10 Infamous Movie Box Office Bombs That Cost Obscene Money

$175m spent so we could see Robert Downey Jr. pull bagpipes out of a dragon's butt.

47 ronin
Universal Pictures

Box office success is by no means a barometer of quality in the movie business, with all-time greats like The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner and It's a Wonderful Life all failing to catch on with audiences during their respective theatrical runs.

However, it is and always will be a commercially-driven business, and with budgets getting higher and higher and financial returns reaching the billion dollar mark with increasing regularity, the studios are under more pressure to deliver than ever before. The margins for financial success are getting thinner, which also means that the bombs are going to land harder.

Obviously not every movie gets to be a success, regardless of how good it is, but that's just the nature of the beast. Bad movies make a ton of money all the time, which is why we had to suffer through five of Michael Bay's Transformers, but sometimes a project will come along that is so bad and tanks so hard, that it gains an altogether different level of notoriety.

10. Gemini Man

47 ronin
Paramount Pictures

By modern standards, $138m isn't a huge amount of money to be spent on a Hollywood blockbuster that seeks to utilize cutting-edge techniques, but upon watching Gemini Man you get the distinct impression that funneling all of those funds towards the effects department left them more than a little short in other areas, most notably the script.

Ang Lee decided to painstakingly recreate a Fresh Prince era Will Smith using the latest in de-aging technology, but 'Junior' remained firmly stuck in the uncanny valley whenever he was required to move his blank and expressionless face. Surely the quickest and cheapest way to portray a young Will Smith would be to have him simply shave his goatee off given that he hardly seems to have aged since the mid-90s.

The 120 fps frame-rate was another unnecessary expense, and something that people just don't seem interested in, and instead of focusing on making the story as good as it could possibly be it appeared as though Lee was more focused on his fancy new toys, with Gemini Man greeted by a shrug as it went on to become one of the biggest box office bombs of last year.


I don't do social media, so like or follow me in person but please maintain a safe distance or the authorities will be notified. Don't snap me though, I'll probably break. I was once labelled a misogynist on this very site in a twenty paragraph-long rant for daring to speak ill of the Twilight franchise. I stand by what I said, it's crap.