Movie Ranking: 15 Years of Big-Budget Flops

Check out the most spectacular money losers
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2018 4:30 PM CDT
Movie Ranking: 15 Years of Big-Budget Flops
In this undated photo released by Universal Studios actor Steve Carell as Evan Baxter is shown in a scene from "Evan Almighty."   (AP Photo/Universal Studios, Rhythm & Hues)

Film studios dream of the box-office blockbuster–the big-budget movie that pays off huge and justifies all the work and money that went into it. But as Looper observes, there is a familiar law of physics that applies to big-budget movies: For every brilliant big-budget film that inspires and entertains, there is an equally expensive turkey that depresses and disappoints. The nice people at Looper have gone out and watched the world’s biggest big-budget bombs so you don’t have to. They chose one for each of the last 15 years. Here are their first five (2003-2007):

  • 2003—Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Despite a star-studded voice cast (Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer) and a huge marketing effort that included Burger King and Hewlett-Packard promotional tie-ins, the film sunk at the box office. Estimated loss: $125 million.

  • 2004—The Alamo. Nothing went right on The Alamo. Budget cuts and cast changes turned a sure-fire winner into a spectacular dud. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a dismal 29% on its highly scientific "Tomatometer," and it went up against Hellboy and Passion of the Christ, which didn’t help. Estimated loss: $120 million.
  • 2005—Sahara. Even the star-power of Matthew McConaughey couldn’t lift this turkey into profitability. An out-of-control budget and a lawsuit by novelist Clive Cussler that limped along for eight years took their toll. Estimated loss: $105 million.
  • 2006—Poseidon. Kurt Russell in the lead and Wolfgang Petersen at the helm were not enough to turn this rolling cash-eating monster into a money-maker. With a $160 million budget and sky-high international marketing costs, this leaky vessel never had a chance. Estimated loss: $70 million.
  • 2007—Evan Almighty. Not even God could have rescued this ill-conceived sequel to Bruce Almighty. The logistics of wrangling dozens of animals boosted costs, and Steve Carell was not the bankable lead that Jim Carrey was in Bruce Almighty. The film sunk at the box office. Estimated loss: $90 million.
To see Looper's entire list, click here. (More movies stories.)

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