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10 of the biggest box office disasters

2015-10-14 05:52

Los Angeles — Pan walked the plank this weekend and it didn't go well.

Warner Bros.' $150m live-action Peter Pan origin story captured a dismal $15.5m from North American theatres, and its international prospects don't look much more promising. The film earned only $20.5m from 52 markets.

Unlike Disney's largely profitable foray into live-action fairy tale adaptations, Pan, starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and newcomer Levi Miller, might find Warner Bros. taking a write-down for their losses.

Only time and the promise of a 22 October China opening will seal Pan's ultimate fate, but it already has the dubious distinction of being one of 2015's biggest bombs, up there with Disney's Tomorrowland and Fox's Fantastic Four.

In honour of the rare, fascinating spectacle of the box office bomb, here are some of Hollywood's most infamous financial catastrophes.

Heaven’s Gate (1980)

It might not come close to matching some of the epic losses on the list, but director Michael Cimino's Western starring Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken is one of cinema's most famous flops. The $44m film made only $3.5m domestically and effectively destroyed the estimable United Artists.

Town & Country (2001)

Somehow this no-frills Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn romantic comedy cost $90m to produce, and earned $10.3m worldwide. Suddenly Beatty's 1987 Ishtar embarrassment didn't look so bad.

How Do You Know (2010)

Having not learned any lessons from Town & Country's out of control budget, writer-director James L. Brooks made this romantic triangle comedy, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, for $120m. It went on to gross only $48.7m worldwide.

Cutthroat Island(1995)

Geena Davis starred alongside Matthew Modine in this pirate adventure, directed by her then-husband Renny Harlin, as a woman seeking buried treasure and vengeance. The $98m MGM film made only $10m domestically and for years was considered the biggest money-loser ever.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

Warner Bros. sat on this $100m Eddie Murphy space comedy for two years before finally pushing it out to theatres. The result? A worldwide sum of $7.1m.

The 13th Warrior (1999)

This John McTiernan-directed 10th century Viking saga starring Antonio Banderas cost a whopping $160m to make, bringing in only $61.7m worldwide.

Mars Needs Moms (2011)

This already forgotten, $150m CG-animated disaster featured the voices of Seth Green and Joan Cusack, and netted only $39m worldwide.

47 Ronin (2013)

With a budget that's been reported to be in the $175 to $225m-range, Keanu Reeves' samurai epic was a flop before audiences had the chance to decide for themselves. Universal let the stinker sit on the shelf for a year, reporting a $175m loss before the film even hit theatres.

The Lone Ranger (2013)

After spinning box office gold with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp tried their hand at a $215m take on The Lone Ranger. The film, which co-starred Armie Hammer, grossed $89m domestically and $260.5m worldwide, but Disney still prepped shareholders for a $160 to $190m loss.

John Carter (2012)

The century-old story may have directly inspired some of modern sci-fi's biggest hits (hello, Star Wars), that didn't seem to matter much to anyone in the end. Disney poured a reported $250 to $275m into producing the film, resting it all on the broad shoulders of small screen star Taylor Kitsch. John Carter opened to only $30.2m, and the studio took a $200m write-down while it was still in theatres.

Read more on:    box office  |  movies


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