The 10 Biggest Bombs of the Year

Senior Editor
11.15.12 56 Comments

Forbes just released their list of the year’s 10 biggest flops (defining loss here as a percentage of budget, rather than total loss), which you can see below. The year is almost over, so there aren’t many films left that can out-bomb these bombs. All that’s left are Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, Twilight, Red Dawn, Rise of the Guardians, Silver Linings Playbook, Hitchcock, Killing Them Softly, Lay the Favorite, Playing for Keeps, The Hobbit, Hyde Park on the Hudson, The Guilt Trip, Zero Dark Thirty, Jack Reacher, Les Mis, Django, and Promised Land. Phew, okay, that’s actually a lot. But I believe in you, Red Dawn.

We used data from Box Office Mojo to see which films earned the smallest percentage of their budgets at the box office. Keep in mind that to begin to even imagine breaking even a film needs to earn at least twice its production budget at the box office. These 10 films didn’t come close. [Cloud Atlas is still in theaters, so it doesn’t technically count yet, but I included it anyway.]

1. “The Oogieloves,” (Box office: $1 million; production budget: $20 million)

2. “A Thousand Words,” (Box office: $20 million; production budget: $40 million)/ “Cloud Atlas” (Box office: $24 million; production budget: $100 million)

3. “Dredd” (Box office: $28 million; production budget: $50 million)

4. “Big Miracle” (Box office: $25 million: production budget: $40 million)

5. “Wanderlust” (Box office: $21 million; production budget: $30 million)

6. “Rock of Ages” (Box office: $56 million; production budget: $74 million)

7. “People Like Us” (Box office: $12 million; production budget: $16 million)

8. “That’s My Boy” (Box office: $57 million; production budget: $70 million)

9. “Premium Rush” (Box Office: $29 million; prodcution budet: $35 million)

10. “Red Tails” (Box Office: $50 million; production budet: $58 million) [Forbes]

Sort of a mixture of schadenfreude and disappointment. Rock of Ages looked like weaponized AIDs and I haven’t seen That’s My Boy, but people I trust claim it’s less funny than Dinner for Schmucks, which would be an achievement. And of course Flop King Eddie Murphy makes the list, that guy wastes more investor money than a third world despot. That said, I actually liked Dredd, and as my commenters never tire of telling me, I’m kind of a snobby prick. But it’s easy to blame that one on the negative name recognition it had for anyone but the dandruffiest of neckbeards, and I don’t think you’d be wrong. Cloud Atlas was kind of dumb, but still an entertaining good time – they marketed it as a critical darling when it was more of a multiplex crowd pleaser, and a lot of people were probably scared off by the three-hour running time.

On a general note, how the hell do some of these cost so much? That’s My Boy cost $70 million? That has to be a deliberate accounting fudge. There’s no way a dumb comedy set in contemporary New England cost $20 million more than a futuristic action movie set in a high-rise, shot in 3D where the drug in the movie made everything move in super slow-motion. No way That’s My Boy should cost more than $10 million, and that’s allocating at least a million for Rex Ryan’s food and hooker budget. “Gash Services,” he calls it.

 

Author Profile Picture
Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator.

Around The Web

How Keeping Austin Weird Turned Into A Widespread Phenomenon

02.15.17 4 days ago 11 Comments

How Kevin Gates Went From Underground To Platinum In A Year And Changed The Game In The Process

02.02.17 2 weeks ago 6 Comments

Look For The Star: How Starter Jackets Became The Iconic Clothing Of The Early ’90s

01.31.17 3 weeks ago 9 Comments

‘Dream, Try, Do Good’: The Oral History Of ‘Boy Meets World’

01.31.17 3 weeks ago 6 Comments

How Frank Barsalona Created The Modern Rock Concert And Got Himself Into The Hall Of Fame

01.30.17 3 weeks ago

The Story Behind Gus Fring’s Stunningly Explosive Moment On ‘Breaking Bad’

and 01.30.17 3 weeks ago 5 Comments

How Toronto’s Boosie Fade Transformed From A Rap DJ Night Into A Digital Movement

01.12.17 1 month ago

Infiltrating The Bills Mafia To Find Out Why Fans Keep Supporting The NFL’s Most Hopeless Team

01.01.17 2 months ago 8 Comments

From Ray Charles To Jimi Hendrix: How Seattle Helped Create R&B And Rock And Roll

01.01.17 2 months ago 6 Comments

‘Stop Crying And Fight Your Father’: ‘Seinfeld’ Writers Tell How Festivus Came To Be

and 12.23.16 2 months ago 12 Comments

The Lasting Impact Of Adidas Tearaway Pants On Hip-Hop And A Hoops Generation

12.08.16 2 months ago 2 Comments

Understanding The History And The Motivations Behind The Standing Rock Protests

12.02.16 3 months ago 6 Comments

How Do We Combat The Intensifying War On Science?

and 11.30.16 3 months ago 30 Comments

Exploring The Intersection Of Hip-Hop And Social Justice

and 11.30.16 3 months ago

From Near ‘Simpsons’ Spinoff To A Check Against Hollywood Ridiculousness: Why ‘The Critic’ Still Matters

11.29.16 3 months ago 25 Comments

Willie Nelson’s Love Affair With Weed Made Him An Outlaw And A Country Music Revolutionary

11.22.16 3 months ago 2 Comments

How ‘Above The Rim’ Merged Streetball And Hip-Hop To Make A Cautionary Tale About Choices

and 11.18.16 3 months ago 6 Comments

The Story Of The Fugees’ Bitter Breakup And Unforgettable Legacy

11.10.16 3 months ago 13 Comments