Highly Anticipated Movies That Bombed

Posted on 19 Sep 00:00


The movie industry is a risky business that depends on the mood, taste, and acceptance of the audience. For a movie to be successful and a hit, it has to entertain or build a connection with the audience as they are the sole factor influencing the fortune of the movie. Many movies promised much but deliver nothing other than disappointment. The following movies were highly anticipated maybe because of cast, concept or production but bombed at the cinemas.

1)  John Carter (2012)

John Carter is based on the first chapter of the Barsoom series, it is a science-fiction action movie directed by Andrew Stanton. It was Andrew’s debut movie in this genre and it did not go well as planned. The budget of this movie $263 million, making one of the most expensive movies ever made and earned only $84 million which made it a huge flop canceling the sequels. It has a star-studded cast in likes of Taylor Kitsch (John Carter), Lynn Collins (Dejah Thoris), Samantha Morton (Sola), Mark Strong l(Malai Shang), Ciarán Hinds (Tordos Mors), Dominic West (Sab Than), James Purefoy (Kantos Kan) and Willem Dafoe (Tars Tarkas). The plot of the movie is about a battle between two tribes, the Helium and the Zodanga on Barsoom who Carter accidentally encounters while he is escaping from joining the civil war. Due to his military background and bone density, he possesses amazing abilities and is asked by the Tarkas to rescue their princess. The fight continues between Helium and Zodanga and Carter defeats the Zodanga and becomes prince of Helium and decides to stay forever but he is sent back to earth. The movie did not live up to expectations despite having such a huge budget.

2)  Waterworld (1995)

A futuristic vision but the final film was not up to the mark which made Waterworld, the most expensive movie of that time with the budget of $173 million, a flop. It was praised for its futuristic approach but received criticism for the performances and characterizations, and was only able to earn $88.2 million at the box office. It was nominated for Academy Award for the Best Sound category in the 68th Academy Awards. It is directed by Kevin Reynolds. The cast consisted of Kevin Costner (The Mariner), Dennis Hopper (The Deacon), Jeanne Tripplehorn (Helen), and Tina Majorino (Enola). The plot is about life, post-apocalypse. The polar ice cap has melted and the sea level has risen over 7,500 m and most of the world is underwater. Only a few humans have survived, The Mariner is one of them and he has adapted to the ocean by developing gills. There is mythological dry land according to some people and they try to capture the Mariner to help them to find it. Both Enola and Helen are escaping from the pirates who believe the map of dry land is on the back of Enola’s neck, they find The Mariner and, together, they escape. They eventually find dry land using the map.  It is on Mount Everest and has wildlife and vegetation but The Mariner can not stay and leaves.

3)  The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

With the budget of $100 million, it was nothing less than a disaster at the box office with the returns of just $4 million. It was not welcomed by the critics nor the audience, and has the unenviable title of being one of the biggest box office bombs in the history of cinema. It was directed by Ron Underwood and its cast included Eddie Murphy (in a dual role as both Pluto Nash and Rex Carter), Randy Quaid (Bruno), Rosario Dawson (Dina Lake), Joe Pantoliano (Mogan), Jay Mohr (Anthony Frankowski), Luis Guzmán (Felix Laranga), Peter Boyle (Rowland), Pam Grier (Flura Nash), and John Cleese (James). It is a science-fiction comedy.  The plot involves locating the culprit who destroyed Pluto's night club on the moon. Pluto and his friends try to find the culprit, they are amazed that the person who the nightclub is Pluto’s clone, Crater, who has killed the geneticist and established his criminal agency. Unfortunately, the movie premise did not catch the audiences imagination, and the movie bombed very badly at the box office.

4)  The Postman (1997)

A lot of failures are related to the post-apocalyptic genre.  Similarly, The Postman was made with a budget of $80 million and only grossed $20 million at the box office making it a box office bomb. It is based on the novel of the same name and produced and directed by Kevin Costner. The cast includes Kevin Costner (The Postman), Will Patton (General Bethlehem), Larenz Tate (Ford Lincoln Mercury), Olivia Williams (Abby), James Russo (Captain Idaho), and Tom Petty (Bridge City Mayor). The plot takes place in the post-apocalyptic era. The Postman delivers letters to the survivors to give hope to them false hope that the Government of the U.S has been restored. This one movie that either you love it or hate it, most expressed the latter.

5)  Beloved (1998)

It is a fantasy-drama movie that was another bombed movie at the box office. It is based on the novel from 1987 of the same name. It is directed by Jonathan Demme, despite being a flop at the box office, it did receive Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design and won a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress. With the budget of $53 million it made $8.2 million. It stars Oprah Winfrey (Sethe), Danny Glover (Paul D.), Thandie Newton (Beloved) and Kimberly Elise (Denver). Sethe is a former slave who lives with her daughter. They both experience strange encounters by poltergeists and visits from her reincarnated daughter. An exorist helps them to banish the ghosts from the house which results in Sethe come to terms with the loss of her daughter. 

6)  Wild Wild West (1999)

It is a retro-western comedy movie based on television-series from the ’60s. It was directed by Barry Sonnenfield but due to weak script it did not perform well at the box office. Witha budget of $170 million, it grossed $222 million worldwide. It was a commercial disappointment and did not receive any praise from the critics or the audience. The cast includes: Will Smith( (U.S. Army Captain James T. West), Kevin Kline (U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon / U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant), Kenneth Branagh (Dr. Arliss Loveless), Salma Hayek (Rita Escobar), and Ted Levine (General "Bloodbath" McGrath). Will Smith and Kevin Kline work as special agents and are given the task of protecting the U.S president and the country from Dr. Arliss’s evil intentions. The poor script doomed this remake of a once beloved TV series.

7)  Spiderman 3 (2007)

It was the last edition from the trilogy of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman series. With a budget of $258 million it was the most expensive movie of that time, and it grossed over $800 million worldwide making the highest-grossing movie of 2007. But, apart from the revenue perspective, it did receive criticism for a complicated plot, an too many villains causing the story line to be jumbled. The cast includes Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson), James Franco (Harry Osborn / New Goblin), Thomas Haden Church (Flint Marko / Sandman), Topher Grace (Eddie Brock / Venom), and Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy). The plot involves Peter foiled plans of a happy life with Mary Jane as he must take on the challenge of three villains bent on taking out their revenge on Peter. The story line is over the top, but many of the audience enjoyed the film.


These movies were considered bombed at the box office because weak plots, bad performances or direction. It is also that the success of a movie does not necessarily correlate to the budget, but instead has depends much on the execution of a good screenplay, and the development of its characters.

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