- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
The box office this summer was another record breaker for Hollywood, but the studios probably won’t be too happy about it. May films flopped and there was a stretch in which each big-budget film flopped one right after the other. While Disney’s failure to strike a chord with The Lone Ranger made the most headlines, it was not the only big flop of the summer.
So, what makes a big flop anyway? The film has to have an enormous budget, but be unable to make it back. Even though The Lone Ranger debuted with more money than Lee Daniels’ The Butler, its incredible budget made it impossible to be a big hit. However, on the other side of the spectrum, you have Paramount and Brad Pitt’s World War Z, which was supposed to flop, but didn’t.
DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo was an epic disappointment for the studio. It has picked the property to turn into a Netflix-exclusive TV show, but they might want to rethink that. The film grossed just $78.9 million domestically and cost $135 million to make.
Ryan Reynolds has become box office poison. Despite a hit with Denzel Washington in Safe House, his recent track record has shown that he’s not a bankable star. He voiced the title character in Turbo and starred in Universal’s R.I.P.D.. Both films were released on the same weekend and R.I.P.D. managed to do worse. The film made just $32.7 million on a $130 million budget.
Relativity’s $35 million film Paranoia starred Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth. The film earned poor reviews and was torpedoed by a bad marketing campaign that left audiences trying to figure out what on earth it was supposed to be. It has made $6.7 million since its Aug. 16 release and has already disappeared.
Is Pacific Rim really a flop? Well, it grossed $99 million domestically and cost Legendary $190 million to make. Guillermo Del Toro’s robots vs. monsters movie has proven to be a huge hit overseas, grossing nearly $300 million, so expect to see a sequel soon.
Of course, The Lone Ranger is the biggest flop of the summer. The budget exploded past $200 million and it only made $87 million. Disney had hoped that Johnny Depp’s international appeal might save it overseas, but that didn’t happen. It made just $143 million overseas.
Depp, Armie Hammer, and Jerry Bruckheimer all famously blamed critics for the flop, but that argument doesn’t work. Critics and journalists also made World War Z’s budget problems well known, but audiences still flocked to it. Clearly, audiences just couldn’t care for an old Western hero that they had never heard of before.
It’s also worth noting that there were other disappointments this summer. Man of Steel made $650 million worldwide and cost Warner Bros. $225 million to make. While the film did win over audiences, it showed that Superman still has a way to go before he can reach Iron Man-levels. Also, Star Trek Into Darkness finished its run with $458 million worldwide, less than the 2009 film.