It’s quite difficult for a movie to totally bomb. Most movies, given a long enough timeframe, will make their money back. That timeframe differs from project to project – it might turn a profit at Christmas, or a year after the theatrical release, or after twenty years on DVD, but the high-stakes mega-budget mega-cast CGI extravaganzas that we get nowadays rarely fail, purely because of who’s in them. How else do you explain the continued popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean series? Two words – Johnny Depp. He very rarely bombs (Dark Shadows notwithstanding) purely because he is attractive and the budgets of the films he’s usually in are huge.
That said, he is in a film on this list. I wonder if you can guess which one.
Now, nobody likes to see a movie fail, unless it’s a veiled Scientology-based vanity project (more on that later). When a film does bomb, it means that all the hard work of the cast and crew has essentially been for naught, even though they would still have been paid. That’s not to say that nobody can predict which films will bomb – the upcoming Keanu Reeves martial arts epic 47-Ronin is already expected to flop based on a poor performance in Japan.
But then there are the less honourable failures. Take for example the shady dealings of filmmaker Uwe Boll (director of BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead and other videogame-based monstrosities), whose films often rely on failure to assure that any money invested becomes a tax write-off. I assume that none of the films presented here, in no particular order, were created under such a scheme. Ultimately though, we’ll never know.
What you’ll find on this list are several films that bombed in 2013 that appeared to have everything going for them – the best cast, best story, best trailer, or best budget. Or a combination of several of those things.
Regardless, these movies all tanked quite hard, despite sounding awfully promising while they were in production.