From David O. Russell’s star-studded “Amsterdam” to Billy Eichner‘s “Bros,” October 2022 has been a memorable month for high-profile box office flops. Not that poor box office results always reflect a movie’s calibre. Martin Scorsese recently gained notoriety for criticising the entertainment industry’s fixation on box office results and the practise of evaluating movies according to their opening weekend takings.
Scorsese and Wright are correct; many of the most well regarded movies of this century began as box office duds. It’s become very evident that you can’t assess a movie by its box office success, whether it is “Children of Men,” “The Master,” or “Under the Skin.“
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Top Flops At Box Office
10. Three Thousand Years of Longing
The sequel to George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” featuring Tilda Swinton as a scholar who meets a djinn (Idris Elba) and mulls over which three wishes to grant, failed to capitalise on all the positive publicity surrounding the first film. With a pitiful $2 million opening weekend, the Amazon Studios production flopped at the movie office. Given how peculiar Miller’s concept for the movie is, this is unfortunate. Miller jumps back through time to paint intricate memories of the djinn’s three thousand years spent around the world as the scholar and the djinn argue about the morality of making wishes.
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Billy Eichner gained notoriety after his Universal-backed comedy “Bros” received a dismal $4.8 million opening weekend. The film’s marketing was poor, and it had a strange release date, yet the writer and performer still laid the blame for the box office failure on homophobia. Regardless, “Bros” adheres to the tried-and-true romantic comedy formula while being consistently entertaining. In other words, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a huge hit that draws a lot of attention.
8. Nightmare Alley
Martin Scorsese penned an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times imploring people to watch Guillermo del Toro’s noir picture “Nightmare Alley” in theatres because it struggled so much at the box office ($37 million worldwide on a $60 million production budget). The fact that fewer people were attending screenings of the film “Nightmare Alley,” in which Bradley Cooper plays a con artist who advances from a carnival worker to a well-known illusionist, was described by director Martin Scorsese as “distressing.”
The movie is currently accessible for streaming on Hulu and HBO Max.
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7. West Side Story
In 2021, the box office was not kind to musicals (see the poor performance of “In the Heights” below). Film critics were wowed by Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story,” but American moviegoers largely shunned the movie, which only made $38 million domestically. The movie made $73 million worldwide, but it wasn’t enough given that the musical production cost well over $100 million. One can only hope that the movie’s March 2022 streaming launch on Disney Plus is attracting new viewers. Seven nominations for the Oscars were given to “West Side Story,” including nominations for picture, director, and supporting actress for front-runner Ariana DeBose.
6. In The Heights
In the Heights, a blockbuster version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning play, directed by Jon M. Chu, had a disastrous summer 2021 box office performance, earning only $29 million domestically and less than $45 million internationally. The movie “In the Heights” captures the lives of people trapped in a dizzying, occasionally sad dance between the country of their ancestors and the America they have made their home. HBO Max currently offers the movie for streaming.
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5. The Last Duel
One of the most financially disastrous films of the epidemic era is Ridley Scott’s historical epic “The Last Duel.” Despite having a production budget of more than $100 million, the movie only made $10 million in the United States and $30 million globally. Due in large part to the presence of A-list actors like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, such numbers make it a historic failure. Scott produced a “pretty compelling” historical epic and “an engrossing drama of ambition, romance, and political chicanery,” thus the poor box office performance was sad.
The millennials do not ever want to be taught anything unless you’re told it on a cellphone.” HBO Max is now showing “The Last Duel.”
4. The Many Saints of Newark
The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to David Chase’s “Sopranos,” was perhaps the biggest casualty of Warner Bros.’ decision to release all of its 2021 films on HBO Max on the same day that they hit theatres. Even though “Newark” only made $8 million in the United States and $12 million globally at the box office, studio executives were happy with how the prequel did on streaming.
It’s reasonable to suppose that audiences who were accustomed to watching “The Sopranos” on television or online continued to do so for “The Many Saints of Newark.“
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3. The Suicide Squad
Without the pandemic and Warner Bros.’ decision to release “The Suicide Squad“. On HBO Max at the same time it opened in theatres, would the film be a bigger box office success for James Gunn? We can only hope that Gunn’s brutal DC Comics tentpole deserves to make a lot more money than its $55 million domestically and $167 million globally. With a $185 million production budget, the final numbers are terribly low for a comic book tentpole.
2. The Rhythm Section
The action film “The Rhythm Section,” which starred Blake Lively, had a $50 million production budget. But only made $6 million worldwide, making it one of the year’s worst box office flops. It’s a shame because Reed Morano, who won an Emmy for directing “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is a talented director who should have been very high on Marvel’s list after this effort. The movie is a visceral piece of action filmmaking. Morano displays some amazing action scenes, including a one-take combat scene that should have received far more notice when the movie first started.
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1. Ad Astra
With a worldwide box office take of $127 million on a budget of just under $100 million, “Ad Astra” barely made money. But its domestic take of $50 million showed that audiences in the United States largely ignored the movie. That’s a failure when A-lister Brad Pitt is the star of an epic space odyssey (especially when his career is at its height because of the press tour he did for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” during awards season). Ad Astra is not your typical action movie; instead, it portrays the personal struggle of a man with his father’s legacy on a cosmic scale.
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FactsTalky provided you a list of excellent movies that were box office duds. How’s your rating. Tell us in the Comments.
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