18 Unforgettable Cinematic Flops

In the film industry, you win some; you lose some. Even with the help of A-list stars, exhilarating screenplays, and beautiful cinematography, some movies can fail at the box office. This failure doesn’t always reflect a movie’s quality; even great movies can flop.

Read on to learn about 18 cinematic flops, including Disney adaptations, action flicks, Sci-fi, and legends of history.

John Carter

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Frank Connor – © 2010 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

With a total cost of $350 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made, however, it grossed only $284 million worldwide, making it the most notorious flop in the history of Hollywood.

A bloated budget, negative rumors during production, and poor marketing led to the ruin of the film along with many other red flags.

The 13th Warrior

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Touchstone Pictures – © 1999 Touchstone Pictures

That this Antonio Banderas movie based on a Michael Crichton book didn’t do as well as the other Crichton book adaptation (Jurassic Park) is an understatement. A historical Viking battle epic with a stellar performance by Banderas, and beautiful sets and costumes, but the critics still obliterated the movie, and it failed at the box office.

Land Of The Lost

Image Credit: IMDB

Although some liked Anna Friel’s performance, most audiences gave this movie featuring Will Ferrell a wide berth. It was a box office bomb, grossing just $68 million against its $100 million budget.

47 Ronin

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Frank Conner – © 2013 – Universal PIctures

Keanu Reeves has never shied away from taking risks, but this one cost him and the moviemakers dearly. This fantasy-samurai film was panned by critics and ignored by movie watchers. The movie was made at a budget of $175 million while it grossed $152 million.

Cutthroat Island

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – © 1995

This pirate adventure movie was doomed for failure even before it was released. Mismanagement, overspending ($92 million in 1995), and the buzz killed the movie. Poorly written lines and Geena Davis’ wooden dialogue delivery didn’t help either.

Hudson Hawk

Image Credit: IMDB © 1991 – TriStar Pictures

The film could have ridden on the success of Die Hard 2; that’s what the makers of the film were hoping for when they marketed it as an action film instead of a slapstick comedy. The critics panned the movie, and it grossed only $17 million of a $65 million budget. Even Bruce Willis could do nothing to save this movie.

Sinbad – Legend Of The Seven Seas

Image Credit: IMDB © 2003 DreamWorks

A catastrophic flop; even the charismatic Brad Pitt could not save the film, which almost caused DreamWorks to suffer a loss of $125 million and to go bankrupt. Not only the audience didn’t appreciate the traditional animated style of storytelling, but the film also faced stiff competition from Finding Nemo, Hulk, and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Mummy

Image Credit: IMDB © 2017 – Universal Pictures

Despite massive names like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe and a massive budget, the film was panned by critics and viewers and was a failure at the box office. However, the audience rejected this remake of the well-loved franchise that starred Brendan Fraser from 1999-2008.


Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Jasin Boland – © 2005 – Columbia/TriStar

At a loss of $125 million, Stealth is one of the biggest box office failures of all time. A boring story poorly told; even the likes of Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel couldn’t do much to save this movie from tanking.


Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Universal Pictures – © 1995

A movie set in a post-apocalyptic world that is underwater – Waterworld was a big production and people had high hopes for its star, Kevin Costner. However, the movie went over budget, had production problems, and saw clashes between the star and the director. The film got lukewarm reviews and didn’t hold up at the box office.


Image Credit: IMDB © 2003 Columbia Pictures.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were in a relationship and well-liked at the time the movie was released. However, it is said that the couple was overexposed, which might be one of the reasons the film was not received well. The film was panned by critics for its cringe-worthy storyline and poor execution. It grossed a measly $7.2 million worldwide.

Son of the Mask

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Zade Rosenthal – © 2005 New Line Cinema.

Great movies are great for a reason, and you should leave them alone. The makers of the cult movie “Mask” decided to go against this principle and paid for the consequences. This movie made without Jim Carrey (the original one was made at a budget of $20 million and grossed $350 million worldwide) didn’t hold the attention of the audience and fared disastrously at the box office grossing only $60 million against the budget of $100 million.

The Promise

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Jose Haro – © 2017 Open Road Films

Starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, The Promise is an Armenian genocide drama that reportedly cost $100 million while it could recover only $10.6 million; that’s quite a shortfall. With genocide as its subject, the movie faced difficulties finding distributors. The geopolitics aside, even the audience wasn’t impressed.

The Adventures Of Pluto Nash

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Bruce McBroom – © 2002 – Warner Brothers

Eddie Murphy has had his share of misses, but this one takes the cake. The critics panned it. The audience ignored it. The movie was made with a budget of $100 million, while it could recover $7.1 million. The numbers say it all. The Adventures Of Pluto Nash was a flop of epic proportions.

Mars Needs Moms

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Film Frame – © ImageMovers Digital LLC.

In this animation film, motion capture was used, but while the body movements worked, the facial expressions did not. Bad writing and poor jokes didn’t do much for the movie. Though audiences liked the unique movie concept, it didn’t translate to box office earnings.


Image Credit: IMDB © 2013 – Universal Pictures

If you thought Green Lantern was Ryan Reynold’s worst nightmare, wait till you check out this comic-book adaption. After he redeemed himself with Deadpool, he gave us another of this dud.

King Arthur – Legend Of The Sword

Image Credit: IMDB Photo by Daniel Smith – © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Village Roadshow Films North America Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC – – U.S., C

Some legends should better be left unexplored. This movie proves the case in point as the audience could not connect to this age-old tale even with Charlie Hunnam at the helm.


Image Credit: IMDB © 2005 Paramount Pictures

Sahara was a disaster. The film received negative publicity even before it was released, and this Matthew McConaughey-Penelope Cruz film that was supposed to launch a new adventure franchise tanked at the box office. This $160 million movie ultimately lost $105 million.

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