Box office bomb

In the motion picture industry , a ” box office bomb ” or ” box office flop ” is a film that is considered highly unsuccessful or unprofitable during its theatrical run, often following significant hype regarding its cost, production, or marketing efforts. [1] [2] Generally, any film for which the production and marketing costs exceed the combined revenue recovered after release is considered to have “bombed”. [3]

“Box office bomb” is a subjective term, as the financial success of a film is difficult. There is also no reliable definition of the term. Not all films are considered “bombs”. [2] The label is generally applied to films that are very expensive to produce . Even though it is difficult to understand, it has a critical role to play. [4]

Causes of a movie’s failure

Negative word of mouth

Beginning in the 1980s, cinemas started to release movies that suffered a poor opening weekend. [5] This is the performance of a film on its opening weekend much more crucial to its perception. With the growth of the Internet during the 1990s, chat rooms and websites enabled negative opinions for movies to spread quickly.

Another cause for failure is a troubled production history. This was the case for Heaven’s Gate movie , which famously went from $ 7.5 million to $ 36 million. [6] These facts were criticized by Michael Cimino , and they were refused to film by the American press.


Movies can be bought if they are released at the same time as other movies that attract more viewers. A notable example of this was the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life . [7] The film was a financial loss for RKO because it was pitted against the highly successful films Miracle on 34th Street and The Best Years of Our Lives . However, it became highly popular during the television era and is now considered a Christmas classic.

External circumstances

Occasionally, movies may be underperformed because of issues unrelated to the movie itself. These issues are related to the timing of the film’s release. This is one of the reasons for the commercial failure of Hollywood’s first “flops”, Intolerance . Owing to output delays, the movie Was not released up to late 1916, qui Was a Time When the Widespread anti-war feeling it reflected HAD started to shift in favor of US entry into World War I. [8] While the movie later Would be considered groundbreaking, its failure drove DW Griffith’s production company, Triangle Studio, out of business. Other examples include MGM ‘s The Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney’s Pinocchio , Fantasia , and Bambi , all of which under-just because they were released during World War II. This was a time period that cut off 60% of Hollywood’s international release market. However, these films became popular and critically acclaimed in later years.

Another example of external events is the 2015 docudrama about FIFA entitled United Passions . It was released in theaters in the United States at the same time FIFA’s leaders were under investigation for fraud and corruption, and the film grossed only $ 918 at the box office in its opening weekend. [9] Comedian John Oliver lampooned the movie asking “Who makes a sports film where are the executives?” [10]

Other issues such as general economic malaise may be less disposable income for potential filmgoers, resulting in fewer ticket sales. Also, Many Movies that open During times of national crisis and just after-disasters Such As the Hindenburg disaster , Pearl Harbor , the JFK assassination , the Oklahoma bombings , Columbine High shooting , the 2001 September 11 attacks , Manchester Concert bombings , Sandy Hook Elementary shooting , the 2008 recession , the Las Vegas massacre , the bombing in Boston Marathon ,Virginia Tech massacre , a major tsunami and earthquake in Japan , respective wars in Iraq or Vietnam , and hurricanes (ie Sandy , Katrina , Harvey , [11] or Irma ) under-perform at the box office. [12] In the case of the 9/11 attacks, three movies that dealt with the subject of terrorism in a variety of ways (September 14 and December 31, 2001 ( Collateral Damage , Big Trouble , and Bad Company ). quote needed ] The release dates for these films were pushed back to 2002, and none at the box office.

High production costs

Sometimes a film may be reasonably well at the box office but still be considered a broad budget. For example, 2005’s Sahara cost over $ 241 million to make (including marketing and distribution), due in part to exorbitant production costs. It took $ 122 million, usually enough to be successful. However, in this case, this account is barely over half of its expenses. [13] In 2012, Disney reported losses of $ 200 million on John Carter . The film had made a considerable $ 234 million worldwide, but this was $ 250 million budget plus worldwide advertising. [14] Another example is 47 Ronin, which was released in 2013 and made over $ 151 million at the box office. However, the film cost a total of $ 225 million to make its exorbitant production costs, and its box office gross accounted for barely over 2/3 of its expenses. quote needed ]

Recovery of flops

Movies which are viewed as “flops” may recover income elsewhere. Several films have been under-performed in the United States but have been successful in the past. [15] [16] Movies can also recover money through international distribution, sales to syndication television , and distribution outside of cinemas (download, DVD, pay-per-view ). [17] Other movies-have succeeded long after-cinema release by Becoming cult movies or being white re-Evaluated over time. High-profile films fitting this description include Blade Runner and Shawshank Redemption ,which both lost money at the box office has become highly popular. [18]

Studios pushed into financial trouble

In extreme cases, a single film’s lackluster performance can push a studio into financial losses, bankruptcy or closure . Examples of this include: RKO Pictures ( The Conqueror ), United Artists ( Heaven’s Gate ), Carolco Pictures ( Cutthroat Island , once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest box office loss of all time [19] ), Fox Animation Studios ( Titan AE ), Warner Bros. Feature Animation ( Iron Giant and Looney Tunes Back in Action), DreamWorks Animation ( Rise of the Guardians and Mr. Peabody & Sherman ), Fleischer Studios ( Mr. Bug Goes to Town ), Hanna-Barbera ( Once Upon a Forest ), Cartoon Network Films ( The Powerpuff Girls Movie ) ImageMovers Digital ( Mars Needs Moms ), The Ladd Company ( Twice Upon a Time and The Right Stuff ), New Line Cinema ( The Golden Compass ), and ITC Entertainment ( Can not Stop the Music)and Raise the Titanic ). The under-performance of The Golden Compass was seen as a significant factor in influencing Warner Bros. decision to take direct control of New Line Cinema . [20] The bombing of Metropolis – at the time the most expensive German movie ever made – was one contributing factor in UFA being bought up by Alfred Hugenberg later in 1927. A series of financial under-performance of such films Rise of the Guardians , Turbo , Mr. Peabody & Sherman , Penguins of Madagascar , and Homewere influencing factors in DreamWorks Animation’s decision to sell itself to NBCUniversal .

When it’s time to revive a genre is particularly costly, all studios may subsequently have produced similar movies, have been with Gold Circle Films ‘ horror-comedy Slither , which is less than a $ 29.5 million budget. Some financial losses have changed to a company’s agenda, such as Walt Disney Animation Studios ‘ decision in the early 2000s to make only computer-animated features, which stemmed from several under-performing traditionally animatedreleases, including The Emperor’s New Groove , Atlantis: The Lost Empire , Treasure Planet and Home on the Range. Due to under-the box office performance of the film Cats Do not Dance , Quest for Camelot , The Iron Giant , Osmosis Jones , and Looney Tunes: Back in Action , Warner Bros. Animation shifted from theatrical features to television shows. However, the studio eventually returned to theatrical features with The Lego Movie in 2014, which has become critically acclaimed and has become a major box office success. [21] [22]

In 2001, Square Pictures released its first movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within , an animated motion picture inspired by the Final Fantasy series of video games. It’s worth $ 52 million. Following the film’s struggles, Square Pictures ceased producing feature films. citation needed ] In 2011, Mars Needs Moms was the last film released by Digital ImageMovers before it got absorbed by ImageMovers to a loss of nearly $ 140 million-the largest box office bomb of all time in nominal dollarterms. Despite this loss, the decision to close the production was made a year prior to the film’s release. [23]

List of box office bombs

Main article: List of box office bombs

Independent movies

The 2006 independent movie Zyzzyx Road made just $ 30 at the US box office. The film, with a budget of $ 1.2 million and starring Tom Sizemore and Katherine Heigl , owes icts tiny returned to icts limited box office release – just six days in a single theater in Dallas for the purpose of meeting SAG requirements – Rather than icts Ability to attract viewers. [24] [25] According to co-star Leo Grillo, it sold six tickets, two of which were to cast members. [26]

Previously, the British movie Offending Angels had become notorious for less than £ 100 (~ $ 150 [27] ) at the box office. [28] It had a £ 70,000 (~ $ 105,000 [27] ) budget was panned by critics including the BBC , who called it “truly awful stack of garbage”, [29] and Total Film , who called it “irredeemable” . [30]

In 2011, the movie The Worst Movie Ever! just $ 11 at the domestic box office. It played in only one theater. [31]

See also

  • List of movies considered the worst


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  10. Jump up^ “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: FIFA and the World Cup (HBO)”onYouTube
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  13. Jump up^ Glenn F. Bunting,Jurors hear tales of maneuvering studio,Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2007
  14. Jump up^ “Carter John flop to cost Walt Disney $ 200m” . BBC News . 2012-03-20.
  15. Jump up^ Mendelson, Scott. ” ‘ Pacific Rim’ And More Domestic” Flops “That Became Global Hits” . Forbes . Retrieved 19 August 2015 .
  16. Jump up^ Fleming Jr., Mike (August 7, 2013). “Is not It Time To Take ‘Waterworld’ Off The All-Time Flop List?” . . Retrieved August 13, 2013.
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  21. Jump up^ “Warner Bros. Creates Movie Think Tank Animation” . The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved 2017-11-20 .
  22. Jump up^ ” ‘ The Lego Movie’ Snaps a Bright, Colorful Franchise Into Place for Warner Bros. Animation ‘ . TheWrap . 2014-02-09 . Retrieved 2017-11-20 .
  23. Jump up^ Finke, Nikki (2010-03-12). “Disney Closing Zemeckis’ Digital Studio” . . Retrieved 2010-11-21 .
  24. Jump up^ Faraci, Devin (2006-12-31). “What if they released a movie and nobody cam?” . . Retrieved 2007-01-02 .
  25. Jump up^ Brunner, Rob (2007-02-09). “The Strange and Twisted Tale of … The Movie That Grossed $ 30.00” . Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2008-01-24 .
  26. Jump up^ Mueller, Andrew (2007-01-16). “This movie is absolute dross – people are going to love it!” . The Guardian . London . Retrieved 2007-01-15 .
  27. ^ Jump up to:b Officer, Lawrence H. “Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate From 1791 2000-2002” . MeasuringWorth . Retrieved November 9, 2017 .
  28. Jump up^ logboy (2006-02-03). “Offending Angels. £ 70k Budget, £ 89 Box Office .8 DVD Sales to Double Its Takings” . . Retrieved 2007-01-16.
  29. Jump up^ Russell, Jamie (2002-04-10). “Offending Angels (2002)” . BBC . Retrieved 2007-01-16 .
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