Dec 272015
 

Midrange success is increasingly rare in theatrical releases these days. With a few notable exceptions, 2015 was a year of feast or famine for movie studios, meaning a lot of movies with big bankable stars went bust. Sure, come of them had it coming (Zac Efron’s DJ drama We Are Your Friends), but some of them were perfectly fine movies that just got lost in the shuffle (Steve Jobs).

Interestingly, three of this year’s releases ended up in the top six worst wide openings since 1982. Keep reading to see which ones they were.

1. Jupiter Ascending

Estimated Budget: $176 million
Domestic Box Office: $47 million
Global Box Office: $184

Thanks to the incredible popularity of the Matrix franchise, the Wachowski siblings have been able to pursue just about any project that captures their imaginations. That’s led to some results that are good (V for Vendetta), some that are strange but interesting (Cloud Atlas), and some, such as Jupiter Ascending and Speed Racer, that are pure schlock. The great thing about Wachowski schlock, though, is it’s packed with A-listers. This time we had the bizarre pleasure of watching Eddie Redmayne whisper, scream, and comically overact his way through the vampiest performance of his life just weeks before he won an Oscar for his performance in The Theory of Everything. We also got to see Channing Tatum play a half-dog bounty hunter with a blond goatee and flying roller skates.

Warner Bros. dropped a huge budget on the project, only to watch it tank in the U.S. box office. The disaster was mitigated by the worldwide box office tallies, but Jupiter Ascending still lost far more than it made when you factor in marketing costs and screen rentals.

2. Seventh Son

Estimated Budget: $95 million
Domestic Box Office: $17 million
Worldwide Box Office: $114 million

Boasting two Oscar winners (Jeff Bridges & Julianne Moore), one breakout TV star (Kit Harington aka Jon Snow), and an up-and-comer who will likely win an Oscar nod this year (Alicia Vikander), Seventh Son seemed like a fantasy action film with a lineup that couldn’t lose. But lose it did. And hard. The film’s eventual flop came as no surprise to anyone who followed its troubled production history, which found its release moved nearly a full two years after its original date. If you missed it, you missed Julianne Moore transforming into a dragon with a hint of her famous red hair.

3. Pan

Estimated Budget: $150 million
Domestic Box Office: $35 million
Global Box Office: $126 million

Hugh Jackman couldn’t save this Peter Pan prequel from box office disaster. The film looked gorgeous, boasting loads of lush practical sets instead of the usual computer-generated backgrounds we’re used to seeing in large scale fantasy pictures. But it turns out no one cared about seeing what Neverland was like before Captain Hook took over.

4. Jem and the Holograms

Estimated Budget: $5 million
Domestic Box Office: $2.2 million
Global Box Office: $2.2 million

Universal overestimated the nostalgia appeal of this ’80s cartoon-turned-movie. Following a viral marketing campaign aimed at kids who were actually too young to have ever watched the animated show, the film flopped with critics and fans alike, and seems destined for a Razzie nomination or two (if it even warrants that much attention). At least with such a small investment, there wasn’t much to lose. Thanks to an abysmal debut weekend haul of $1.4 million, Jem and the Holograms ranks fourth on the list of all-time worst wide openings.

5. Rock the Kasbah

Estimated Budget: N/A
Domestic Box Office: $3 million

Bill Murray seems like he’s everyone’s favorite actor these days, but the beloved star suffered a huge flop this year with Rock the Kasbah, a movie that found him getting up to all manner of hijinks while traveling through Afghanistan. It took in just $1.4 million in its first weekend, giving it the fifth-worst wide release ever.

6. We Are Your Friends

Estimated Budget: N/A
Domestic Box Office: $3.6 million

This Zac Efron-led drama about the deeper side of being a dance DJ was being openly mocked from pretty much the moment the trailer went online. Audiences weren’t feeling this one’s vibes, and it landed in sixth place on the list of all-time worst wide openings after taking in just $1.8 million in its first weekend.

7. Victor Frankenstein

Estimated Budget: N/A
Domestic Box Office: $6 million
Global Box Office: $33 million

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy have both led gigantic movie franchises (Harry Potter and X-Men respectively), but their combined star power couldn’t convince people to go see Victor Frankenstein. The movie suffered a terrible opening weekend (just $2.5 million on roughly 3,000 screens), and it didn’t get much better. It was seen as particularly damaging to outspoken screenwriter Max Landis, who took another hit this year with American Ultra.

8. Blackhat

Estimated Budget: $70 million
Domestic Box Office: $8 million
Global Box Office: $20 million

An unmitigated disaster at the box office, Blackhat stars the bankable Chris Hemsworth working with Michael Mann, a director whose work tends to be interesting even when it isn’t particularly popular. Unfortunately, no one cared much about seeing Thor play a computer hacker, and Blackhat met with terrible reviews and a worse turnout.

9. Mortdecai

Estimated Budget: $60 million
Domestic Box Office: $8 million
Global Box Office: $47 million

Johnny Depp just isn’t the box office draw he used to be — especially in a silly mustache.

10. American Ultra

Estimated Budget: $28 million
Domestic Box Office: $ 14 million
Global Box Office: $15 million

Jesse Eisenberg plays a small town stoner who doesn’t know he’s actually a CIA-trained killing machine until his training kicks in, and he discovers a deeply hidden part of himself. The offbeat action comedy co-stars Kristen Stewart and is packed with funny people, but couldn’t find traction in theaters. Screenwriter Max Landis took exception to its box office performance and complained on Twitter that original ideas were a waste of time in Hollywood. Later in the year, Landis would watch as another movie he wrote, Victor Frankenstein, suffered a similar fate.

11. Aloha

Estimated Budget: $37 million
Domestic Box Office: $21 million
Global Box Office: $5 million

Director Cameron Crowe seems to have had the best of intentions when making this romantic comedy with a little extra dash of sincerity. But not only did it meet with unimpressed critics and audiences. It quickly came under fire for whitewashing by Asian Americans offended that Emma Stone was playing a character who was supposed to be one quarter Chinese and one quarter native Hawaiian. The controversy seemed to seal its fate as a major flop.

12. Steve Jobs

Estimated Budget: $30 million
Domestic Box Office: $17.8 million
Global Box Office: $25 million

On paper, Steve Jobs seems like it should be a slam dunk. Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet star in a Steve Jobs biopic directed by Danny Boyle with a supporting cast that includes Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen perfectly cast as Steve Wozniak. It just seems like it should be a hit. But it wasn’t. It didn’t take long for Universal to recognize the movie’s terrible performance and ultimately pull it from theaters early. Despite its performance, Fassbender and Winslet are both still in the running for Oscar nominations for their roles.

13. The Last Witch Hunter

Estimated Budget: $90 million
Domestic Box Office: $27 million
Global Box Office: $108 million

Lionsgate took a financial ding this year with this Vin Diesel vehicle about an 800-year-old witch hunter whose main purpose in life is, you guessed it, fighting witches while saying badass one-liners. Fortunately, fantasy tends to do well overseas, allowing the studio to recoup a chunk of its investment, but it’s still estimated to be a large net loss for LionsGate.

14. The Gunman

Estimated Budget: $40 million
Domestic Box Office: $11 million

Taken director Pierre Morel seems to have been looking for the next Liam Neeson in casting Sean Penn in this forgettable shoot-em-up. With a supporting cast that includes Javier Bardem and Idris Elba, it’s not lacking for talent, just for ideas.

15. Fantastic Four

Estimated Budget: $120 million
Domestic Box Office: $56 million
Global Box Office: $168 million

This is a strange one. Here in the U.S., Fantastic Four was a full-on disaster. It was an over-budget superhero flop with big name stars who seemed embarrassed to be associated with it, and a director who complained that the studio ruined his movie. But overseas was a different story. It’s still estimated to be a net loss for Fox, but thanks to a big foreign box office, it wasn’t the total disaster it seemed at first. Now Fox might even be looking to make a sequel.

16. Unfinished Business

Estimated Budget: $35 million
Domestic Box Office: $10 million
Global Box Office: $14 million

Starring Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, and Tom Wilkinson as business bros of different generations, Unfinished Business was clearly meant to be a Hangover style buddy comedy with plenty of over-the-top action. Unfortunately, the trailers and ads made it look as utterly forgettable as it really was, and it fizzled in theaters. The best part of this movie existing is probably this collection of fake stock photos made with the movie’s cast.

17. Self/Less

Estimated Budget: $26 million
Domestic Box Office: $12 million

In Self/Less, Ben Kingsley plays a dying rich man whose mind is transferred into Ryan Reynolds’ body, which seems awesome until he realizes Ryan Reynolds is still in there fighting for his body. Unfortunately for Focus Features, nobody wanted to see this bodyswap silliness, so it didn’t stay in theaters for long.

18. Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Estimated Budget: $14 million
Domestic Box Office: $12 million
Global Box Office: $13 million

The first Hot Tub Time Machine movie took an absurdly hilarious premise and ran with it to a totally respectable (for an R-rated comedy) $50 million box office haul. The second movie suffered from diminishing returns in more ways than one as John Cusack bowed out and the movie took in just a fraction of the original.

The 18 Biggest Flops of 2015
Source: Zimbio

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