Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Which movies were biggest flops?

Producers reel in some big flops

We always read about the movies that make lots and lots of money, like Avatar, Titanic, Lord of the Rings. What about the movies that lost the most money?

Ah, the anti-winners. We'll assume you mean the movies that had the greatest difference between cost of production and marketing and gross ticket sales.

We immediately thought of such notable bombs as Ishtar, Hudson Hawk and The Adventures of Pluto Nash. All had big stars and bigger budgets, and all were declared huge flops.

And indeed, they were big losers. But the all-time money drain was the 2005 movie Sahara, starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. It brought about $119 million — but cost about $241 million to produce and market, leaving it more than $121 million in the hole.

Close behind was The Alamo (2004), a Ron Howard-produced film starring Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton. It cost $145 million to make and sold just under $26 million worth of tickets for a net loss of more than $119 million.

If you adjust for inflation, the all-time leader of losing is Cutthroat Island (1995), directed by Renny Harlin and starring Geena Davis as a female pirate and Matthew Modine as her slave. It cost $115 million and grossed about $10 million, for a net loss of about $105 million. Adjusted for inflation, that loss goes to almost $155 million.

This research also led us to the lowest-grossing movie of all time in the United States, Zyzzyx Road (2006), which starred a pre-Knocked Up Katherine Heigl. It brought in $30.

Turns out the producer booked it in a single theater in Dallas and showed it once a day, at noon, for six days simply to fulfill an obligation required by the Screen Actors Guild so he could release it overseas.

Depp dreams of Tonto role

Any idea whether or not the upcoming The Lone Ranger is meant to be a comedy? Because it must be a joke having Johnny Depp play an Indian.

Actually, this may not be a bad thing for the movie, planned for late 2012. Tonto, to be played by Depp, is the big role; Armie Hammer of The Social Network is signed as the Ranger. And Tonto may be the smarter half of the duo.

Depp, whose family claimed to be part Native American, told Entertainment Weekly that he used to watch the old TV series, with Jay Silverheels as Tonto and Clayton Moore as the Ranger. "I liked Tonto, even at that tender age, and knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here," Depp told EW. "When the idea came up (for the movie), I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way to try to — 'eliminate' isn't possible — but reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans, not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema, and turn it on its head."

Q&A: Which movies were biggest flops? 07/10/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 10, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott vetoes 'liquor wall' repeal

    Blogs
  2. 'Liquor wall' staying up in Florida after Gov. Scott's veto

    Gubernatorial

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's liquor wall, which was been around since Prohibition ended, will remain standing after a bill to tear it down was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott.

  3. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting

    Wildlife

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  4. Trump has Mar-a-Lago employee working on government trip, report says

    Blogs

    The following is from Buzzfeed News:

    A top Mar-a-Lago employee is also working for the government to help prepare for President Trump's visit to Taormina, Italy, for the G-7 Summit — an unconventional arrangement that further blurs the line between the president's business empire and the White House.

  5. Manchester bombing victims include at least 7 parents

    World

    LONDON — The world has been horrified by how young many of the victims in the Manchester bombing were, but on Wednesday, attention shifted to parents of concertgoers who were also killed. Seven have been identified, among them a couple who left behind two orphaned daughters.

    Roussos