The Top 7 Biggest Movie Flops of All Time

There are always a variety of reasons for a movie’s poor performance—from casting to plot to promotion. Whatever the cause, it wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood banked on a splashy blockbuster and lost big. Here’s a look back at some of Hollywood’s most colossal failures.

7. Alexander
Who’s to blame for Oliver Stone’s massive historical epic flopping at the box office? The culture wars in America, naturally. That’s the case some made after “Alexander” fell flat in 2004 despite a $150 million budget. Ever the provocateur, Stone presented Colin Farrell’s Alexander as bisexual, which upset some conservatives. Most surprised by the movie’s failure was Farrell, who thought that he’d be up for awards and instead wound up rethinking his career.

6. Gigli
“Gigli” was a 2003 mobster comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The duo dominated tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip shows, so putting them in a movie was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, every critic on earth hated the movie, and people refused to see it. It earned $4 million in its opening weekend, then experienced a second-weekend drop of over 80%. “Gigli” was withdrawn from theaters after only three weeks, one of the shortest theatrical runs on record for a major Hollywood movie.

5. Catwoman
This campy superhero epic brought in just $40 million domestically on a $100 million budget and was considered one of the worst movies of 2004. Halle Berry even won a Razzie for her performance. But Berry didn’t back down. She was quoted as saying, “I had a wonderful experience on ‘Catwoman,’ a wonderful experience.” At least somebody had a good time.

4. Speed Racer
A cautionary tale for other summer blockbusters, 2008’s “Speed Racer” failed to ever hit the gas. Which was surprising, considering that the kid-friendly action movie came from The Wachowski Bros., whose Matrix franchise was a license to print money. But their adaptation of a somewhat forgotten cartoon cost $120 million to make and recouped only $44 million domestically.

3. Battlefield Earth
One of the most reviled films of all time, “Battlefield Earth” lost $73 million and almost killed John Travolta’s career for a second time following his “Pulp Fiction” comeback. So what went wrong? Pretty much everything. A pet project of vocal Scientologist Travolta, this adaptation of the sci-fi novel by the religion’s controversial founder L. Ron Hubbard wanted to be the next “Star Wars.” Instead, it was lambasted for its hokey dialogue, hammy acting, terrible special effects and copious dreadlocked characters. Oh, and Travolta’s creepy lizard tongue. There are some things you can’t un-see.

2. From Justin to Kelly
Back in 2003, it was hard to image that anything “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini (remember him?) could touch wouldn’t immediately turn to gold. But they endured the other side of the entertainment industry when their musical earned only $5 million at the box office. Clarkson told Time magazine, “I knew when I read the script it was going to be real, real bad, but when I won, I signed that piece of paper and I could not get out of it. Two words: contractually obligated.”

1. John Carter
It’s official. Walt Disney Pictures’ 3D fantasy epic “John Carter” is a flop. It’s been designated a flop by none other than Disney itself: “In light of the theatrical performance of ‘John Carter’ ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31,” the studio said in a statement. The $250 million film was intended to be the first part of a trilogy, which now seems unlikely.
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