The amount of money Hollywood pours into a film doesn't always guarantee an audience. There have been a number of notable flops in recent memory, which prove that money doesn't equal box office happiness.
"Pan," the 2015 Peter Pan adventure flick with an estimated $150 million budget, reportedly only took in a meager $15.5 million in domestic ticket sales and $20.5 million in international sales its opening weekend, rendering it the most recent big Hollywood movie that failed to fly.
"The Adventures of Pluto Nash"
Initiated in the 1980s, this Eddie Murphy science fiction comedy wasn't actually produced until 2002. In the interim, it was rewritten what seems like a million times, and lost Jennifer Lopez as its female lead. In addition to the massive time commitment the studio made to this movie, it also sank $100 million into its production budget. It only made $7.1 million of that investment back in worldwide ticket sales.
"Mars Needs Moms"
The 2011 Disney animated film, "Mars Needs Moms," is considered the biggest flop in movie history. Directed by Simon Wells and produced by Hollywood great Robert Zemeckis, the 3D family film had an astronomical $160 million budget. It, however, only grossed $39 million worldwide, costing Mickey $121 million.
It seems movies about space, and Mars in particular, can either be cosmic box office successes or gargantuan interplanetary flops. The 2012 science fiction-fantasy film, "John Carter," was the latter.
After $350 million of marketing and production costs, the Taylor Kitsch-led adventure flick only brought in $284 million worldwide.
"Cowboys & Aliens"
The 2011 science fiction-Western mashup, "Cowboys & Aliens," starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, only grossed a disappointing $174.8 million. That wasn't enough to offset its $163 million budget nor its marketing costs. In the end, Universal Pictures was saddled with a costly $75.6 million in losses.
When people think of epic movie flops, "Waterworld" is often one of the first titles that comes to mind. The funny thing, though, is that the 1995 post-apocalyptic Kevin Costner flick actually made money in the end. It just took a really long time to do it.
The other factor at play was the general population's awareness of the movie's spiraling $175 million price tag. Set pieces kept getting destroyed by weather. Stunt men kept getting lost at sea. And everyone kept hearing about it. "Waterworld" was the first film that really made people pay attention to how much movies cost.
"The Lone Ranger"
When Disney put out "The Lone Ranger" in 2013, a film based on the famous radio show of the same name, it was met with mixed to negative reviews. With Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto, the movie actually grossed $260 million in ticket sales worldwide. That figure, however sizable, was barely enough to cover the action Western film's $225 million production budget, let alone the addition $150 million the studio put into marketing.
But it wasn't the lone box office flop of the last few years...
"Jupiter Ascending," the Wachowski-written, produced and directed space opera starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, also tanked at the box office in 2015. So, though it's become a bit of a cult favorite among female science fiction fans, the film only made about $184 million worldwide; not nearly enough to recoup its $179 million production budget or sky-high marketing costs. In the end, the ambitious, albeit campy, film about an ordinary cleaning woman with a galaxy-sized destiny lost about $87 million, leaving the sibling team behind "The Matrix" little reason to "reload" the idea as a franchise.
This 2004 Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton war film, based on the Battle of the Alamo, only grossed $25 million worldwide after the studio sank $145 million into its production and marketing. That's the sort of loss that could keep Davy Crockett up at night.
The 2003 romantic comedy that spawned "Bennifer" cost an estimated $54 million to make, but only grossed $7 million worldwide. That's a net loss of $47 million... and Jennifer Lopez's relationship with Ben Affleck, of course.
The forty-seven Ronin were a real-life group of legendary samurai in 18th Century Japan, who successfully avenged the death of their master. Unfortunately, the Keanu Reeves film based on the legend of their revenge was somewhat less successful.
"47 Ronin" had a whopping $225 million production budget. So, even though it ended up grossing about $151 million worldwide, it finished just under $150 million in the red. In fact, it even left Universal Studios deeply in the red for 2013.
"The 13th Warrior"
Based on the novel "Eaters of the Dead" by Michael Crichton, this 1999 American historical fiction action flick seemed destined for greatness. It was based on both a real-life account of a 10th-century Muslim traveling north with a group of Vikings, and the epic of "Beowolf." It had Antonio Banderas as its lead, and "Die Hard" director John McTiernan at its helm. But alas, the film only recouped $61 million of its $160 million budget. Guess there aren't enough Viking fans in the world to save a movie when its going down like a leaky ship.
Back in 1997, Kevin Costner was known for making studios a lot of money, acting in epics. Sure, "Waterworld" earned mediocre reviews at best, but "Dances With Wolves" was a roaring success. So, Hollywood eagerly poured $80 million into "The Postman," a post-apocalyptic neo-Western adventure film about a nomadic drifter, who inspires hope by dressing as a U.S. Postman. If you think that sounds like a snoozefest, you are not alone. Once all the mail was collected, "The Postman" only grossed about $21 million worldwide, netting a loss of $69 million.
As such, Kevin Costner makes the list twice.
"Land of the Lost"
Despite its CGI dinosaurs and big ticket Super Bowl ads, the 2009 Will Ferrell adventure comedy flick, "Land of the Lost," ended up losing more than just the land. After costing $100 million dollars and only earning back $68.7 million in worldwide ticket sales, the film lost more than just the land; $31.3 million at the box office.
"How Do You Know"
Despite its all-star cast, the 2010 romantic comedy "How Do You Know" cashed in at a net loss of $71 million. That's how you know it was a flop.
The 2008 sports action film, "Speed Racer," directed by The Wachowskis, was based on the extremely popular Japanese anime franchise of the same name. As such, producers assumed it would do extremely well too.
It did not. After pouring $120 million into the film, worldwide ticket sales peaked at $50 million. All in all, the much anticipated movie about automobile racing screeched to a halt with a net loss of $70 million.
In 2005, Columbia Pictures put out a science fiction action film about three top fighter pilots in the American military, teaming up to help develop an automated robotic stealth aircraft. They sank $135 million into the film, but it only grossed about $77 million worldwide... not exactly a stealth production plan.
John Travolta, one of Hollywood's top posterboys for Scientology, sought for years to make a movie out of L. Ron Hubbard's 1982 dystopian science fiction novel, "Battlefield Earth." However, he struggled to find funding from any major studio, based on the concept's shaky script and ties to controversial religion. In 1988, the film finally was given the greenlight by Franchise Pictures, an independent production company that specialized in financing stars' stalled projects. It was not a smart business move.
"Battlefield Earth" took $73 million to make, but only grossed a supremely disappointing $29 million worldwide. It was nominated for a then-record nine Golden Raspberry Awards, and is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made. It's also probably John Travolta's worst on-screen look.
"Hudson Hawk" was the first and only movie script Bruce Willis ever wrote. On Metacritic, the film has a 17 out of 100 rating. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 24 percent. The 1991 action comedy's net loss of $45 million also damaged TriStar Pictures so significantly that it had to be rescued by Sony shortly after the movie's release.
Paramount Pictures had high hopes for the 2005 action-comedy adventure, "Sahara." It was based on a book of the same name by Clive Cussler that's part of a many volumed series. As such, if the film had done well, it likely would have become a franchise a la "The Mummy" or "National Treasure."
Despite high hopes and its star Matthew McConaughey piloting a plane across the country with the movie's poster taped to its side, "Sahara" just never caught on. In the end, it only made $121 million worldwide, cashing in at a net loss of $24 million.