Whenever you throw around emotive phrases like something being "too big to fail," you're playing with fire. Expensive, sometimes embarrassing fire that ruins careers and kills franchises dead.
But it's not an alien term in Hollywood. When the chief agenda of all money men involved in film-making is finding bankable options, it also means trying to find a sure-thing out there. They'll often go with sequels, remakes and reboots for that reason - because they've made an assumption on a film's marketability. Of its size. Of its performance. And having something like fandom numbers is an enormous help.
Inevitably, they're human and they make as many mistakes as we do, but watching something you've called a banker fail has got to be painful. And then there are the films that either have huge marketing power behind them or which have some huge selling point in their own right that simply didn't deliver on that promise and conspired to fail against the odds.
10. Justice League
Why It Was "Too Big"
Even with the shadow of Batman v Superman looming over it and a list of production issues literally the length of Superman's huge CGIed top lip, Justice League should have been a winner. It's a Justice League film, after all, bringing together brands as big as Batman and Superman with the established success of Wonder Woman and hopeful elements of The Flash and Aquaman.
Oh and Cyborg.
The cast was great, the talent behind the camera dependable (even when Joss Whedon hadn't yet taken over Snyder) and we were being told from the earliest point in production that it would fix the errors of Batman v Superman.
Why It Failed Anyway
Partly because it was the product of too many cooks when Whedon came in and was given way too little time to fix it and partly because the existing parts he was building on just weren't that good in the first place. In the end, it failed to make it to its project $750 million break-even point and it's now just destined to be a moustache-flavoured footnote in comic book movie history.
Zack Snyder's DCEU career ended abruptly and Whedon's credibility took a bit of a bath too. The biggest victim was the franchise itself, which is in the long, slow process of a confusing rebrand, with parts being pruned off and others seemingly just dying away on their own.