Overall, I think it’s hard to deny that this was a successful summer at the box office for film. There were more than a handful of huge box office successes this year, from the expected (Iron Man 3) to the unexpected (World War Z). But though there were plenty of films that made studio executives very happy in the past few months (and that I’ll get into more in depth tomorrow), there were still some that disappointed. In fact, some of the biggest films of the year did just that—a few weeks ago /Film pointed out that four of the biggest bombs OF ALL TIME were currently in theaters and, no surprise, those four certainly pop up on this list. And as for the fifth? Well, hit the jump to find out. These are the 5 box ofice losers of Summer 2013.
The films are ranked from most successful to least, but don’t let that fool you—in many ways, all these films are failures. Anyways, onto the list!
5. After Earth
How does a film that made over $200 million at the box office constitute a bomb? Well like I said, it was a very successful summer at the box office for even the lowest grossing films of the season, and boy do the foreign audiences love their Will Smith. But what makes After Earth a clear loser is the domestic take—an absolutely pathetic $60 million, which constitutes for less than half of the film’s total budget. Considering the star power of the Smith-ii and the Avatar-like visual marketing, you can tell Sony expected something big with After Earth. Instead, they got a film that made a decent amount of money, but pretty much soured an entire brand. Essentially, After Earth is The Green Hornet of 2013.
Poor Dreamworks. Coming off of the perceived bomb that was Rise of The Guardians, they really needed another worldwide hit. And though they kind of got that earlier this year with The Croods, whatever high they were on following that film pretty much died after Turbo. Turbo cost about $135 million to produce and, in what’s probably the tale end of its run, has only made about $150. Add in marketing costs, and it’s unlikely that Dreamworks even made close to its money back with this one. Hell, Turbo will probably struggle to reach $200 million…approximately $100 million less than what Rise of The Guardians made. And that was considered a disaster for the studio. Dreamworks should probably start rethinking its strategy, huh?
Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski, a classic character, and the marketing power of the Mouse House—what could possibly go wrong, huh? A lot, apparently. I was totally wrong about this one (and many others, actually) on my Box Office prediction list at the beginning of the summer, and now I blush at the mere idea of my previous belief in this film. The film reportedly cost $215 million to produce alone and, with a very expensive marketing campaign behind it, constitutes a huge investment on Disney’s part. But just like John Carter before it, this is another live action bomb for the studio—it only took in $230 million worldwide, and will probably make little more when its theatrical run is done. And of that $230 million, only EIGHTY MILLION was taken in domestically. Ouch. Disney’s probably thanking Odin now for those huge Marvel and Star Wars bucks, huh?
And now this is where things get depressing. Sony already struck out once this year with After Earth, but I think they were absolutely blind sided by the failure of White House Down. The film was an outright disaster for the studio, taking in only $138 million at the box office off of a budget of $150 million. Yeah—a loss of 12 million dollars, and more if you factor in marketing costs (which studios rarely like to do, because it would make numbers like this look all the more worse). You can blame a crowded marketplace or Olympus Has Fallen all you want, but there’s no denying it—White House Down is one of the biggest box office bombs of Summer 2013.
But there can only be one, right? And boy is this one a doozy. R.I.P.D. cost about $130 million to make, and it only took in $64 million in total. Which makes a net loss of $66 million dollars. 66 MILLION. It’s bad news for Jeff Bridges, but borderline career ending for Ryan Reynolds. After the bombing of this one and Turbo on literally the same weekend, it might be time for Hollywood to give up their efforts to make Reynolds a star. But don’t get me wrong—this is bad for pretty much everyone involved, and the kind of bomb that literally gets people fired. R.I.P. R.I.P.D. I doubt you’ll really be missed.
And that’s the list. You’ll notice that a lot of those gigantic bombs were saved by foreign numbers, which says a lot more about the state of the industry than I could possibly sum up in this article. Maybe I’ll talk about it some other time. I don’t know, it sounds like a lot of work, so I might just screw the whole thing. Anywho, were any of you surprised by these bombs? Did any of them deserve to gross more than they did? Let us know in the comments.