As One Of 2016’s Biggest Flops, Ben-Hur Looks Set To Lose $120 Million


With Labor Day now behind us, the summer movie season is officially over. It’s been an odd few months with a lot of flops, but the “winner” has now been found in Ben-Hur. The remake of the Oscar winning classic failed to impress critics and moviegoers simply didn’t appear to be interested in checking out the movie starring Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell.

After opening nearly a month ago, Ben-Hur hasn’t even reached $75 million worldwide as of right now, and as a result, MGM and Paramount are looking at a $120 million loss.

Ben-Hur had a production budget of $100 million, and 80% of that and a good proportion of the marketing costs were paid for by MGM, so they’re facing the biggest loss here. They’re really feeling the pain, too, as the failure of the movie has resulted in them having to downgrade their fiscal earnings forecast for the year due to the third-quarter write-down from Ben-Hur.

On the plus side for MGM, they had a huge hit this summer in the form of Me Before You as that film has so far earned over $200 million worldwide on a budget of just $20 million.

Will the failings of Ben-Hur discourage other studios from unnecessary remakes and reboots? Who knows, but with even the likes of Alice Through the Looking Glass and The BFG failing to connect with audiences this summer, it seems like it’s getting more difficult for studios to predict what moviegoers want from their tentpole releases.

About the author