Top 10 Movies So Bad They Were Pulled From Theaters

Written by Noah Levy Movies and films that received such negative reception and and were hailed as being so bad that they had to be pulled from theatres after a very short theatrical run. WatchMojo presents the top 10 movies that were so bad they had to be pulled from theatres, but what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Ben Affleck's Gigli, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, or Michael Mann's Blackhat? Watch to find out.
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These movies were pretty much dead on arrival. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies So Bad They Were Pulled From Theaters.

For this list, we’re looking at movies that bombed so badly and got such terrible reception from moviegoers that their studios stopped showing them theatrically to lessen the damage they caused.

#10: “Mortdecai” (2015)

Remember when Johnny Depp’s name alone was more than enough to guarantee a movie’s financial security? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It was clear that Depp’s star power had dwindled when he appeared in this flop from director David Koepp. The R-rated crime caper comedy received scathing reviews, and made less than $5 million on its opening weekend - despite also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Goodblum. In its third weekend, Lionsgate pulled it from almost 2,400 theaters. As such, the film remains one of the most embarrassing blemishes on Depp’s once honorable career.

#9: “Swept Away” (2002)

Madonna is an incredible star, but she hasn’t really made the best choices throughout her film career. Not only is this remake of a 1974 Italian film a poor use of the Queen of Pop, it’s also a poor use of her then-husband, director Guy Ritchie. His venture into rom-com territory proved fruitless, as critics declared the film a disaster, resulting in a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Initially released to only 196 screens for two weeks and leaving cinemas in only 59, the film barely made less than $600,000 domestically during its run.

#8: “Seeking Justice” (2011)

Nicolas Cage seems to take any role that comes his way these days. With a couple exceptions, most of them have been unremarkable, but none more than this 2011 action thriller. It received the typical critical reception you’d expect from a run-of-the-mill Cage-fronted action movie, meaning a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As bad as its critical failure was, its commercial failure was even worse. Over the course of three weeks, it dropped from just over 200 theaters to 8 theaters, making less than $500,000 in the US. Unfortunately, Cage didn’t learn from this experience, as he found himself facing a similar situation the next year with the film “Stolen.”

#7: “Max Steel” (2016)

No big stars. Based off a series of toys. A 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s like this movie was tailor-made for this list. Based on the Mattel toys and animated series of the same name, Open Road Films was probably expecting a franchise starter with this high-tech superhero, but had their hopes dashed when the film was met with a critical beat down, making only $2.2 million on its first weekend, far below even the lowest expectations. After being in release for three weeks, the movie was pulled from its theaters, solidifying its position as one of the biggest bombs of 2016.

#6: “Mr. Magoo” (1997)

Most of the movies on this list are here just because they were critical and commercial bombs. While this live-action adaptation of the beloved cartoon was definitely both those things, it got pulled because of outcry from a very specific group. Despite the disclaimer at the end that stated Leslie Nielsen’s bumbling portrayal of the nearsighted title character was not meant to be an accurate depiction, Disney was forced to pull the film from theaters after two weeks due to protests and outcries from blind and nearsighted groups. The British Federation of the Blind even petitioned to ban the film’s UK release, as it would “bring ridicule upon blind and partially sighted people.”

#5: “Delgo” (2008)

Starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Anne Bancroft in her last role, this computer-animated feature cost $40 million to make. “Delgo” received a critical beating for mostly being a poor retread of better fantasy films, and was released during a holiday season that had many superior cinematic offerings for families. Because of this, “Delgo” set a record nobody wants to earn: It had the worst opening for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters at the time, and is the lowest grossing computer-animated film of all time, making less than $1 million, and was quickly forgotten about, leaving theaters after a mere week.

#4: “Jem and the Holograms” (2015)

This film was based on the animated series about Jem and her band the Holograms, but failed to capture the spirit of its source material. Because of this and poor reviews, the musical adventure earned the distinction of having the worst wide box office opening of 2015, and the fourth worst ever for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters. Then in an unprecedented move, Universal pulled the film from its still wide release two weeks after it opened, something that had never been done for a film released on this level. It ended with $2.3 million, and the broken hearts of many children of the ‘80s.

#3: “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” (1987)

The film that the New York Times called “too repulsive for children or adults of any age,” nobody was going to see this movie when it was released, resulting in an opening weekend where it made only $661,000. Most likely sensing that having this cinematic abomination in theaters for a prolonged amount time would only cause pain to moviegoers, the studio pulled it from cinemas, but the damage was done. In its short run, the movie made $1.6 million, and subjected an entire generation of families to an hour and a half of unfunny gross out humor. Garbage, indeed.

#2: “Gigli” (2003)

The early 2000s romance between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez was buzzy enough to keep the tabloid industry afloat for a few years, but could their love affair successfully translate to the silver screen? The short answer is, “no.” The long answer is, “this $75 million rom-com tanked harder than any other movie in 2003.” In its second weekend, “Gigli” dropped by nearly 82%, and by the third, only 73 theaters in the US were showing it, an unprecedented flop for such a big budget film. In addition to being withdrawn from US cinemas, it was dropped by nearly every theater in the UK after its critical destruction.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case dishonorable, mentions:

“It’s Pat” (1994)


“Leonard Part 6” (1987)


“The Disappointments Room” (2016)


#1: “Blackhat” (2015)

This film not only had the star power of Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis, but the legendary Michael Mann also directed it. However, it was saddled with a January release date alongside the wide release of the juggernaut that was “American Sniper.” Plus, the reviews were mostly mixed. Because of this, the $70 million film earned a mere $4.4 million on its opening weekend, one of the worst debuts ever for a wide release. After only two weeks, Universal pulled the film from all but 236 theaters, down from its widest release of over 2,500. To add insult to injury, it was also scrapped for theatrical release in Belgium and Hemsworth’s native Australia.
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