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Avengers: Age of Ultron made over $187 million in its opening weekend. Oscar front runner Furious 7? $147 million. The point is, we’re in an age where people spend ungodly amounts of money both making and seeing movies. But there are some spectacular examples of cinematic bombs, some that are partly due to weirdly unexpected factors. So here are six hilarious things that contributed to box office flops.

Waterworld – Nature Calling

movie flops waterworld
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Before it was a super rad and not-at-all dated stunt show at Universal Studios, Waterworld was a post-apocalyptic epic starring Kevin Costner, one of your dad’s favorite actors. At the time of its release in 1995, Waterworld was the most expensive film ever made, with a budget of $172 million. Most of that money came in the form of extravagant sets, one of which was weighed an enormous 1,000 tons. It was probably a pretty awesome set, except for this piece of business — nobody could do their business. Whoever built the set didn’t think to build any restrooms. To add insult to injury, there weren’t even any washrooms on the 30 boats being used by the cast and crew. This led to complete stoppages in filming while people were ferried back and forth to some assuredly pristine Port-A-Potties on the shore. The movie would only go on to make $88 million at the North American box office, and whoever built that set would go on to curse the idea of bodily functions for the rest of their natural life.

Fight Club – Rosie O’Donnell

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All of the face-punching and rippling abs of Fight Club tend to obscure the fact that it didn’t make a whole ton of money when it came to the big screen (only $37 million in North America on a budget of $63 million). This is due to a laundry list of factors, many of which are straight-up boring as sh*t, so I’ll skip to one that might provide some lulz — Rosie O’Donnell. Back when Rosie had her own daytime talk show, the one-time-Betty-Rubble saw Fight Club and was none too happy with its content. She promptly went on the air and spoiled the now-classic twist ending, urging anyone watching to boycott the film. Admittedly, there’s not much chance it affected Fight Club’s profits in the slightest, but come on, spoiling a gigantic twist on national TV? Now there’s something to throw fists over.

Mars Needs Moms – The Uncanny Valley

movie flops mars needs moms
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Remember the 2011 gem Mars Needs Moms? No? Not many people do. There was a brief period in cinema during the late-aughts/early-tens (decade-naming is getting weird, guys) where motion capture animation was all the rage. It looked great when done properly, but in the case of Mars Needs Moms, people were often just straight-up creeped the eff out. The flick ended up landing somewhere in the top five of all-time biggest box office bombs ($39 million on a $150 million budget) thanks to the “uncanny valley”; that is, the gray area between when something looking definitely real or definitely fake. Mars may have needed moms, but after this one, I’ll be needing my 88 minutes back, am I right, fellas? Hello? Is this thing on?
 

Zyzzyx Road – Nobody Coming

movie flops zyzzyx
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That may seem like a real simple, obvious reason, but guess what? I am NOT kidding when I say that NOBODY showed up (okay, maybe a little, but bear with me). In 2006, Zyzzyx Road, starring a pre-Knocked Up Katherine Heigl, was released for six days in one Texas theater. After nearly a week of once-a-day matinees, the film raked in an astronomically low $30 ($10 of which was from the movie’s makeup artist and her friend, who were reimbursed personally by star Leo Grillo). Sure, technically speaking, the release was just a formality to save some money on production costs, but don’t think you can get off on a technicality, movie that made 30 G-D dollars.
 

Cutthroat Island – Vegetable Juice

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The production of this movie is kind of like one of the nightclubs that Stefon is always raving about on SNL, because it has everything — ruined careers, a failed marriage, an entire studio that went bankrupt, that thing where a falling camera crushes the legs of Italian crew members, everythingCutthroat Island left a freaking path of destruction in its $98 million dollar wake. The most awesome contributing factor to this is director Renny Harlin’s LOVE of V8. No, seriously, dude trucked in cases upon cases of the vegetable juice all the way to Malta just to obey his thirst. Some of them weren’t even get opened! Who can blame him, though? Name one epically expensive pirate movie that wasn’t fueled by the weird beverage preferences of their eccentric Finnish director. Go on, I’ll wait.

Sahara – Bribing the Locals

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As terrible as the rest of these movies did at the box office, they eventually ended up making their money back once the foreign market was accounted for. Not so with 2005’s Sahara, which cost a mind-blowing $130 million to make. When paperwork was leaked in 2007, it came out that over $23,000 was spent on “Political/Mayoral Support”. Wait, so you’re telling me that bribing local politicians isn’t completely on the level? And it’s not guaranteed to make your movie a success? I have a few phone calls to make …

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