SLIDESHOW: John Carter, The Lone Ranger and Other Box Office Flops
Depending on who you talk to (and which publications you read), different films will be mentioned as the "biggest flops."
Many have argued that Zyzzyx Road, the little-known indie flick that stars Katherine Heigl, was the biggest flop of all time. Though the film's exact revenue is unclear, it appears to have earned somewhere between $20 (yes, the price of roughly two movie tickets) and £230,000.
While its producers may have been disappointed, is that really a flop? If no one had heard of the film before its release, and if it only played in a few theaters, can it really be compared to the likes of Disney's (NYSE: DIS) John Carter?
With that in mind, the following list of box office flops will focus on films with big stars (spoiler alert: Eddie Murphy makes an appearance), big production budgets and/or massive ad campaigns.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
The Die Hard series just don't die.
Banking on the success of Live Free or Die Hard, Fox decided to take another stab at the franchise.
The resulting film, A Good Day to Die Hard, cost $92 million to produce, but only earned $67.3 million at the domestic box office.
If it weren't for the additional global revenue of $237 million, this film would have been a total loss.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
While Speed Racer nearly broke even, Town & Country's earnings could barely cover the cost of just one actor.
The film had a ton of big players from yesteryear, including Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and John Hartnett.
New Line must have paid them $10+ million each, as the budget somehow reached $90 million.
Moviegoers were unimpressed. The film made a paltry sum of $10.3 million worldwide.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Evan Almighty, the pseudo-sequel to the hugely successful Bruce Almighty, is frequently cited as the most expensive comedy of all time.
Those who have seen it cannot understand why.
While The Avengers lived up to its $220 million budget, Evan Almighty cost $175 million to produce, and looked like it was made for television.
While Bruce Almighty earned more than $400 million worldwide, Evan Almighty topped out at just $173 million.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Wild Wild West was expected to be Will Smith's biggest film since Men in Black.
With a budget of $170 million, West was nearly twice as expensive to produce.
That might still sound like a positive (any amount of profit is better than no profit, right?), but there were reports that young moviegoers purchased a West ticket and snuck in to see South Park.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Somewhere in a movie studio, far, far away, company executives approved a screenplay called Mars Needs Moms.
If the absurd title wasn't enough, they decided to apply a $150 million budget -- and a lengthy ad campaign that aired commercials around the clock.
After all was said and done, the film grossed $38.9 million, proving that moviegoers are smarter than studio executives.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
In 2002 (back when Pluto was still known as a planet), Warner Bros. made a film called The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
Starring Eddie Murphy and a smattering of B- and C-level actors, Pluto Nash cost $100 million to produce.
After the trailers and TV spots failed to compel moviegoers, the film earned a painful $7.1 million worldwide.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
John Carter's shortcomings have been well chronicled on Benzinga.
Contrary to popular belief, the film earned $282 million globally on a budget of $250 million.
Even if it managed to break even, John Carter was hardly a great use of studio funds.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Investors might have thought that Disney (NYSE: DIS) learned its lesson after John Carter.
Unfortunately, The Lone Ranger was in production long before moviegoers rejected John Carter.
With bigger star power, Disney decided to move ahead with its Lone Ranger update.
That may have been a mistake. Johnny Depp may be able to lure some moviegoers, but the film bombed during its Tuesday night debut.
The film did not perform much better on Wednesday, earning just $9.6 million.
Despicable Me 2, the number-one film, made $34.3 million on the same day.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
John Travolta and Forest Whitaker were not known for their sci-fi expertise, but they were the stars of this unlikely flick.
Warner Bros. spent $73 million to produce the flick, which proved to be a problem after moviegoers saw the trailer.
By the end of its run, Battlefield Earth had earned just $29.7 million worldwide.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
See which TV shows should get a revival besides the one that made Jack Bauer a household name.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons