Not always a big investment will bring a big return. Recently, blockbusters such as Black Adam have failed to give back to their studios, while others such as Avatar 2: The Way of the Waterneeded to make a monstrous box office to cover their expenses.
Below, we will list some films that received a big budget and an equally high expectation, however, which failed to perform as expected at the box office.
In 2004, The dark Knight and this whole wave of “serious” superhero movies didn’t exist yet. With that in mind, conceptual director Pitof helmed an adaptation of Catwoman, with Halle Berry at the height of her career playing the lead. The film received an investment of $100 million and failed to return that money, making an estimated $80 million in theaters.
Unlike other films that fail at the cinema, Cat Woman absolutely nobody liked and did not conquer the status cult over the years. Displeasing the public and the specialized critics, it was not possible to review Halle Berry as the superheroine revived by Persian cats.
Some works are not very easy to adapt. The book A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is one of them, having spent about 90 years in a creative limbo. In 2013, Disney invested heavily and disbursed around US$350 million to give life to a very ambitious adaptation, uniting science fiction and western in a desert planet Mars.
having the franchise Star Warsthe film Dune and the recent success of avatar as a base, the film hit theaters with high expectations. John Carter grossed just under $285 million, making it one of the biggest flops in Disney history.
Another sci-fi flop is Mortal Engines. The adaptation of Phillip Reeve’s book shows a post-apocalyptic future in which cities are assembled in a way that they are mobile. In this universe, the practice of municipal Darwinism takes place, in which the weakest cities are destroyed.
The rights to adapt the book were bought by Peter Jackson, who chose Christian Rivers to direct. The 2018 feature had an investment of between US$100 million and US$150 million, obtaining a return of “miserable” US$80 million. In all, the studio is estimated to have lost about $175 million on Mortal Engines.
The Lone Ranger
As with John Carter, Disney made another big bet with the western genre. The lonely knight adapts one of the most iconic characters in American history and stars Johnny Depp as the indigenous Tonto, riding the hype of Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact, the director of the franchise, Gore Verbinski, takes the reins of the project.
The film was critically panned and made only $260 million at the box office against a $250 million budget. However, the big problem was that Disney invested US$150 million in marketing, resulting in a loss between US$160 million and US$190 million.
Battleship – The Battle of the Seas
Battleship – The Battle of the Seas is nothing less than an adaptation of the board game Naval battle. Difficult to find a script in the middle of the game, but the hype of the production, as well as its budget, was high. Universal spent about $220 million producing the feature, which features Rihanna, Taylor Kitsch (John Carter himself) and Alexander Skarsgard in the cast.
Altogether, it is estimated that battleship resulted in a loss of US$150 million for Universal Pictures and for Hasbro, the board game development company. Ultimately, we’re left wondering: how does a movie with Rihanna fail?