For every Avatar, Titanic and The Dark Knight, there are dozens of movies that cost a lot and fail in a big way. Every year there is at least a couple movies that are supposed to be big hits, or revitalize an actor’s career, and the opposite occurs. We have probably seen these movies, become shocked at how bad they are and wondered if we could have our money back.
So, here are the greatest box office flops in history according to Wikipedia and net loss inflation adjusted values.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this movie rates as the number one box office bomb of all time. It may seem odd considering how popular pirates have been the past few years but back when Cutthroat Island came out, it was a bomb of epic proportions. It starred Geena Davis as Morgan Adams, a female pirate who is looking for a treasure map while her evil uncle pursues her. Released by Carolco Pictures, the movie bankrupted the company and completely derailed Geena Davis’ career. Pirate movies were more or less ripped off the map for several years until the resurgence brought on by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which are vastly superior to Cutthroat Island. Mathew Modine played the lead in this box office bomb after Michael Douglas pulled out after being paid $15 million. Other actors to turn down the part included Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Charlie Sheen, Liam Neeson and Tim Robins. So, how much did it lose? Made in 1995, it cost $115,000,000 and only brought in $10 million worldwide. Adjusted for inflation, the net loss was $146 million, making it the biggest bomb of all time.
Released in 2004, The Alamo was supposed to be a big budget success since it played on one of the most famous battles in American History, featuring some of the legendary figures of American in the 19th century. It did not turn out this way in the least. Starring Dennis Quaid as General Sam Houston, Billy Bob Thornton as Davie Crockett, Jason Patric as James Bowie and Patrick Wilson as William Travis, the movie cost over $145 million to make and it did not even come close to making that money back. In its first weekend it was not able to beat out The Passion of the Christ for top spot and by its second month it had not even brought in $30 million. In all it only made $26 million and when we take the inflation adjusted value the movie lost $134,784,000.
If you want to see a movie that truly brings a whole new level to being a box office bomb, then it is this Eddie Murphy movie. Someone should have had a clue that this movie was not going to work considering that it floated around Hollywood for 15 years before anyone decided to make it. The movie ended up coming out so bad that Eddie Murphy refused to do any sort of publicity for the movie. Most accounts are that nearly everyone associated with the movie was embarrassed and wanted to forget about the movie altogether.
So, how much did the movie cost to make? It only cost $120 million to make, which in 2002 was not too expensive for what was expected to be a blockbuster science fiction movie. However the movie didn’t even make 10 percent of that back.
Overall, the movie only brought in $7 million. Yep, you read the right, only $7 million TOTAL. So, adjusted for inflation it comes in third on our list with $134,396,524 million in losses. Save yourself the time and don’t even watch this movie on television.