Movies

These Comic Book Movie Flops Almost Make ‘Fantastic Four’ Look Like A Hit

Fantastic Four is currently Marvel’s lowest-rated film ever, and brought in a thoroughly underwhelming $26.2 million at the domestic box office for its opening weekend. This comes after director Josh Trank tweeted about how 20th Century Fox got too involved, and how the movie everyone is ripping to shreds isn’t even the one he wanted to make — a moment that served as a kickoff to the kind of rumors that sprout up when a much-anticipated film makes such a loud thud upon its debut.

We know this because Fantastic Four is far from the first big budget comic book movie to be a dud at box office and with critics alike. Now that you’ve had the weekend to soak in all of the bad F4 press, here’s a reminder of the kind of rare and unfortunate company that this film is now joining.

Green Lantern (2011)

Box Office: $219.9 million
Estimated Budget: $200 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%

Even Deadpool agrees that that green animated suit had to go. But there was also bad CGI across the board that made it hard to watch the shallow plot play out. The supporting characters also didn’t get much of a backstory. But what was the biggest mistake? The man fought a f*cking cloud.

Catwoman (2004)

Box Office: $82.1 million
Estimated Budget: $100 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9%

Catwoman starred Halle Berry, arguably one of the most beautiful women in the business – especially in 2004 – running around in black leather, but the plot wasn’t exactly well-developed, and I still don’t fully understand how she got her powers. All I know is that she died and a bunch of cats found her. Then one did this creepy breath thing.

Steel (1997)

Box Office: $1.7 million
Estimated Budget: $16 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

The big fella, Shaquille O’Neal, may be lovable and have a “magnetic personality,” but it didn’t quite translate to the screen. We may all love Space Jam, but it’s not because of Michael Jordan’s acting ability. Sadly, Steel didn’t throw in any cartoon characters to distract us.

Elektra (2005)

Box Office: $56.7 million
Estimated Budget: $43 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 10%

I’d ask where the logic is in spinning off a character from a panned film, but we’re all about to have a shared moment of joy over Deadpool in a few months, and that sprang from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so maybe the logic is sound and it was just this one that was a bad idea. 

Superman IV (1987)

Box Office: $36.7 million
Estimated Budget: $17 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

Superman IV is basically the reason that we didn’t get to see Superman on the big screen for almost two decades until Superman Returns (which would’ve made this list if it weren’t for its surprising 76% rating) came along. Christopher Reeve even said he regretted being a part of it.

The Spirit (2008)

Box Office: $39 million
Estimated Budget: $60 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 14%

For a while there, it looked like Frank Miller only knew how to make movies one way. But what works in Sin City couldn’t be duplicated in The Spirit, a story about a dead cop that comes back to life to restore justice.

Jonah Hex (2010)

Box Office: $10.9 million
Estimated Budget: $47 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

Be honest, you probably forgot that Josh Brolin had already been in a comic book movie before he was cast as Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After killing it as a modern day cowboy in No Country for Old Men, he was probably a shoe-in for Jonah Hex, but comic book fans didn’t care.

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