Sitting through a major motion picture that flopped majorly at the box office might feel like a miserable two hours you’ll never get back, and a waste of ten bucks to boot, but for the production company and investors in the film, it’s true misery. Imagine it from the production end, a box office flop would be more akin to an oopsie totalling $50 million dollars that they’ll never get back, plus an enormous waste of time for the many hundreds of people involved.
These official major motion picture flops may pull in millions of dollars in box office revenue during those fateful weeks, but be considered a big box office bomb because it cost more than twice that to produce – and that’s the basic definition of a “flop,” – any movie that is unprofitable because its production and marketing costs exceed its theatrical release revenues. For example, even though the 2016 theatrical run brought in over $299 million for Alice Through the Looking Glass, it cost $170 million to make and was recorded as a $70 million loss on Disney’s balance sheet, leaving its status forever memorialized on the box office bomb list. Here’s our top 40 list. The top 50 chart movie studios don’t want to make.
The Wolfman (2010) – Estimated loss: $76 – $80 million
Based on the 1941 American movie of similar title, The Wolfman has all the classic features one would expect of a werewolf story – the full moon triggers the mangy, monstrous metamorphosis – but it lacks a certain, let’s call it, edge, that Twilight fans expect. Although, nonetheless, it apparently hit the mark in some ways because it became a cult classic in spite of it all.
As per werewolf horror film protocol, the wolfman, played by Benicio del Toro, receives a bite on the neck which predictably transubstantiates his human existence into a fearsome monster, but only on full moons, obviously. The vivid and realistic special effects of which animate the gruesome transformations earned the movie an Oscar for makeup, by the way, but even that, as well as its big names, del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, could not make the venture profitable. The film lost $85 to $90 million, adjusted for inflation. In the film industry these numbers are always a rough estimate due to secrecy and uncertainty, real profit and loss margins may vary. Gross profit for The Wolfman is recorded at $139.8 milion while the production budget was $150 million. Universal calls it $90 million dollars in the red. However, merch-links to the 1941 American horror film The Wolf Man, and to the Twilight, supernatural cultists’ likes, wants and must-have Werewolf merchandising must have produced some unaccounted hidden profits. Next up an abysmal bomb.