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The Biggest Box-Office Bombs of the Past Decade

Sean Dennison
·9 min read

What do “Avengers: Endgame” and the movies in this gallery have in common?

Other than a lofty budget and big names — not much. Because unlike “Endgame,” which holds the record for highest-grossing movie worldwide at $2.8 billion, the flicks on this list bombed so badly you may have never even heard of them. Over the past decade, some of these box-office duds lost over $100 million, likely sending their parent studios into a tizzy.

GOBankingRates analyzed hundreds of widely released films — meaning at least 2,000 theaters showed the film in its lifetime — to determine the biggest movie losses of the past decade. Using data from Box Office Mojo, researchers then evaluated losses in terms of domestic gross and worldwide gross compared to the production budget. Films had to lose money both domestically and worldwide to be included. The total loss figure comes from subtracting the film’s worldwide gross from its budget.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Biggest total loss: “Mars Needs Moms” (2011) is the biggest box-office failure on this list, with a net loss of $111,007,242.

  • Biggest domestic loss: However, according to our researchers, “47 Ronin” suffered the biggest domestic loss in comparison to its production budget, totaling more than $136 million. On the other hand, its total loss when taking into account foreign box-office numbers was only around $23 million.

  • Biggest budgets: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” and “47 Ronin” are tied for the biggest-budget films on this list at $175 million.

  • Lowest budget: The lowest production budget on this list belongs to “Rules Don’t Apply” at $25 million. If you don’t know what that movie is, perhaps that’s why it couldn’t clear such a low bar.

  • Remake pitfalls: Several movies on this list attempted to reimagine or revitalize popular media of the past, including “Robin Hood,” “Conan the Barbarian” and “The Legend of Hercules.”

  • Most duds in a studio: Warner Brothers and Universal share the dubious honor of distributing the most films on this list, with six duds each.

  • Lowest and highest rated: Most of these movies were panned by critics, with “The Legend of Hercules” being the lowest rated — ranking at an abysmal 4% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. But other films didn’t fare quite so poorly. In fact, “The Promise” was actually well-liked by viewers, ranking at 92% in Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score.

Read more about these movies before you watch them.

Last updated: Sept. 16, 2020

'How Do You Know' (2010)

  • Production budget: $120,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $30,212,620

  • Foreign gross: $18,456,287

  • Total loss: $71,331,093

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 31%; Audience Score: 25%

'The Wolfman' (2010)

  • Production budget: $150,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $61,979,680

  • Foreign gross: $77,810,085

  • Total loss: $10,210,235

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 34%; Audience Score: 33%

'Green Zone' (2010)

  • Production budget: $100,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $35,053,660

  • Foreign gross: $59,828,889

  • Total loss: $5,117,451

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 53%; Audience Score: 57%

'Mars Needs Moms' (2011)

  • Production budget: $150,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $21,392,758

  • Foreign gross: $17,600,000

  • Total loss: $111,007,242

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 37%; Audience Score: 40%

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'Conan the Barbarian' (2011)

  • Production budget: $90,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $21,295,021

  • Foreign gross: $27,500,000

  • Total loss: $41,204,979

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 25%; Audience Score: 30%

'Killer Elite' (2011)

  • Production budget: $70,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $25,124,966

  • Foreign gross: $31,258,790

  • Total loss: $13,616,244

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 27%; Audience Score: 42%

'Rock of Ages' (2012)

  • Production budget: $75,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $38,518,613

  • Foreign gross: $20,900,000

  • Total loss: $15,581,387

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 42%; Audience Score: 55%

'Dredd' (2012)

  • Production budget: $50,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $13,414,714

  • Foreign gross: $22,211,811

  • Total loss: $14,373,475

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 79%; Audience Score: 72%

'That's My Boy' (2012)

  • Production budget: $70,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $36,931,089

  • Foreign gross: $20,788,004

  • Total loss: $12,280,907

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer 20%; Audience Score: 51%

'R.I.P.D.' (2013)

  • Production budget: $130,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $33,618,855

  • Foreign gross: $44,705,365

  • Total loss: $51,675,780

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer 13%; Audience Score: 38%

'47 Ronin' (2013)

  • Production budget: $175,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $38,362,475

  • Foreign gross: $113,421,364

  • Total loss: $23,216,161

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 16%; Audience Score: 48%

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'Paranoia' (2013)

  • Production budget: $35,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $7,385,015

  • Foreign gross: $6,400,000

  • Total loss: $21,214,985

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 7%; Audience Score: 35%

'Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return' (2014)

  • Production budget: $70,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $8,462,027

  • Foreign gross: $10,200,000

  • Total loss: $51,337,973

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 16%; Audience Score: 68%

'Winter's Tale' (2014)

  • Production budget: $60,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $12,600,231

  • Foreign gross: $18,525,000

  • Total loss: $28,874,769

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 13%; Audience Score: 43%

'The Legend of Hercules' (2014)

  • Production budget: $70,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $18,848,538

  • Foreign gross: $42,430,914

  • Total loss: $8,720,548

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 4%; Audience Score: 33%

'Pan' (2015)

  • Production budget: $150,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $35,088,320

  • Foreign gross: $93,300,000

  • Total loss: $21,611,680

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 27%; Audience Score: 40%

'Blackhat' (2015)

  • Production budget: $70,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $8,005,980

  • Foreign gross: $11,646,077

  • Total loss: $50,347,943

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 32%; Audience Score: 24%

'In the Heart of the Sea' (2015)

  • Production budget: $100,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $25,020,758

  • Foreign gross: $68,900,000

  • Total loss: $6,079,242

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 43%; Audience Score: 53%

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'Free State of Jones' (2016)

  • Production budget: $50,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $20,810,036

  • Foreign gross: $4,225,914

  • Total loss: $24,964,050

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 47%; Audience Score: 64%

'Rules Don't Apply' (2016)

  • Production budget: $25,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $3,652,206

  • Foreign gross: $233,136

  • Total loss: $21,114,658

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 54%; Audience Score: 33%

'Ben-Hur' (2016)

  • Production budget: $100,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $26,410,477

  • Foreign gross: $67,650,834

  • Total loss: $5,938,689

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 25%; Audience Score: 53%

'The Promise' (2017)

  • Production budget: $90,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $8,224,288

  • Foreign gross: $4,224,388

  • Total loss: $77,551,324

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 51%; Audience Score: 92%

'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword'' (2017)

  • Production budget: $175,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $39,175,066

  • Foreign gross: $109,500,000

  • Total loss: $26,324,934

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 30%; Audience Score: 69%

'Downsizing' (2017)

  • Production budget: $68,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $24,449,754

  • Foreign gross: $30,554,136

  • Total loss: $12,996,110

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 46%; Audience Score: 23%

'Mortal Engines' (2018)

  • Production budget: $100,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $15,951,040

  • Foreign gross: $67,706,100

  • Total loss: $16,342,860

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 26%; Audience Score: 49%

'Robin Hood' (2018)

  • Production budget: $100,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $30,824,628

  • Foreign gross: $53,955,918

  • Total loss: $15,219,454

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 15%; Audience Score: 41%

'The Happytime Murders' (2018)

  • Production budget: $40,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $20,706,452

  • Foreign gross: $6,800,000

  • Total loss: $12,493,548

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 23%; Audience Score: 40%

'Hellboy' (2019)

  • Production budget: $50,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $21,903,748

  • Foreign gross: N/A

  • Total loss: $28,096,252

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 18%; Audience Score: 49%

'UglyDolls' (2019)

  • Production budget: $45,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $20,150,241

  • Foreign gross: $7,380,000

  • Total loss: $17,469,759

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 27%; Audience Score: 54%

'The Goldfinch' (2019)

  • Production budget: $45,000,000

  • Domestic gross: $5,332,621

  • Foreign gross: $4,600,000

  • Total loss: $35,067,379

  • Rotten Tomatoes rankings: Tomatometer: 24%; Audience Score: 72%

2020: The End of the Box Office?

2020 started off looking like a fairly normal year in terms of box-office bombs, with January ushering in the sci-fi stinker “Underwater,” which cost an estimated $80 million to make and reeled in only $40,882,928 worldwide. Then COVID-19 hit and the world went on lockdown.

Movie theaters shut down across the U.S. for months and studios were forced to turn to streaming platforms and video on demand to debut new releases. Though many theaters have reopened and drive-in movie experiences are making a comeback, the concept of summer blockbusters — and of summer blockbuster flops — isn’t a thing this year.

“Tenet,” the hotly anticipated Christopher Nolan movie, is only playing in movie houses in select cities — but this theaters-only strategy is an exception in the pandemic world. Most buzzed-up new releases such as “Mulan” and “Sonic The Hedgehog” went straight to streaming.

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Nicole Spector contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the biggest box-office bombs of the past decade by analyzing films released widely — meaning at least 2,000 theaters showed the film in its lifetime — and evaluating the film’s losses in terms of (1) domestic gross to production budget, and (2) worldwide gross (domestic plus foreign) to production budget. These two factors were scored and then ranked; movies that lost money domestically, but managed a profit worldwide were excluded; films had to lose money both domestically and worldwide. Marketing budgets were not factored in due to their more limited availability. All box office and production budget data was sourced from Box Office Mojo on Aug. 9, 2019, except for data on ‘The Goldfinch,’ which was sourced on Sept. 9, 2020. Since the year 2019 was not over when the original data was sourced, only two films made the original final list as they both lost money domestically and worldwide, and have already ended their theatrical runs.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Biggest Box-Office Bombs of the Past Decade