I would like to thank the Spill Community for liking my blog on the various Moneymakers of 2009. So I feel like in return, I should cover the flipside of that and cover the various Box Office Flops of 2009.
The difference between this blog and that one though, is that a "flop" of course, doesn't necessarily mean a bad film. It can be bad...no doubt about that. But it can be critically acclaimed and still barely make any money, as you will read. Some good examples of this would with some comedies in the last few years. Last year's The Love Guru
was a terrible movie, that actually did bad at the box office despite the fact that it looked like a silly Mike Meyer's Romp like Austin Powers. Bad word of mouth really hurt it. And before that, we had the flop known as Walk Hard.
And while that is not a perfect movie, it is definitely a hilarious movie that did it's research and is wonderful parody on the music biopic.
Okay, and now onto the list. Note, these are films that did not earn their money back. Not movies that didn't live up to expectations (a la A Christmas Carol
1. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
Okay, I don't think any of us are really going to complain that this bombed...
Should have done some investigating Capcom
But it's just what happens when you make a movie to promote something else. Or a television show. I believe this film was released to promote Street Fighter IV, but damn does it feel like a waste to see what kind of film this turned into. It's definitely one of those head-scratching moments where you look at when someone takes over an intellectual property, and has a need to pad it out with plot. It's odd how many "action" directors look at a property like this and go "Oh, the fans don't want to see the fantastic, over-the-top fighting! They want back story!"
Budget: 50 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 12 Million Dollars
2. The Soloist
I think at the beginning of 2009, many people looked at this automatically as an Oscar contender just from the looks alone. Jamie Foxx
? Awesome. Robert Downey Jr.
? Incredible. The story is gonna blow us away!
Sadly though, great actors don't make every movie a winner. The key problem with this movie was that lack of focus it had between the story and the message. A movie can be very bad and boring even if it had actors that make a strong performance, and that's something very important to remember. A film like this isn't expected to make gangbusters. (Heck, most Oscar contenders make you go, "When did that movie come out?!") But if you set expectations like that, you really need to perform.
Budget: 60 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 31 Million Dollars
3. Land of the Lost
What happened to this movie just makes me think one thing. "Poor Will Ferrell
This film was not received well by the critics at all, but I think many of us expected this to earn plenty of money because not only was it a blockbuster, it was based off a property. But I think the biggest flaw would be poor planning, because this came out around the same time as The Hangover
. Plus, Up
, Drag Me To Hell
, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
were already out, so everyone who could have been interested into this movie was probably going to something else. I think if it came out in last August or September or something, it would of made plenty of money.
Just because you could take a summer slot, doesn't mean you always should.
Budget: 100 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 65 Million Dollars
4. Imagine That
Oh Eddie Murphy, did you learn anything from Meet Dave
? The Haunted Mansion
work because you had Disney backing you up. I think you can add in the same equation with this movie as The Love Guru
, where the comedian thought he had more draw-in appeal than what's realized. And good old Eddie doesn't come cheap.
As Carlyle said, this is milquetoast family entertainment. I mean, tons of shows have covered the workaholic dad and the family who gets neglected by it. (You can personally judge if the children are unappreciative or not) It is a little surprising though that it flopped because at that time, there weren't any other family films out in May. Up
two weeks prior, but I guess people didn't get tired of it. (Which isn't a problem, Up was great) I guess it's really hard to predict people, I suppose.
Budget: 55 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 16 Million Dollars
When you look at a movie like this, animosity immediately comes up through your core because of those annoying shows the tweens talk about. But this movie was actually critically acclaimed. But even if this movie had low rating, it would still make money because of how it appeals to the Disney audience, like other movies that came out like The Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience
and The Hannah Montana Movie
Surprisingly, this was actually a flop. Could too much animosity actually worked this time? After all, it features Vanessa Hudgens
and Alyson Michalka
who are known for starring in Disney programs. I'm willing to say though that the advertising campaign is probably what screwed this movie over because it was said to have bad marketing tie-ins, audience targeting, and positioning. Enough advertising would have worked for this movie in my opinion, because it was said to have an original story. So kind of a failed opportunity with this. Or maybe kids were afraid of that guy in the poster's
Budget: 20 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 11.5 Million Dollars
6. Taking Woodstock
This one really surprised me that it didn't earned money it did. It got advertising, had Demetri Martin who was really loved at the time, and Woodstock is a theme that really attracts people. What went wrong?
No real idea here. I'm thinking bad words from critics would of affected it because the movie focused on a different side of Woodstock, as the Spill Crew has talked about. Woodstock usually causes us to think about Hendrix, Joplin, Free Love and Hippies, but you do need to think that someone had to clean up after all those dirty hippies. I thought the movie was cool, not great, but the amount the movie did not make is a little strange.
Budget: 30 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 8 Million Dollars
7. Fantastic Mr. Fox
This one to me, is the biggest heart-breaker from the whole list. And while we can predict that the budget could really recover in DVD form, it feels iffy that this movie didn't make that much money.
If you want a movie that defies style, look no further. It's stylish, funny, entertaining, and incredibly atmospheric with the soundtrack and detail added all around. This movie also went very really, really quick and hardly any of it feels like filler. It's in many peoples Top 10 lists for 2009. Yet, it never made it in the Top 5 movies of the week in the weeks it's been out. I know this sounds elitist, but I think it was too stylish for people to really get into. It baffles me how people watched Old Dogs over this movie and how people didn't listen to the critical praise that this was getting compared to other PG-rated films. It stings a lot that this movie got smothered by bad movies and is now shadowed completely. I pray that it has longevity once it comes out on DVD.
Budget: 40 Million Dollars
Gross Revenue: 21 Million Dollars
When a movie flops, it's important to know the "why." Sometimes it's because not enough people watched it, the movie was bad in general, or even the marketing team screwed up. If a film happened to pass by you, just think about it in for a bit when you see it on the DVD Shelf, The Redbox Machine, or as a newly posted movie on Netflix. Think to yourself, could this movie appeal to me? There's only one way to truly find out, but doing your research will work wonders.