19 great movies that flopped at the box office

That a film triumphs at the box office does not mean that it is good, just as a failure does not mean that it is a waste of time. Sometimes it does coincide that there is a correlation between both facts, but sometimes not, and then I am going to review 19 great movies that failed during their time in theaters.

I have tried to make the selection of titles as varied as possible, both in terms of their genres and the budget available – the cheapest tape included cost 20 million dollars, very little compared to the 250 of the most expensive -. Without more to add, I leave you with them.

‘Almost impossible’ (‘Long Shot’)

Romantic comedy has been a hotbed for Hollywood in recent years, but lately it has lost interest in it. If, on top of that, different, fun, charming and more adult-oriented proposals such as the one in question fail -it cost 40 million dollars and did not raise even 54-, it is understood that the fate of this subgenre has ended up being the platforms streaming in general and Netflix in particular.

Criticism in Espinof

‘Two Good Guys’ (‘The Nice Guys’)

Two Good Guys

Shane Black had little less than a blank check after the success of ‘Iron Man 3’ and decided to take advantage of it to carry out a hilarious comedy that recovered the buddy movies relying on the great chemistry shared by some great Russell Crowe y Ryan Gosling. Unfortunately, the public did not respond, since its entered 62 million dollars when it had cost 50.

Criticism in Espinof

‘Where the monsters live’ (‘Where the Wild Things Are’)

Where the monsters live

Much was expected of this adaptation of the children’s book of Maurice Sendak in charge of Spike Jonze and I know that I am not the only one who enjoyed Max’s cathartic journey into the fantastic in a very powerful work both visually and emotionally. That was not enough to succeed, as it cost 100 million, which was exactly what it raised in theaters.

Criticism in Espinof

‘The dilemma’ (‘The Insider’)

The dilemma

A prestigious film from the moment of its release with a Michael Mann very inspired by the staging and some great Al Pacino y Russell Crowe leading the cast. Plus, it tackled an exciting real-world topic, but viewers turned their backs on it: $ 60 million in worldwide revenue when it had cost $ 90.

Criticism in Espinof

‘The Suicide Squad’

Warner seemed to have made the move of the century by taking James Gunn to relaunch this group of peculiar characters. His stamp is there and the film is a first-rate hobby that yes, he wants to be cool at all costs, but there is nothing wrong with that when you get it. Everything points to its simultaneous premiere in HBO Max He played very against him, but his failure in theaters is indisputable, since it cost 185 million and entered only 167.

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‘The Iron Giant’ (‘The Iron Giant’)

The iron Giant

The first feature film of Brad Bird Nowadays it is considered, with all its deservedness, a jewel of animated cinema, but at the time it was a huge failure – it cost 50 million dollars and barely raised 31 – and one of the reasons that Warner ended up moving away from animated cinema during a little while later.

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‘The Last Duel’ (‘The Last Duel’)

The most recent example on the list is this magnificent film by Ridley Scott that uses a unique real case to address a case of rape in medieval times from three different perspectives, managing to engage from the first moment. It also has a great job from its cast, but not even the presence of faces known as Matt Damon o Adam Driver It has prevented it from sinking at the box office, as it cost 100 million dollars and has barely collected 26.

‘Children of Men’

Children Of Men

Probably the best science fiction movie of the first decade of the 21st century. A sensational and devastating dystopia with a first-class technical finish – be careful with the sequence shots -, an immersive staging, a script to match and a dedicated cast. There is nothing that fails here except its disastrous box office, costing 76 million dollars and grossing just 70.

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‘Horizonte final’ (‘Event Horizon’)

Final horizon

One of the most exhilarating Hollywood horror films of the late 1990s in which the maligned Paul W. S. Anderson shows great expertise in both planning and the climate of growing nightmare that is emerging in it. A pity that we will surely never see the much more violent initial cut, but what made it to theaters is still fascinating despite its failure at the box office.

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‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (‘Kubo and the Two Strings’)

Kubo Strings

An essential animated film with a unique and wonderful visual look, in which At a time she took all the good things that she had exhibited in previous works to another level, without fear of the possibility that the general public would not connect with her. Unfortunately, that was the case, since its production cost was 60 million dollars and then it entered an insufficient 77.

Criticism in Espinof

‘The Lone Ranger’ (‘The Lone Ranger’)

The Lone Ranger

A film repeatedly crushed before its release, to the point that it seemed doomed beforehand to hit the box office. There it is true that his high budget weighed too much, since it cost about 250 million dollars and he ended up earning only 260 million. A pity, because he started with energy, he always worked as entertainment and his last act was sublime.

Criticism in Espinof

‘The Invention of Hugo’ (‘Hugo’)

Hugo's invention

Martin Scorsese has several artistic triumphs in his career that were great failures in his filmography as ‘Be quiet’ O ‘The king of comedy’, but none generated so many losses –stated at the time that about 80 million dollars, almost nothing – like this adaptation of the book by Brian Selznick with a more classic approach than usual in its director but no less stimulating for that.

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‘Man on the Moon’

Man On The Moon

Jim Carrey had shown that he was able to continue connecting with audiences in a more dramatic role thanks to ‘The Truman Show’, but he was not as lucky when he became Andy Kaufman in this great biopic signed by Milos Forman. Its budget varies according to the sources, oscillating between 42 and 82 million dollars, but it would be a failure in any case, since it barely amassed 47 million.



A hilarious comedy by The Lonely Island who laughs with style, wit and bad temper at the world of music. Here there are clubs for everyone, gags to cascoporro and an immense gallery of cameos that contribute instead of being there to have one more famous face. It was ignored at its premiere, not even reaching 10 million dollars at the box office when it had cost 20.

‘Shoot Em Up’

Shoot Em Up

A film that I take advantage of any occasion to claim, since it is a miracle what Michael Davis he was able to do it here with a tight budget of 39 million dollars, also managing to give it a comic touch that feels like a fable, almost as if it were an action movie with human characters behaving like cartoons. Too bad the bump, as it barely entered 26 million in cinemas.

Criticism in Espinof

‘The Master’

The Master

It cannot be said that the cinema of Paul Thomas Anderson has never broken the box office, alternating throughout his career titles that worked more or less well with others that, at least during his time in theaters, reported losses. For example, this wonder led by Joaquin Phoenix y Philip Seymour Hoffman settled for a $ 28 million box office when it had cost $ 32.

Criticism in Espinof

‘A simple plan’ (‘A Simple Plan’)

A Simple Plan

The best movie of Sam Raimi for whom this writes is this adaptation of the novel by Scott B. Smith that at the time of its premiere it could even seem a kind of imitator or successor of ‘Fargo’. A pity because it is even better than the great Coen film, but it did not captivate the public at the time, since it cost 30 million dollars and in the United States – there are no figures for the rest of the world – they had to settle for 16.



Many mention it as one of the best movies with Tom Hardy, something logical, since this portrait of some estranged brothers who end up facing each other in a wrestling ring is a very powerful drama that leaves its mark on the viewer. Of course, not many did it in theaters, as it cost 25 million and raised just over 23.

Criticism in Espinof



David Fincher I had previously played with ‘Fight club’ -101 million entered against 63 in cost-, but not as spectacular as in this ambitious film about the legendary killer of the zodiac in which he demonstrated his mastery and precision as a director. That did not prevent its failure at the box office, since its budget was estimated at 85 million dollars and at the box office it had to settle for 84.

Criticism in Espinof

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19 great movies that flopped at the box office