There is a tale that, once upon a time in Hollywood, there was a movie that bombed so badly that upon numbers being released, the accountant’s screams could be heard for miles. Some even say that bankrupt investors went running through the streets, cursing and pulling at their hair, so bad were the losses. A terrible day indeed for the world of movie making, and proof that it really isn’t as easy as it looks to put together films with budgets of hundreds of millions.
So which movie was it that was so bad? Was it Sharknado? No, interestingly enough, Sharknado was an enormous financial success, so much so that it had several equally as successful sequels. The truth is that major Hollywood bombs really aren’t as bad as you’re probably imagining. In most cases the films are perfectly passable, but just happened to not hit the mark, and did not draw enough attention to cover the immense costs.
Cutthroat Island is a sort of legend in Hollywood. Released in 1995, it starred gorgeous Gina Davis as a swashbuckling lady pirate, engaging in various exciting adventures. The movie was not notably bad in any real regard, and for the most part should have been a success. Why it tanked so badly is not really fully understood, other than to say that it likely keeps some production company executives awake at night.
Either way, the movie lost a rather staggering amount of money, resulting in the closure of Carolco Pictures. On a budget of around $110 million, only $10 million was recouped. Keep in mind that this was back in 1995. Guinness Book of Records still ranks the loss as the biggest in history.
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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
It seems that every movie is an attempt to kick start another franchise, which is not a great way to go about things. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was an effort by Warner Bros to get a franchise going based around the well known Arthurian mythos, which failed rather astonishingly.
The most well known aspect of the movie is a cameo by footballer David Beckham, which is noted for being a showcase of the athlete’s extremely poor acting ability. Not a good thing for a film to be known for. The film had a reported budget of $175 million, losing roughly $150 million of that when audiences did not fall over themselves to watch Beckham act badly.
Last of the top 3 is John Carter, a massive science fiction extravaganza by Disney. The film was certainly acclaimed for being impressive in terms of special effects, but a bit of mediocre affair in just about every other department.
The movie had a staggering budget of $263 million, which in itself is rather mind blowing, begging the question as to where it all went. In terms of losses, Disney took a $122 million hit on the chin, although it didn’t stop them from buying the Star Wars franchise for $2 billion. So really, who feels sorry for them?