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Leaking Money Like A Sieve: The 5 Biggest Box Office Movie Flops

By Edited Oct 31, 2016 4 5

You have seen some bad movies, to be sure. Terrible, horrible films that either leave you snoozing in theaters or just plain leaving them. Like Waterworld, where the audience just was not ready to see Kevin Costner drinking his own urine, yet it was preparing us for Bear Grylls to drink his own. Certainly, Waterworld was among the biggest flops to date, right? Oh, how wrong you are. A flop movie is measured in how much money it takes to make opposed to how much it brings in. If it brings in less than it cost to make, it is then classified as a flop. So what are the biggest flop movies to date?

cutthroat island

1. Cutthroat Island (1995)

Net Losses:$ 96,482,678 (With Inflation: $147,157,681)

Say hello to the biggest flop movie in history. In fact it held the title in the Guinness Book of World Records when last I checked.  This film as known as "the destroyer", much like Satan. It sadly destroyed the career of Geena Davis (of the Bettlejuice fame), it destroyed the pirate movie genre until Pirates of the Caribbean dared to dream, and I've been told it was responsible for AIDS patient zero in Africa, somehow. Apparently the script was enough to turn away elevan big name actors away from the role of the male lead including Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeff Bridges, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Keaton, Charlie Sheen, Liam Neeson, and Tim Robbins. You know a movie is going to be bad when Charlie Sheen declines the $7 million dollars they would have paid him to be in it. It seems by the end they were going for a Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride look so they got Cary Elw--I mean, Matthew Modine. He looks close enough.

Cutthroat Island is pretty much your average pirate film. It's essentially two groups of pirates fighting over some hidden treasure. Of course, there is a vague plot of revenge because the villain pirate named Dawg killed his brother in which his brother's daughter, Geena Davis scalps her father to get the hidden treasure map on his scalp. I mean, once you scalp your own father's dead body, your whole "Grr, I want revenge for his killer" subplot falls out the window and drowns. Other than the possible subplot of revenge the movie is just a giant 2-hour long treasure hunt.

A lot of people find Cutthroat Island to be a massive flop because of the uninspired dialogue. I, however, found that if you think of the movie as more of a comedy rather than a play at a serious action movie, it is a fantastic affair!

Who cannot laugh at such clever dialogue as:

"Since you lie so easily and since you are so shallow, I shall lie you in a shallow grave."

[When about to shoot the villain Dawg with a cannon] "Bad Dawg!"

[After stealing the bullets from her lover's gun] "By the way, that won't work. See, I took your balls."

the alamo movie

2. The Alamo (2004)

Net Losses: $119,180,000 (With Inflation:  $146,644,313)

The tagline for 2004 The Alamo movie was "We Will Never Forget", this actually turned out to be true. In the case for Texans, they will never forget the most iconic battle of the texas revolution. However, for the rest of us, we will never forget the absolute snooze-a-thon brought about by The Alamo.

The saddest part of The Alamo, was that Ron Howard was meant to direct the movie. In his mind, a much better movie would have resulted under his direction. However, he dropped out of directing when they told him this movie about a battle in which everyone dies, should have less bloodshed. Sure, sure. That makes every bit of sense. Instead of a movie about heroism, bravery, and sacrifice we got a movie about political interaction and lots of talking. This of course led to historians essentially being like "what the heck is this?" since a movie full of politics and talking was not exactly historically accurate.

pluto nash

3. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

Net Losses: $112,896,027 (With Inflation: $145,877,124)

The bad movies in which Eddie Murphy has starred in could fill a flop list of its own. However, The Adventures of Pluto Nash was the crème de la crème of terrible movies in his repertoire. After Murphy's directorial debut failure with Harlem Nights, he lost all the great energy and confidence that made his a great star in the 80's and resorted to half-hearted comedies such and Daddy Day Care and Doctor Dolittle.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash screenplay was also written in the 80's too. Good thing he did not get roped into it then as it probably would have been a career killer. The screenplay fermented like a fine wine for ten years, than the film sat in vaults for another two until it was ready to be released. You would think after twelve years of sitting around someone might have realized the a comedy about a club owner running from the mob on the moon was just...not worth it.

sahara movie

4. Sahara (2005)

Net Losses: $121,730,514 (With Inflation: $144,857,030)

Sahara follows the story of two ex-Navy SEALS who have turned hard drinking manly men adventures. Dirk Pitt played by Matthew McConaughey and his Italian friend Al Giordino played by Steve Zahn, who in no way looks even remotely Italian, strike out across the Sahara desert in search of treasure. As legend has it, in 1866 an confederate iron-clad battle ship sunk off the coast of Africa and mysteriously sprouted legs and walked itself to the middle of the Saharan desert. Okay, maybe some of that I made up, like the sprouting legs bit. The fact that a battle ship sunk than ended up in the middle of the desert is one of the many strange plot holes of this movie. Along the way they meet World Health organization doctor Eva Roja played by Penelope Cruz who is researching and outbreak of disease in the region. The trio is assaulted by military dictator General Kazim who seeks to chase them from the region in a series of gun battles and scooby doo chases.

The creators of the movie hoped that this would be the next Indiana Jones. However, with the thin plot and really rather boring and predictable action sequences, it was not to be. Not to mention that it had a very out of place Pop soundtrack. Not Steve Zahn's forceful eyes, nor McConaughey's eight pack abdominals, or Penelope Cruz's savory Latin looks could draw people to see this movie.

mars needs moms

5. Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Net Losses: $136,007,242 (With Inflation: $140,513,991)

Mars Needs Moms is proof that CGI-animated family films are not safe from being a box office bombs. Following in the tracks of another Mars bombs, Red Planet and The Ghosts of Mars, it is proof that perhaps Hollywood should just stay away from Mars in terms of movies.

Perhaps Mars Needs Moms was released at a bad time, as the market with dripping with animated family friendly romps at the times or perhaps it was something else. Perhaps it was the motion capture used throughout the film that could make a nine year old boy look just plain creepy that scared audiences away. The motion capture throughout the film made the facial expressions look unnatural and therefore creepy to the child audience that went to see it. Perhaps children these days are so jaded they could not relate to the plot of aliens needing mothers. Children are such independent jerks these days.

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Comments

Mar 17, 2013 3:15am
egdcltd
I actually enjoyed Cutthroat Island. I didn't realise it did that badly.

Clive Cussler might be pleased with how badly Sahara did; he hated it and actually sued the company. Even though it was adapted from his novel. So was Raise the Titanic (which he also hated).
Apr 8, 2013 1:11pm
KimChaos
I never even heard about Cutthroat Island when it was in theaters. Proves a point, I guess. Very entertaining! Thanks.
Apr 8, 2013 4:58pm
JadeDragon
The only one of these I've seen was Sahara and I found the plot to be beyond dumb.
Apr 10, 2013 6:40pm
weianow
The only one I saw was Sahara. Looking at Mathew McConaughey was the only worth while part. Luckily I didn't go to the theater for this, saw on TV. Well written article. Thumbs up. did the movies actually lose over 121 MILLION dollars? Wow, where did Heaven's Gate come in on this list? I heard it really bombed and went way over budget to boot.
Apr 16, 2013 12:16pm
xscottbx
It's funny that these movie studios have so much money yet sometimes risks and investments fail. Great stuff.
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