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The 13 Least Profitable Movies Ever Made

Updated February 5, 2020 228.4k views13 items

Some movies fizzle, and then some just plain tank. The films here represent the A-bombs of the A-list: gargantuan-budget pictures that nobody seemed to want to sit through. While not all of these movies are necessarily bad, all of them turned into huge losses for their respective studios. Even the most marketable actors and elaborate sets could not drag in audiences to fill the theater seats.

There are also plenty of rumors in the world of cinematic failures; some fabled studio-bankrupting flicks actually turned profits. Waterworld, for example, did not make the roster below since it actually raked in around $264 million in global box office sales, far more than the $175 million that went into production. However, the epic went way over budget, earned less-than-glowing reviews and fared rather poorly in the American market (the bulk of revenue came from overseas), badly tarnishing actor/producer Kevin Costner's reputation. While Waterworld managed to escape this list, Costner's name still appears for other work.

What are the least successful movies? There are some realy clunkers on this list, and they are considered failures since they didn't make any money and were pretty to boot.

  • The Adventures of Pluto Nash
    Video: YouTube

    Budget: $100 million
    Box Office: 7.1 Million

    This exorbitantly-budgeted turkey from director Ron Underwood starred Eddie Murphy as smuggler-turned-entrepreneur Pluto Nash, who owns a nightclub on the moon. When his club is burned down, Nash sets out to find the arsonist who has ruined his livelihood.

    Critics gave the 2002 flick a harsh reception, and it managed to make Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 100 worst movies of all time. Despite the huge amount of cash pumped into this disaster, the special effects were deemed primitive and the acting even worse. Nash managed to garner five Golden Raspberry nominations, including one in the Worst Picture category.

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  • Mars Needs Moms
    Video: YouTube

    Budget: $150 million

    Box Office: $39 million

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  • The Alamo
    Video: YouTube

    Budget: $145 million
    Box Office: $25.8 million

    This 2004 depiction of the infamous Texas Revolution battle was helmed by director John Lee hancock and included the legendary Ron Howard among its roster of producers. Critics regarded the flop as draggy and uninspiring, with stars Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Quaid failing to draw in an audience. The one thing that The Alamo may have going for it is historical accuracy. However, even this must be called into question as historians don't agree about what actually happened at the event.

    Upon release, the film was trounced at the box office by The Passion of the Christ, which had already been in theaters for some time but was still pulling people in for second or third viewings.

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  • Gigli
    Video: YouTube

    Budget: $74 million
    Box Office: $7.3 million

    Given the tsunami of media attention that power-couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez garnered in 2003, it seemed that Gigli would be a sure-fire sensation. Writer/director Martin Brest commandeered this sinking ship, which starred Affleck as the title character, a mobster with a soft heart. When Gigli is ordered to conduct a kidnapping, Lopez is appointed to make sure he gets the job done right.

    Reviewers slammed Gigli, and audiences seemed to have no interest in watching the two stars outside of the tabloid realm. Thus, the film was pulled from theaters after a pitiful three-week run.
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