5. The Happytime Murders
Sausage Party earned almost $100 million domestically, so why couldn’t a naughty version of The Muppets do the same? That was the thought process going into The Happytime Murders, and it made sense to an extent.
Not every R-rated movie has to look and feel like an R-rated movie. Sometimes, people want to see a filthy and inappropriate movie take on something that shouldn’t be filthy or inappropriate. Lately, studios have proven that this can really work. Well, most studios have proven that at least.
Unfortunately, the folks behind this movie decided that raunchy for the sake of raunchy would be enough to convince people to see the movie. Raunchy for the sake of raunchy meant that there were few legitimate laughs, which meant that word-of-mouth and reviews were savage, which meant that the movie made very little money. Now, word-of-mouth doesn’t always have a major influence on box office, but with a movie this risky, most people held out to see what their friends thought. Since so few people actually enjoyed this movie, you can guess what happened next.
For an R-rated comedy, $27,000,000 worldwide isn’t a total disaster in most cases. When your R-rated comedy has a $40,000,000 budget, then there’s a bit of an issue. This hefty price tag basically meant that the movie had to impress everyone and appeal to everyone to earn its money back. It impressed virtually nobody and the appeal was limited. That, of course, led to the disastrous financial mishap.
4. The Predator
Good news, everyone. Alien vs Predator is still the fight of the century. The current war seems to be who can be the bigger box office disappointment. After Alien: Covenant fell flat on its face last year, Shane Black’s The Predator decided to underperform at the box office too. This doesn’t seem like the fight people were wanting, but the war rages on regardless.
Once again, this is a situation where the reported numbers don’t do it justice. Technically, it appears as though it made enough to recover its budget. However, like Solo, things are a little tricky. Yes, it earned a decent amount at the worldwide box office, but there are so many factor that basically point to the fact that this movie was a flop. It could be worse, sure, but these are hardly numbers to brag about. Better luck next time, Predator.
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story
At first glance, Solo might not seem like a flop in the traditional sense. Based solely on the numbers released to the public, it made more than the reported budget. However, anyone who follows box office numbers should be able to conclude that the reported budget isn’t enough information.
This doesn’t include the cost of marketing, which is its own beast. Even if the movie hypothetically made its budget back, it definitely didn’t make Star Wars money, and that’s a problem altogether. Compared to The Force Awakens or even Rogue One, this kind of return is likely not what the studio expected or desired.
In some cases, these kinds of numbers are tricky, but Disney and company made it very clear that Solo did not make them very happy. They slowed down production on future spinoffs and basically announced that the core series needs to take high priority.
Star Wars fatigue is setting in and people don’t want to have to visit the universe every 8-12 months. Honestly, this kind of failure is sort of a relief since it allows the people in charge to take a step back and analyze what went wrong. Star Wars will never go away, but this helps give everyone a desperately needed reality check.
2. A Wrinkle in Time
Honestly, A Wrinkle in Time didn’t seem like that huge of a gamble. The source material is beloved, Disney knows how to rake in money, and the director had previously made a Best Picture nominated movie.
To add to that, the trailers seemed promising and the studio made it a point to advertise the hell out of the movie. In theory, this should have been a hit, but that $130 million box office haul seems to say otherwise. With a reported $130 million budget not counting P&A, it’s safe to say that this was a financial failure, but why?
Let’s start with the genre. As of recently, fantasy films have proven to be pretty risky. Sequels to universally adored movies always seem to do well, but adaptations are 50/50. While A Wrinkle in Time is well-known book with a large following, the reviews weren’t kind.
Fans of the novel likely had no interest in watching a movie that butchered the source material. Basically, there wasn’t enough mainstream appeal to ensure that this would be a hit. It needed some help along the way, but it didn’t get any of that help. This, of course, doomed Ava DuVernay’s movie.
1. Robin Hood
It’s starting to seem like contemporary Hollywood will never get Robin Hood right. After Ridley Scott’s subpar take on the property, we’ve been graciously gifted an even worse movie. This two hour slog tries its damndest to be hip, stylish fun, but it ultimately fails to deliver anything resembling fun.
That seemed pretty obvious based on the trailers, but reviews more than confirmed it when the movie was panned following its release. Bad marketing plus bad word-of-mouth of course led to the movie being a financial disappointment.
Technically this is still in theaters, but since it’s on its last legs, it’s pretty easy to conclude that this thing is a big fat misfire. For a movie of this size, the sub-$80 million box office haul probably isn’t acceptable after one month. Keep in mind that it has earned $80 million worldwide, not domestically. That number, obviously, is even worse. The point is, these numbers aren’t great. They’re straight-up abysmal, which explains why it sits atop this list.