pill to swallow because Adam Ant had curly hair. I used to ask my mom to try and shave my head on the sides to give me a receding hairline because Adam Ant had one. I didn’t know what a receding hairline was. I just thought he looked cool. She said, 'Absolutely not,' but I was used to that."

Ant wasn't the only musician Rudd tried to emulate. "[My mom] also shot me down when I asked if I could bleach just the top of my head like Howard Jones. Any other kid would’ve been like, 'F*** you, mom! I’m bleaching my hair.' I was too nice," he said.

7. Romeo + Juliet wasn’t Rudd's first go as a Shakespearean actor.

Yet another one of Rudd's iconic '90s roles was in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, but it was far from the actor's first brush with Shakespeare. Rudd spent three years studying Jacobean theater in Oxford, England, and starred in a production of Twelfth Night. He was described by his director, Sir Nicholas Hytner, as having “emotional and intellectual volatility.” Hytner’s praise was a big deal, considering he was the director of London's National Theatre from 2003 until 2015.

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