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Top 10 Movie Bombs...

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Top 10 Movie Bombs...

Old 08-16-06, 07:53 PM
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Top 10 Movie Bombs...

http://www.askmen.com/toys/top_10_10...ist.html?FLASH
Number 10
Gigli
2003

How bad does a movie have to be to bomb despite having two of the biggest names in the world starring in it? Take a look at Gigli, but you’d be safer if you
didn’t. Burdened, rather than buoyed, by stars Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, this stinker has become a synonym for anything that sinks. The two became a tabloid fixture with their off-screen romance and the public was sick to death of “Bennifer” well before the movie was even released.

Then trailers came out in which J-Lo hoists her legs up in the air and offers herself to Ben, exclaiming: “It’s turkey time. Gobble gobble.” This bit of marketing genius scared away the 20 people who were still willing to see it despite all the bad press and sickening media saturation. It went on to set the record for biggest two-week drop-off (82%) and was mercifully pulled from theaters after only three weeks. It will, however, due to its $46.2 million loss, live on as the punch line to thousands of lame jokes.

Number 9
Duck Soup
1933

It is surprising to learn that some of history’s most respected movies are also some of its biggest flops, such as this 1933 Marx Brothers flick. Regarded now as one of the most hilarious and scathing political satires of all time, it was an unqualified box office disaster when it was released back in the day.

Box office data is a bit sketchy from this era -- perhaps owing to the fact you could still pay with bushels of apples -- but it lost enough money that Paramount didn’t renew its contract with the Marx Brothers. The turmoil caused by the flop also fractured the partnership between the four Marx brothers; Duck Soup was the last film that all four worked on together.

Sometimes, we are smarter than the studios give us credit for…

Number 8
From Justin to Kelly
2003

To big-time Hollywood studios, losing $7.1 million is like us dropping a few nickels down the drain. But when a movie is born from an unstoppable hype machine and is forecast to earn many millions, losing $7.1 million can be hard to swallow.

In 2003, studio execs assumed that the millions of fans freaking out about American Idol would be just as crazy about a musical comedy starring two of AI’s biggest stars. So, they spat out this dizzyingly bad fluff piece in about two weeks and sat back to wait for the money to roll in. They’re still waiting. The public proved savvy and almost universally avoided it. It now lives on the bargain shelf of video stores around the world.

Number 7
Battlefield Earth
2000

Sometimes movies are victims of unwarranted criticism or circumstance and unfairly lose money. There are also horrible movies that get exactly what they deserve at the box office -- just as Battlefield Earth did when it lost $43.3 million. It is based on the book of the same name by science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It tells the tale of brave human survivors who strike back against alien captors in the year 3000. It sounds interesting, but the results were truly revolting.

It is stuffed with gaping plot holes, like 1,000-year-old books with a light covering of dust, awkward and pointless scenes that are shot entirely in slow motion, and a soundtrack that sounds like a collection of unreleased B-sides from the Star Wars band.

John Travolta used his rediscovered Hollywood clout, thanks to 1994's Pulp Fiction, to push this film into production. Unfortunately, it derailed his career again. It also robbed dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people of two hours they will never get back.

Number 6
Town & Country
2001

A lot of movies lose money because of huge budgets for special effects. There are also movies that bomb because the stars demand obscene salaries. Such is the case with this clunker from director Peter Chelsom. At a midlife crossroad, Warren Beatty stars as a well-known New York architect in the film.

The first indication of trouble came with reports of Beatty’s on-set antics. Beatty is known as a bit of a male diva, which he brought to a new level on this shoot. Some of his "divantics" include showing up late to the set, demanding obscene dressing room extras and trashing the director to the press. The studio sensed trouble early and ordered a number of reshoots, rewrites and recasting that caused the movie to be released three years after its originally planned release date. All the stars have since disowned it and its only legacy is that it was, for a little while, the biggest box office disaster of all time with a $79.7 million loss.

Before Pirates of the Caribbean there was Cutthroat Island…

Number 5
Cutthroat Island
1995

Before Johnny Depp smashed box office records with 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean, another pirate movie suffered a diametrically opposite fate. Cutthroat Island was directed by Renny Harlin, of Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, and ran into problems before the first scene was filmed. Producers originally tried to lure Michael Douglas on board with a $15 million salary. Perhaps sensing the impending doom, he turned it down before Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise and Daniel Day Lewis had the chance to do the same.

Undaunted, the script was rewritten to take the focus off the male lead and give more prominence to Geena Davis -- Harlin’s wife at the time. They offered the new man role and $7 million to a who’s who of B-list pluggers, from Charlie Sheen to Michael Keaton. Matthew Modine finally consented for $4 million and production began.

Surprisingly, moviegoers were less than excited by a female pirate movie and it suffered a spectacular box office collapse -- losing $82 million. It bankrupted Carolco studios, destroyed the reputation of Geena Davis and caused Matthew Modine to think long and hard about his career choices.

Number 4
Ishtar
1987

Perhaps no movie displays the power that critics hold over a movie’s success than this Warren Beatty disaster. It was absolutely lambasted by critics before it was released. They obsessed over the film’s $40 million budget and completely ignored the film itself -- Ishtar never stood a chance and lost $22.7 million.

Ishtar tells the tale of two washed-up lounge singers who get a gig in a small African country and end up getting tangled in a web of CIA intrigue. On set, bickering between stars Beatty and Hoffman slowed production and the desert location often brought it to a grinding halt. Its budget ballooned and the studios started to panic and voila -- an unmitigated disaster.

Number 3
Cleopatra
1963

This well-known epic is the prime example of a runaway production. Originally budgeted at just over $2 million, a dubious and spiraling set of circumstances saw that rise to over $44 million (about $286 million in today).

First off, it was originally scheduled to shoot in London, but Elizabeth Taylor fell ill and production stopped. This forced producers to move the shoot to Rome, where the climate was more conducive to her recovery. So, all the elaborate sets first built in London had to be rebuilt in Italy. Later, two stars quit to pursue less "train-wrecky" roles, which rendered all the filming that had been done useless.

Next, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton engaged in a high-profile extramarital affair. The public was outraged and more bad publicity was lumped onto the cursed film.

Eventually the film was finished, but the studios slashed in half the six-hour running time to accommodate more screenings. In doing so, they sliced out numerous important scenes and rendered it confusing and nearly unwatchable. It went on to become the year’s highest-grossing film, despite losing $21 million.

It was like Mad Max, but on water and not nearly as good…

Number 2
Heaven's Gate
1980

Fresh off an unqualified success with 1978's The Deer Hunter, director Michael Cimino was rewarded with a huge budget and full creative control from United Artists Studios when they gave the green light to this epic Western. Perhaps they should have kept a tighter leash. Despite the fact that he had a best-selling novel to work from and a cast filled with A-listers like Christopher Walken and John Hurt, Cimino delivered his horrific final cut late and over budget.

The thee-hour, 39-minute film premiered in New York City. It was received so poorly that Cimino and the suits at United Artists yanked it from theaters and went to work re-editing and reworking the movie for six months.

It was finally re-released at a svelte 149 minutes, but audiences still had to endure a deeply flawed piece of celluloid. The over-matched director had used a grotesque soundtrack and decided to drown out dialogue with jarring sound effects. These fundamental flaws, coupled with the mass of bad press surrounding the film kept audiences away.

Heaven’s Gate has become synonymous with box office bombs -- $40.5 million was a lot of money back in 1980. It also forced nervous studios to begin meddling in the daily affairs of productions.

Number 1
Waterworld
1995

Looking for a box office disaster recipe? Take a derivative, highly implausible plot, mix in a polarizing leading man, sprinkle in a bevy of on-set fights between cast and crew, and film it all in the middle of the ocean on horrendously expensive sets. At $175 million, Kevin Costner’s post-apocalyptic flick was the most expensive film ever made at the time, which inflated significantly after one of the main sets sunk in a storm.

Telling the tale of survivors of a completely flooded earth seeking dry land, it was beset by massive plot holes and a public made skeptical by rumors of on-set problems. There were stories of overblown budgets, ad hoc script rewrites and power struggles between Costner and director Kevin Reynolds. Costner took over direction halfway through filming.

Burdened with these preconceptions and the kind of expectations that come with being the “most expensive movie ever made” tag, Waterworld was sunk before it ever set sail and lost $86.8 million. Costner apparently didn’t learn any lessons -- he went on to make another post-apocalyptic flop in 1997 with The Postman, which only lost $63 million.
what’s that smell?
Big stars and big budgets don’t always mean big profits. A shrewd movie-going public can smell a rat from a mile away and most often bad movies get exactly what they deserve. This all adds up to millions of lost dollars, but for every Town & Country or Gigli there is a Harry Potter or Star Wars to make these bombs a bit easier to swallow.
Old 08-16-06, 08:25 PM
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I'm not sure what criteria they're using (other than "common sense") since Waterworld made $264 Million worldwide on a $175 Million budget and was #1, while The Adventures of Pluto Nash made a total of $7 Million on an estimated $100 Million budget, and didn't even make the list.

Also, Glitter was a lot bigger pop-star bomb than From Just to Kelly.

Last edited by Joe Molotov; 08-16-06 at 08:28 PM.
Old 08-16-06, 08:33 PM
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Definitely add Pluto Nash. I'd also put Holy Man on that list. Earned $12 million on a $60! million budget. Plus, that seems to be a universally hated movie.
Old 08-16-06, 08:53 PM
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From their write-up of 2001's Town and Country:

All the stars have since disowned it and its only legacy is that it was, for a little while, the biggest box office disaster of all time with a $79.7 million loss.
From their write-up of 1995's Cutthroat Island:

Surprisingly, moviegoers were less than excited by a female pirate movie and it suffered a spectacular box office collapse -- losing $82 million.
From their write-up of 1995's Waterworld:

Waterworld was sunk before it ever set sail and lost $86.8 million.
How is losing $79.7 million a bigger loss than $86.8 million or $82 million?
Old 08-16-06, 09:01 PM
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What about Sphere? That movie started in the hole. Budget was more than the $80 estimated and it only brought in... $37M. It had a false start, the studio spent more than $10M on sets and such when it was shut down. Then 5 months later, they started up again with a different director.
Old 08-16-06, 10:02 PM
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Sucks about Duck Soup especially, but since it was released during the deepest pit of the great depression it's understandable things could go tipsy during that chaos (and it could be that it's ahead of its time like Blade Runner was and people didn't understand it that good.)
Old 08-16-06, 10:17 PM
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Waterworld makes the list invalid.
Old 08-16-06, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, Pluto Nash deserves its proper place - it can't even get negative recognition!
Old 08-16-06, 11:12 PM
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I still like Waterworld
Old 08-16-06, 11:19 PM
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A lot of recent films on that list. And I don't understand why Waterworld is on there or why From Justin to Kelly is on there either.

I would have thought The Alamo would be on this list, although Pluto Nash is an even bigger omission that I forgot about.
Old 08-16-06, 11:22 PM
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Didn't know that about Duck Soup.
Old 08-16-06, 11:24 PM
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All these movies could be rescued if they just released them as big 3-disc sets on DVD and then sold them for $5 a piece.
Old 08-16-06, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FRwL
Sucks about Duck Soup especially, but since it was released during the deepest pit of the great depression it's understandable things could go tipsy during that chaos (and it could be that it's ahead of its time like Blade Runner was and people didn't understand it that good.)
On the subject of Ducks, how about Howard the Duck.
Old 08-16-06, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tommyp007
I still like Waterworld
Same here.
Old 08-16-06, 11:58 PM
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Some other fairly recent box office duds:

Domino (Grossed $20 Mil, Cost $50 Mil)
The Big Bounce (Grossed $7 Mil, Cost $50 Mil)
Detroit Rock City (Grossed $4 Mil, Cost $34 Mil)
Death to Smoochy (Grossed $8, Cost $50 Mil)
Stealth (Grossed $76 Mil, Cost $135 Mil)
Old 08-17-06, 12:04 AM
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Waterworld is a great movie. Proof this list is bullshit.
Old 08-17-06, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
Some other fairly recent box office duds:

Stealth (Grossed $76 Mil, Cost $135 Mil)
I love that movie, I knew I should have seen it in the theater. Not that my 8 bucks would have helped much...

And not that it's really good.
Old 08-17-06, 01:07 AM
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http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/records/budgets.html ...near the bottom of the page.
Old 08-17-06, 01:38 AM
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Detroit Rock City (Grossed $4 Mil
Fucking four million dollars?! Now that is just pathetic (and funny). Is that an all time low for a mainstream movie?

Last edited by Mountain Biker; 08-17-06 at 01:41 AM.
Old 08-17-06, 01:46 AM
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If you like reading about bombs, check out this book:

Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047...192067?ie=UTF8

And I disagree about the numbers used in the quoted article. As I remember from this book, Cleopatra made a profit when all was said and done.
Old 08-17-06, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tommyp007
I still like Waterworld
Originally Posted by RocShemp
Same here.
I didn't think Waterworld was that bad of a movie either. It was quite an adventurous, entertaining film.
Old 08-17-06, 03:13 AM
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I don't think it's about liking the film. I like Ishtar, and think the first 20-30 minutes are some of the funniest stuff about middle-aged musicians ever, but I think the list is pretty good.
Old 08-17-06, 03:20 AM
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I am going to defend Waterworld, while it's no epic masterpiece it is a great movie that doesn't deserve to be #1 on that list. Not by any means.
Old 08-17-06, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by marty888
Yeah, Pluto Nash deserves its proper place - it can't even get negative recognition!
I am glad I saw it at the theater, it's a mess of a film and in an entertaining kind of way. This will go down as a huge box office dud.
Old 08-17-06, 03:24 AM
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I have seen many sources thru the years that says WATER WORLD made money.
So this is one of those let's get Kevin Costner lists.
I'm surprised they didn't have a Mel Gibson or Arnold movie on the list.

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