Top Box Office Bombs happen every year, but some of them are way worse than others. I can't imagine putting so much time and effort into a film, watching it climb over budget, and then sitting back and seeing it become one of the top box office bombs because it doesn't gross anywhere near what it costs. That's really what defines a bomb: it brings in way, way less than what it cost to make. So, take a look at some of the biggest top box office bombs of all times, and see whether you agree that they're bad movies.
1 Cutthroat Island (1994)
This is definitely one of the top box office bombs. It cost $115,000,000 to make, but it only grossed $18,517,332. Ouch! As a matter of fact, the adventure movie is the biggest flop ever made – and that title comes courtesy of the Guinness Book of World Records. Double ouch!
2 The Alamo (2004)
My dad loves this movie, and honestly I liked it as well, but it did terribly at the box office. Despite an attempt to tell both sides of the story and an all-star cast featuring actors like Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thorton, the Ron Howard production grossed only $25,820,000 worldwide. The kicker? It cost $145,000,000 to make.
3 The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
People knew this Eddie Murphy vehicle was going to be one of the top box office bombs right from the start. It's a shame – I'll generally watch anything with Eddie Murphy, and even I couldn't sit through this bland psuedo-space tale. Not even my love for Jay Mohr could keep me interested. Audiences weren't interested either. The film grossed a little over $7 million, but it cost $120 million to make.
4 Sahara (2005)
Here's a strange tale. This comedic adventure, which notably paired Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz (who seemingly dated just long enough to do publicity for the film) opened big, with $18,000,000 on its opening weekend. However, it's still one of the biggest flops ever, because its budget was so high. It earned a respectable amount of money but it cost twice as much to make as it earned, and that ain't good business, kids.
5 Mars Needs Moms (2011)
It's funny how many of the top box office bombs are rather recent films, ranging between the 1990s and now. No doubt it's because of all the special effects used now – they really make the cost of a film go up into the stratosphere, and it has to be really good to make back all that money. Mars Needs Moms was … not really good. In theory it had potential, it had a funny voice cast – Seth Green, Tom Everett Scott, Joan Cusack – but it just didn't carry over. At all.
6 The 13th Warrior (1999)
Everyone expected this one to be good simply because it's based on one of Michael Crichton's novels, and they generally make films that are entertaining, at least. Eaters of the Dead was a great book; The 13th Warrior was not a great movie. Not even Antonio Banderas could carry it. It lost nearly $10 million, more so if you count inflation.
7 Town & Country (2001)
It's hard to believe that this ended up being one of the top box office bombs, if only because of the cast. Seriously – Warren Beatty, the dynamite pairing of Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, not to mention Andie MacDowell, Jenna Elfman, and Nastassja Kinski, just to name a few. But the comedy flopped so badly that it was nominated for three Raspberries and won one of them. It cost $105 million to make and only grossed a little over $10 million.
8 Speed Racer (2008)
In spite of adorable Emile Hirsch, talented Christina Ricci, the awesome John Goodman, and the stellar Susan Sarandon, this movie was a dud from the get go. When trailers started appearing, people were either really excited or groaning; there was no real middle ground, and for good reason. Part of its failure might be due to the reason that it ended up as a family film, rather than, say, a campy adult comedy. Whatever the case, it lost over $106 million.
9 Heaven's Gate (1980)
Heaven's Gate had all the potential to be a really good Western, especially given the subject matter of the Johnson County War. Its cast was solid, at least in terms of Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges, and John Hurt. However, there were tons of setbacks, a lot of overruns on time, and the addition of really negative press, primarily due to director Michael Cimino. As a result, the film lost way more money than it cost. All told, it barely grossed over $3 million, and Cimino's reputation went quickly downhill.
10 Stealth (2005)
Finally, we've got Stealth, which had all the ingredients to be a good film. It's an action packed sci-fi flick. The director, Rob Cohen, was responsible for xXx and The Fast and the Furious, among other things. Josh Lucas, that adorable hottie from Sweet Home Alabama, starred alongside Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx, so you've got the hot girl and the funny guy, too. However, it went on to be seen as one of the most epic bombs in the history of film. It cost $170,800,000 to make, but only brought in $76,932,872. Again, ouch!
If you take a look at the lists of top box office bombs that go all the way to 100 or so, I'm sure you, like me, will be surprised at the movies on there. I liked many of them, and didn't even realize they qualified as the top box office bombs! Movie making is a money driven business, though. You might like several of the top box office bombs, but because of what they grossed – or, rather, what they didn't gross – they bombed, big time. Just in terms of story, though, what do you think are some of the worst movies ever?
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