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The Biggest Box Office Flops of 2017

  • Paramount Pictures
    1/ Paramount Pictures

    The Biggest Box Office Flops of 2017

    At first glance, it seems 2017 was yet another highly successful year for the big movie studios. Just beneath the surface, however, was an industry in disarray. A range of pitfalls hit Hollywood last year; major scandals, noticeable drop-offs in domestic profits and theater attendance, and increased competition from cable and streaming services. Some analysts posit that 2017 also represented a changing of the guard, with old Hollywood being shown the door in favor of fresh blood. While that’s obviously good news for the new guard, the rapid shift in paradigm left studios scrambling to keep pace.

    Of course, it wasn’t all bad news for the big studios in 2017. As usual, Disney certainly had itself a great year. The international box office was reportedly up 5.1% over 2016, and films like It and Get Out raked in hundreds of millions of dollars on modest budgets, while Wonder Woman and The Last Jedi proved there was assuredly still a place in theaters for blockbuster fare. There was turmoil indeed, but all Geostorm puns aside, the sky wasn’t falling just yet. 

    In honor of Hollywood’s turbulent year, Stacker is listing out the biggest box office flops of 2017. For the data, we used Box Office Mojo, a trusted resource among industry experts and casual trackers alike. We won’t spoil anything in advance, except to say that Geostorm ranks high on the list. Why exactly are we picking on Geostorm so much? We can’t say for sure — it’s just so easy to pick on. In any case, the movie studios are always trumpeting their big success stories; it’s only fair that the duds get their own share of the limelight. We hereby present these duds for your perusing pleasure. Enjoy!

  • Chestnut Ridge Productions
    2/ Chestnut Ridge Productions

    #30: Marshall

    Estimated budget: $12 million
    Domestic box office: $10.1 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$1.9 million

    Between the respectable IMDb rating and socially conscious premise, Marshall seems like the stuff that 2017’s surprise hits are made of. Nevertheless, the film floundered at the box office. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, who struggles with an important case. The movie saw Boseman playing a biographical figure for the fourth time in just under a decade.

     

     

  • Columbia Pictures
    3/ Columbia Pictures

    #29: Flatliners

    Estimated budget: $19 million
    Domestic box office: $16.9 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$2.1 million

    A critically panned remake of the 1990 Joel Schumacher film, Flatliners tells the story of five medical students who temporarily stop their hearts in order to see what lies beyond, only to become physically and mentally haunted by the experience. Kiefer Sutherland starred in the original version and appears in this version under a different name, adding to the sense of confusion as to whether the film is a remake, a re-imagining or a sequel. Whatever it was, it tanked.

     

  • Lakeshore Entertainment
    4/ Lakeshore Entertainment

    #28: Underworld: Blood Wars

    Estimated budget: $35 million
    Domestic box office: $30.4 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$4.6 million

    The first Underworld movie was a box office smash followed by a string of successful sequels, but Underworld: Blood Wars stopped that hot streak dead in its tracks. In the film, Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene, the world’s foremost vampire warrior. According to producer Len Wiseman, there’s one final Underworld film still in the works, however the paltry box office performance on this 2017 installment might dictate otherwise. In the meantime, a TV spin-off has been announced. 

     

  • Chernin Entertainment
    5/ Chernin Entertainment

    #27: The Mountain Between Us

    Estimated budget: $35 million
    Domestic box office: $30.3 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$4.7 million

    In The Mountain Between Us, Kate Winslet and Idris Elba play two strangers fighting for survival in the snow-covered wilderness. Hopefully, they fare better than the film did at the box office.

     

     

  • Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion
    6/ Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion

    #26: Friend Request

    Estimated budget: $9.9 million
    Domestic box office: $3.8 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$6.1 million

    “Evil is trending” in Friend Request, an English-language German horror film that tries to capitalize on our many social media obsessions, or at the very least emulate movies like Unfriended. Alas, it was “request denied” in terms of critical and financial reception. Hopefully, the film’s slew of producers learned a valuable lesson: that movies like this are best left in the hands of Blumhouse Entertainment.

     

     

  • Primate Pictures
    7/ Primate Pictures

    #25: CHiPs

    Estimated budget: $25 million
    Domestic box office: $18.6 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$6.4 million

    If you blinked in 2017, then you probably missed CHiPs, a crude movie version of the hit cop show from the late 70s and early 80s. An early warning sign came when Erik Estrada, one of the show’s original stars, saw the trailer and dubbed it “pure trash.” He then watched the movie and publically changed his mind. Perhaps he should have stuck with his original assessment.

     

     

  • Bron Studios
    8/ Bron Studios

    #24: Roman J. Israel, Esq.

    Estimated budget: $22 million
    Domestic box office: $11.9 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$10.1 million

    In Roman J. Israel, Esq, Denzel Washington plays an ambitious, idealistic attorney who finds himself in over his head while working for a cutthroat Los Angeles firm. The movie sounds like pure Oscar bait and stars Denzel Washington, but that wasn’t enough to bring it substantial acclaim or profitability.

     

     

  • DreamWorks
    9/ DreamWorks

    #23: Thank You for Your Service

    Estimated budget: $20 million
    Domestic box office: $9.5 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$10.5 million

    From the writer behind 2016’s American Sniper came Thank You For Your Service, about a group of US soldiers who struggle to integrate back into normal life after returning from Iraq. Among the film’s stars is Amy Schumer, who reportedly donated her salary to Army veteran foundations. In other words, Army veteran foundations made more off the film than its own financiers.

     

     

  • ToonBox Entertainment
    10/ ToonBox Entertainment

    #22: The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

    Estimated budget: $40 million
    Domestic box office: $28.4 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$11.6 million

    2014 animated flick The Nut Job was a modest box office hit, grossing more than $120 million worldwide. The 2017 sequel? Not so much. Sometimes it’s best to listen to the critics, who panned the first film and were equally as hard on the follow-up.

     

     

  • Protozoa Pictures
    11/ Protozoa Pictures

    #21: mother!

    Estimated budget: $30 million
    Domestic box office: $17.8 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$12.2 million

    In 2017, seasoned auteur Darren Aronofsky brought us Mother!, a surreal journey that packs in the metaphors, but treads light on story and characterization. That said, the film does feature an impressive cast and no shortage of haunting visuals. Nevertheless, audiences simply weren’t having it. Not only did Mother! lose money, but it received a rare “F” Cinemascore.   

     

     

  • FilmNation Entertainment
    12/ FilmNation Entertainment

    #20: The Founder

    Estimated budget: $25 million
    Domestic box office: $12.8 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$12.2 million

    Starring Michael Keaton, The Founder dives into the origins of the McDonald’s empire. Unlike the ubiquitous franchise, however, the movie was apparently unable to turn a profit. Perhaps the producers should have paid closer attention to all those corners Keaton’s character kept cutting in the film, so as not to lose more than $12 million at the box office.

     

     

  • Bluegrass Films
    13/ Bluegrass Films

    #19: Patriots Day

    Estimated budget: $45 million
    Domestic box office: $31.9 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$13.1 million

    Director Peter Berg might still be scratching his head over the failure of Patriots Day at the box office. The film fared well among critics, as well as the audience members who actually went to see it. Ultimately, however, the movie just didn’t generate enough hype to bring it into the black.

     

  • Constantin Film
    14/ Constantin Film

    #18: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

    Estimated budget: $40 million
    Domestic box office: $26.8 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$13.2 million

    Helping the latest Underworld movie feel less defeated in 2017 was Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Based on the popular video game, the film pits star Milla Jovovich against an evil corporation amidst an apocalyptic wasteland overrun by zombies. While this latest (and last) installment was a financial dud, it did carry the series past the $1 billion mark, making Resident Evil the highest grossing horror franchise of all time. Take that, Underworld.

     

     

  • Gary Sanchez Productions
    15/ Gary Sanchez Productions

    #17: The House

    Estimated budget: $40 million
    Domestic box office: $25.6 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$14.4 million

    In The House, comedy legends Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler start a casino in their friend’s basement to help pay for their daughter’s college tuition. Did the producers resort to similar methods in order to recoup all those box office losses? One may never know.

     

     

  • Broad Green Pictures
    16/ Broad Green Pictures

    #16: Just Getting Started

    Estimated budget: $22 million
    Domestic box office: $6.0 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$16.0 million

    Every now and then, Hollywood churns out a movie where famous aging actors get into all sorts of wild shenanigans. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. Just Getting Started — about an ex-FBI agent (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and ex-mob lawyer (played by Morgan Freeman) who team up to fend off a mob hit — is definitely one of those times where it doesn’t work. In addition to its financial failure, the flick earned a meager 3.8 IMBb rating.

     

     

  • Annapurna Pictures
    17/ Annapurna Pictures

    #15: Detroit

    Estimated budget: $34 million
    Domestic box office: $16.8 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$17.2 million

    If Hollywood failed to expand America’s social consciousness in 2017, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Among the more noble efforts put out last year was Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit. Once again collaborating with screenwriter Mark Boal, Bigelow dives into the 1967 Detroit riots, and the story of rogue cops squaring off against defenseless guests and tenants at the Algiers Motel. While certainly raw and powerful, Detroit simply failed to connect with audiences.

     

     

  • Black Label Media
    18/ Black Label Media

    #14: Only The Brave

    Estimated budget: $38 million
    Domestic box office: $18.3 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$19.7 million

    Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Only the Brave centers around a group of firefighters who try to prevent a massive forest blaze from spreading to a nearby town. The movie is a tense and harrowing saga to say the least, with plenty of critical and audience acclaim to support it. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to keep this one from getting scorched at the box office. 

     

     

  • Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF)
    19/ Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF)

    #13: The Space Between Us

    Estimated budget: $30 million
    Domestic box office: $7.9 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$22.1 million

    A human born on Mars visits Earth for the first time in The Space Between Us. The film was originally slated for a 2016 release, but that was pushed to 2017 in order to cut down on competition. Apparently, competition wasn’t the problem.

     

  • Toy Fight Productions
    20/ Toy Fight Productions

    #12: Colossal

    Estimated budget: $25 million
    Domestic box office: $2.5 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$22.5 million

    In Colossal, Anne Hathaway plays a hapless party girl who soon realizes her actions are somehow controlling a monster terrorizing Seoul, Korea. The movie is rife with cult appeal, but when budgeting this box office fiasco, the producers apparently forgot that cult audiences are generally small. That’s not to mention the settlement reached before Colossal was even released, after the rights holders to Godzilla saw a glaring similarity.

     

     

  • Columbia Pictures
    21/ Columbia Pictures

    #11: Life

    Estimated budget: $58 million
    Domestic box office: $30.2 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$27.8 million

    In the spirit of Alien, sci-fi horror film Life is about a space crew that falls victim to...well...an alien. The movie features nifty special effects and raises some interesting points about engaging with interplanetary species. Ultimately, however, poor marketing and the familiar premise had audiences avoiding this one as if it was going to attack. 

     

     

  • Universal Pictures
    22/ Universal Pictures

    #10: The Snowman

    Estimated budget: $35 million
    Domestic box office: $6.7 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$28.3 million

    Adapted from the international bestseller, The Snowman stars Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole, who investigates a string of grisly murders that coincide with snowfall. Whatever suspense and intrigue the book provided was definitely not found on-screen; the movie was a total failure, losing money, earning a “D” Cinemascore and receiving numerous critical jabs. 

     

     

  • Regency Enterprises
    23/ Regency Enterprises

    #9: A Cure for Wellness

    Estimated budget: $40 million
    Domestic box office: $8.1 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$31.9 million

    Directed by Gore Verbinski (of The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean fame), A Cure for Wellness takes place in a treatment center where things are not exactly what they seem. The premise promises big scares, but what starts as a taut, Gothic thriller soon dwindles into an overly long mess of meandering intent. A cure for wellness perhaps, but not a cure for boredom.

     

     

  • Apaches Entertainment
    24/ Apaches Entertainment

    #8: A Monster Calls

    Estimated budget: $43 million
    Domestic box office: $3.7 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$39.3 million

    In A Monster Calls, a young boy coping with his mother’s terminal illness finds refuge in a magic tree monster. The adapted screenplay appeared in 2013 on the famous Black List, which gathers Hollywood’s best-liked unproduced scripts. Apparently, some of those scripts are unproduced for a reason. 

     

     

  • Paramount Pictures
    25/ Paramount Pictures

    #7: Downsizing

    Estimated budget: $68 million
    Domestic box office: $24.3 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$43.7 million

    With movies like Election and Sideways to his name, writer/director Alexander Payne has maintained a formidable career as a respected indie director. That makes the $68 million budget for Downsizing feel like a mistake in the making. Starring Matt Damon, the film is about a man who shrinks himself down to five inches in order to live a better life. The movie wasn’t well-received in any real sense, reinforcing the idea that Payne should take a cue from his own work and shrink future budgets down to size.

     

     

  • Summit Premiere
    26/ Summit Premiere

    #6: Rock Dog

    Estimated budget: $60 million
    Domestic box office: $9.4 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$50.6 million

    What, you haven’t heard of Rock Dog? The $60 million animated flick about a dog who leaves home to become a musician? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

     

     

  • Paramount Pictures
    27/ Paramount Pictures

    #5: Ghost in the Shell

    Estimated budget: $110 million
    Domestic box office: $40.6 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$69.4 million

    Thanks to a trailer rife with incredible effects and lingering hype around the source material, Ghost in the Shell seemed like an adaptation straight out of a fanboy’s fantasy world. Early reception was tepid, however, with audiences and critics alike claiming that the movie was perhaps “all shell,” meaning there was plenty of visual pizzazz but nothing substantial underneath. As a result, the film took one on the chin and blew a great opportunity in the process.

     

  • Babieka
    28/ Babieka

    #4: The Promise

    Estimated budget: $90 million
    Domestic box office: $8.2 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$81.8 million

    Centered around a love triangle during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise is another big budget clunker that most people haven’t heard of. The movie was entirely financed by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who’d been trying to get the project made since the 1980s, when he owned MGM. Back in those days, Kerkorian’s own studio chief refused to greenlight the film, a prudent move in retrospect.   

     

  • Warner Bros.
    29/ Warner Bros.

    #3: Geostorm

    Estimated budget: $120 million
    Domestic box office: $33.7 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$86.3 million

    Every so often there comes a major movie that people simply love to hate, sometimes before it’s even released. In 2017, that movie was Geostorm, about a network of wonky satellites causing all sorts of climate havoc on Earth. One must wonder why the hate was so palpable on this one. Was it the derivative premise straight out of the SyFy Channel? The inclusion of actor Gerard Butler? Whatever the case, everybody saw this turkey coming from a mile away. Fun fact: the word “Geostorm” is mentioned (in some form) no less than 20 times throughout the film, so if nothing else, it will retain value as a terrific drinking game.

     

  • Disruption Entertainment
    30/ Disruption Entertainment

    #2: Monster Trucks

    Estimated budget: $125 million
    Domestic box office: $33.4 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$91.6 million

    The first live-action film from Paramount Animation, Monster Trucks is about the friendship between a small-town boy and an oil-guzzling creature who figures out how to steer a truck. Like the clunker it is, this disastrous film went straight into the junkyard of Hollywood history soon after its release. 

     

     

  • Warner Bros.
    31/ Warner Bros.

    #1: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    Estimated budget: $175 million
    Domestic box office: $39.2 million
    Budget vs. domestic: -$135.8 million

    Having lost a whopping $135.8 million on the domestic front, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword takes the number one spot by a landslide. Suffice it to say, Guy Ritchie’s latter-day tendency to turn classic, beloved tales into high-octane action movies didn’t work here the way it did with Sherlock Holmes. Apparently, this movie was the first installment of what was supposed to be a six-film franchise. We’re not holding our breath. 

     

     

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