There are many ways how a movie can earn money. It is a long-term process which includes television and home video rights as well as merchandise items. But the most important source of an income is without a doubt the box office earnings. For each new movie, this parameter is very closely watched and the success or fail is often judged through this only. The truth is that it can be misleading sometimes. For example, Kevin Costner´s movie Waterworld is often presented as an example of the biggest movie flop ever but it is not fair to the movie. With the budget of $175M, its domestic gross box office earnings were just the $88.2M but overall, the movie made $352.2M. In this case, the gross earnings of the ticket sales were a misleading parameter. In the following list, we have charted the flopped expensive films. How many of them do you know?
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10. Stealth (2005)
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This science-fiction action with Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas about the test pilots helping to develop a super-drone was released in July 2005 aimed sky high but crashed hard. The movie cost $135M but failed to earn more than $32M in domestic theaters and $76M worldwide. When talking about the most expensive flop films, this one should not to be missed.
9. The Postman (1997)
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After the phenomenal success of the Dances With Wolves, Kevin Costner has made two post-apocalyptic movies which to some extent ruined his career. We have mentioned Waterworld in the text above but it was The Postman which actually made it to our list of biggest movie flops. The budget was $90M but the domestic gross was just $17.6M!
8. Speed Racer (2008)
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The popularity of Japanese manga and anime gave birth to this movie starring John Goodman, Christina Ricci and Emile Hirsch among others. The same name manga series is very popular in Japan but the American movie was one of the famous flopped expensive films. The total loss of this movie was $70M.
7. Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
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The first Basic Instict movie became sort of a cult and the Sharon Stone´s cross legs scene is one of the most famous scenes in the history of cinema. However, the second part did not meet the expectations and while Sharon Stone was as sexy as ever, the rest of the movie received bad critics and low attendance. With the budget of $70M, it had a good chance of end in positive numbers. However, the domestic gross of just $6M meant that the movie will be among biggest movie flops for a long time.
6. A Sound of Thunder (2005)
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This science-fiction movie is based on a short story by the famous Ray Bradbury. The main star of the movie is Ben Kingsley but neither he nor an interesting plot based on a time traveling assured the movie a financial success. With the budget of $80M, the domestic gross earnings of less than $2M are really, really bad.
5. Town & Country (2001)
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Do you think that a romantic comedy with names like Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Andie McDowell, Charlton Heston or Goldie Hawn can´t go bad? You are wrong. This $90M+ movie earned just $7M domestically and it is a problem in any case. One would not expect a romantic comedy among the most expensive flop films, but here it is.
4. The 13th Warrior (1999)
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This epic, historical action movie with Antonio Banderas playing the Arabian warrior in the land of nordic Vikings was based on a Michael Crichton´s novel „Eaters of the Dead“. However, the result was very disappointing with the total loss of almost $100M.
3. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
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This science fiction movie is based only on the perfect comedy acting of Eddie Murphy. As it turned out, it was not enough. The story of the retired space smuggler cost more than $100M but it was able to earn no more than $4.4M in the US. Simple math leads to the inevitable conclusion – this movie is one the iconic flopped expensive films.
2. Alamo (2004)
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One of the finest moments in the American history was filmed in 1960 with John Wayne. The new version was planned to be the hit. That´s why the gross earnings after the first weekend after release were a plain shock. The movie cost more than $145M and the overall loss was $120M. The truth is that neither Davy Crocket nor the movie deserves such a terrible result. It´s really not that bad to be among the biggest movie flops ever.
1. Mars Needs Moms (2011)
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It seems that even people in the famous Walt Disney studios are not infallible. Computer animated science fiction family comedy backed by Robert Zemeckis seemed like the safe stake but the showbusiness is full of surprises and the movie turned out to be the biggest loss in history. With $150M budget, it earned just $21M domestically. It is still No.1 in the list of most expensive flop films.
If you have found our list of the flopped expensive films interesting, you can continue with our Top 10 Academy Award Winners Who Ended in Poverty.