Top 10 Failed Summer Blockbusters

Written by Nathan Sharp Summer season of movies is great for superheroes and adventure movies of all kinds, but not all of them are box office or critical successes! WatchMojo presents the top 10 summer blockbusters that completely failed! But what will take the top spot on out list! The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Gigli, or Battlefield Earth? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to Travis Tenbrunsel for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest pages here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Failed+summer+Blockbuster+franchises
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It was…uh…well, you tried. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 failed summer blockbusters.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at those summer blockbusters which were meant to be huge hits, but which fell flat on their faces instead. These movies need to have had large budgets, been released in the summer (between May and August) and be both critical and financial bombs– with emphasis on the financial.

#10: “R.I.P.D.” (2013)


We have to say, thank goodness for “Deadpool,” because Ryan Reynolds’ career was really starting to circle the drain, there. This movie, starring him and an admittedly fun Jeff Bridges, centers around a dead police officer who joins the Rest in Peace Department, a group of fellow deceased officers, to try and stop the coming undead apocalypse. Just from hearing that, is it a wonder that it flopped? The movie was absolutely destroyed by critics and grossed only $12 million in its opening weekend, leading many people to label it a huge failure. RIP, “R.I.P.D.”

#9: “The 13th Warrior” (1999)


Granted, this movie opened in the same month as “The Sixth Sense,” which was plowing through the box office like a tornado in the summer of ’99, but it’s still a magnificent failure which led to the brief retirement of Omar Sharif, one of its actors. A loose adaptation of Beowulf, this movie stars Antonio Banderas and features a pretty badass story of a court poet who joins forces with Vikings to battle humanoid cannibals. No matter how cool it sounds, the film was pretty bad, and grossed only $61 million on a budget of $160 million, making this one of the worst box office bombs ever.

#8: “Super Mario Bros.” (1993)


This is not the Mario movie we needed, or the one we deserved. This appalling adaptation of the famous video games is responsible for giving us nightmares as children, but not in the good way. The film was immediately attacked by both critics and fans for being ridiculous and for being a terrible adaptation of the games, and the box office reflected this dissatisfaction, earning only $20.9 million on a $48 million budget. Nintendo immediately pulled the plug on future live action adaptations, and many of the actors have since disowned the movie and called working on it “a nightmare.”

#7: “Hudson Hawk” (1991)


Coming off the major successes of “Die Hard” 1 and 2, Bruce Willis was the king of summer blockbusters, and “Hudson Hawk” hoped to continue that streak. It didn’t. While the movie was meant to be a goofy slapstick comedy, it was marketed as an action film due to the success of the “Die Hard” series. As a result, audiences had a major case of mood whiplash when they saw the movie, and it was immediately panned for its childish and nonsensical sense of humor. Word spread, and the movie grossed only $17 million on a $65 million budget.

#6: “Catwoman” (2004)


In the early 2000s, superhero films were finally starting to come into their own and started making good cash for their studios. And then there’s “Catwoman.” Universally panned for just generally being utter drivel, the movie opened at #3 on its opening weekend, which is not a great sign when your movie cost $100 million to make, and it ended up grossing only $82 million worldwide. Now often considered to be one of the worst movies of all time, we’re lucky to still have the superhero genre after this catastrophe. At least we’ll always have that basketball scene!

#5: “The Lone Ranger” (2013)


A rare misfire by Disney, this movie was the first Lone Ranger and Tonto collaboration in 32 years, and to say that demand wasn’t very high would be an understatement. The awful critical reception also didn’t help. The movie wickedly underperformed in its opening weekend, and eventually grossed only $260 million. While that may not sound too bad, The New York Times estimated that the movie needed to make an astounding $800 million just to break even, and Disney eventually admitted that the movie lost the company upwards of $190 million. So much for Johnny Depp being a money magnet.

#4: “Jonah Hex” (2010)


An adaptation of the DC comic that no one was asking for, “Jonah Hex” follows the adventures of the title character, played by Josh Brolin, as he tries to stop the man who killed his family from committing a terrorist attack. The movie was viciously attacked by both critics and audiences for being nonsensical and was an immediate bomb, opening at #7 and eventually grossing only $10 million on a $47 million budget. It was such a failure that Warner Bros didn’t even give the movie a wide international release, and soon enough, “Jonah Hex” was as dead and as its protagonist.

#3: “Battlefield Earth” (2000)


Adapted from L. Ron Hubbard’s novel about aliens who use humans to mine gold, “Battlefield Earth” was a huge financial risk for many major studios due to the content matter and its link to Scientology. It was eventually picked up by an independent company, and after being funded by German distributors, the film’s budget totaled around $73 million. Turns out that the major studios were right, as the film was immediately laughed at for being awful in every conceivable way and grossed just under $30 million. It is still widely ridiculed to this day. And to think, Travolta actually wanted a sequel!

#2: “Gigli” (2003)


This terrible, terrible film about two criminals who fall in love is widely considered to be one of the dumbest movies of all time, and for good reason. Starring Ben Affleck, before he became good again, and Jennifer Lopez, hype was high for this movie, and the budget peaked at an asinine $75 million, as the studio was banking on its stars. It failed spectacularly, dropping a massive 81.9% in its second weekend and grossing only $7 million. The movie was eventually taken out of theatres after only three weeks, making this one of the biggest box office disasters ever.

Before we reveal our top flop, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

“The Last Airbender” (2010)
$150 million budget
$319 million gross

“Tomorrowland” (2015)
$190 million budget
$209 million gross

“Stealth” (2005)
$135 million budget
$76 million gross

#1: “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)


Yeah, remember this movie!? No? That’s OK, we don’t think anyone does. Back when Eddie Murphy was still a thing, “Pluto Nash” looked to be the next big science fiction comedy, with a massive budget of $100 million and some big names behind it, like the aforementioned Murphy and John Cleese. However, the reviews came out and all hope was blasted into the sun. It was universally panned and lambasted by critics and audiences, and it ended up grossing only $7 million. $7 million on a $100 million budget. Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
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