Not every movie can rake in money like Wonder Woman or Beauty and the Beast. Every year, studios take big risks by putting too much hope in a project that ultimately fails. Sometimes, the box office failure can be seen from a mile away, as was the case for last year’s Gods of Egypt. Other times, an otherwise promising movie ends up failing to connect with its audience. Examples include The BFG, Rise of the Guardians, and Hugo.
There are countless reasons why movies underperform at the box office. Bad marketing, word-of-mouth, and overambitious budgets play a huge part. As of recently, Rotten Tomatoes has been blamed for box office numbers. Regardless of the reason, it’s the sad truth that every year brings in a few blockbuster flops.
2017 is no different. So far, there have been quite a few movies that had trouble earning their budget back. As mentioned early, some of these were easy to predict toward the beginning of the year, but several of the more promising films underperformed due to solely to disappointing reviews.
Listed below are ten of the biggest flops of the year. This is solely based off of estimated numbers. One movie listed has had actual confirmation regarding its studio loss. Otherwise, most of the estimated budgets and all of the box office totals were provided by Box Office Mojo. We just did a little bit of math to estimate how much the movies below have lost.
Estimated Budget: $12 million
Worldwide Box Office: $15,168,012
No, Unforgettable is not a Lifetime original movie, no matter how much it actually looks like one. From the horrendous poster to the laughably cheesy trailers, there wasn’t a whole lot of reason to hype up this melodramatic mess. In all honesty, that’s almost definitely the reason it failed. The amount of marketing and advertising was just fine. The problem instead was with the quality of marketing and advertising.
The movie just looked terrible, and there’s simply no way to sugarcoat it. To make matters worse, the movie was somehow just as bad as it looked. It would be one thing if it was a pleasant surprise, but this erotic thriller was about as erotic as Charlotte’s Web and as thrilling as the documentary about paint. It’s no wonder everyone skipped it.
Estimated Budget: $30 million
Worldwide Box Office: $31,012,235
The poorly received Jamie Foxx crime drama was dead on arrival thanks to the lack of marketing and stiff competition from movies like Patriot’s Day, Hidden Figures, and La La Land. Obviously, people wanted to gravitate toward the Oscar frontrunners rather than a disastrous remake of popular French thriller. It ended up finishing in 8th place during its opening weekend, falling below the already modest expectations.
The $8.5 million opening weekend didn’t end up growing all that much over the movie’s run. Domestically, it barely doubled its opening weekend profits. Worldwide, it only managed to pick up an extra $10 million. In the end, it barely ended up matching its production budget. Considering advertising costs, it’s safe to say that this was a loss.
Estimated Budget: $25 million
Worldwide Box Office: $25,500,152
CHiPs really wanted to be as successful as 21 Jump Street, but it didn’t even come close. Following in 21 Jump Street’s footsteps, CHiPs took a popular television drama and turned it into a comedy. Unfortunately, while it was intended to be a comedy, the laughs didn’t exactly come.
Dax Shepard’s previous two directorial efforts didn’t exactly wow critics, but with a 16% Rotten Tomatoes score, this is the worst of the bunch. It didn’t help that the two leads don’t have the same starpower as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
Dax Shepard and Michael Peña certainly have some great roles in their filmography, but they’ve never been A-list by any means. Shepard’s last starring role ended up raking in a mere $14 million, for example. Combined with a lackluster Cinemascore which surely resulted in poor word of mouth, CHiPs couldn’t compete.
7. A Cure for Wellness
Estimated Budget: $40 million
Worldwide Box Office: $26,559,557
Gore Verbinski is the 10th-highest-grossing director based on worldwide box office, but he can thank the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise for that. His non-Pirates endeavors have unfortunately not done as well financially. The Weather Man failed to earn back its budget, Rango hardly raked in Pixar bucks, and The Lone Ranger is one of the most noteworthy flops in recent years. A Cure for Wellness sadly continues to prove that Verbinski’s risks aren’t paying off.
Maybe it’s because a $40 million budget in a horror movie is ludacris. Maybe it’s because of the 47 Metascore and and 42% Rotten Tomatoes score. Maybe it’s because nobody wants to sit through a two-and-a-half hour horror movie. There are countless reasons as to why the movie could have failed. In defense of those who skipped the movie, it was a sloppy mess that failed to live up to its potential.
6. The Space Between Us
Estimated Budget: $30 million
Worldwide Box Office: $14,793,385
Young adult romance is all the rage. Ever since Twilight conquered the teen romance genre almost a decade ago, these books and movies keep flying our way. From the good (The Hunger Games) to the not so good (Divergent), these genre bending tales of romance aimed at youngins have continued to succeed. Well, for the most part they have.
If you thought Allegiant was a giant flop, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Introducing The Space Between Us. Earning only $14 million on a $30 million budget, this sci-fi romance epic could not find the right audience. It lacked an identity, but it also lacked a good script and heartfelt performances.
Everything felt stale, which is never the sign of a good movie. While the IMDb score and Cinemascore are much more positive than the Rotten Tomatoes score, word of mouth was not enough to stop the movie from bombing.