Despite starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert De Niro, Rami Malek and several others, David O. Russell’s latest film, Amsterdam, suffered a financial beating at the box office upon its October 2022 release. an $80 million, the film grossed a meager $27 million internationally (according to The Numbers), suggesting that a proven star-studded cast alone doesn’t guarantee financial success.
While there has been no shortage of notorious box office bombs in film history, Amsterdam joins a peculiar crop of movie flops that boast stellar sets.
Heaven’s Gate (1980)
One of the greatest cautionary tales in Hollywood history, Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate all but sank United Artists due to its out-of-control budget and skyrocketing output. With today’s biggest A-list stars headlining, including Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, and more, the sprawling western epic n could not overcome its production problems.
After the dust settled, Heaven’s Gate only grossed $3.5 million against a production budget of around $44 million (according to The Numbers). The film was bombarded for several, including the fatigue that audiences might have felt for the Western genre in 1980. When the film premiered with a running time of nearly four hours, critics blasted the film as an overly indulgent waste. , which severely hampered the film’s chances with the public. Soaring production costs and Cimino’s penchant for shooting lots of takes only further damage the film’s reputation.
Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
One of Hollywood’s biggest misfires in history, Brian De Palma’s adaptation of the best-selling novel The Bonfire of the Vanities starred Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattral and a host of stellar character actors. When the film’s poor reviews began to seep in due to the film’s deafness, the film took a huge hit at the box office.
According to The Numbers, The Bonfire of the Vanities grossed $15.4 million against a production budget of $47 million, ending Brian De Palma’s directorial reign until 1996’s Mission: Impossible. your confusing tone that abruptly shifts from comedy to drama, audiences found the main characters deeply deplorable, which is nearly impossible to do with Hanks in the lead role. As such, fans of the novel felt alienated by De Palma’s big-screen vision and the film therefore flopped.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Inspired by David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Glengarry Glen Ross features everyone from Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin and Alan Arkin to Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris and Jonathan Pryce. Yet, after tallying the takings, the film did not break even when it was released in 1992.
According to The Numbers, Glengarry Glen Ross brought in $10.7 million against a budget of $12.5 million. While it hardly constitutes the biggest box office flop ever, the fact that the film flopped despite overwhelming critical acclaim while boasting one of the most impressive A-list ensembles is truly remarkable. But due to the small and limited arthouse release, the movie failed to compete with heavy hitters like Batman Returns, Lethal Weapon 3, Home Alone 2, etc.
Boasting Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah Oscars to go along with box office draws such as Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone, not to mention the inspired cast of Liev Schreiber and rock star Huey Lewis, Barry Levinson’s Sphere still flopped at the box office in February 1998. Even Michael Crichton’s sci-fi source novel’s built-in fan base didn’t seem to make a difference. If there was ever a sci-fi bombshell worth rebooting, it’s Sphere.
According to The Numbers, Sphere turned an $80 million production budget into a $50 million earner internationally, losing $30 million despite the extremely talented ensemble. The film’s flabby, derivative, and disappointing script and total copycat of an ending left many critics perplexed, with negative word-of-mouth hurting the film’s performance. Even Jackson’s bona fides at the box office couldn’t save Sphere from the depths.
Despite earning two Oscar nominations, filmmaker Michael Mann’s all-star lineup for the boxing biopic Ali didn’t strike box office gold in 2001. Huge draw of Will Smith in the title role, the film starred Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Jeffrey Wright, Jada Pinkett Smith, Giancarlo Esposito and countless other familiar faces.
Yet when the count was made, Ali failed to break even at the international box office, grossing $87.8 million on a budget of $107 million. The numbers are staggering given that the film was released at the height of Will Smith’s bona fide bankability, while also featuring his career-best performance up to that point. Sadly, Ali was no match for an unknown contestant named Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, which opened a month prior and stole all the glory.
Rock of Ages (2012)
With Tom Cruise’s wattage leading Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Diego Boneta, and more, it’s somewhat surprising that Rock of Ages lost money at the box office. . However, lackluster reviews kept audiences at bay in the summer of 2012.
The catchy jukebox musical cost an estimated $75 million to produce, but ended up losing money, grossing $59 million at the international box office (per Box Office Mojo). Along with the uninspired choreography and lack of live performance energy as the cause of its failures, the film clashed with The Avengers at the box office, which topped the box office in the summer of 2012. .
Deep Water Horizon (2016)
Based on the tragic true story, Peter Berg’s epic disaster film Deepwater Horizon boasted an all-star cast that included Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Kate Hudson, Dylan O’Brien and many more recognizable faces. Despite the top-notch set and positive reviews, the film sank stronger than the oil rig the story was set on.
According to Deadline, Deepwater Horizon began production with a budget of $156 million. Per Box Office Mojo, the film earned $122 million internationally, including $61 million domestically. In Hollywood’s changing landscape geared towards younger crowds, the mature story failed to attract the older viewers it needed to offset the skyrocketing budget. Instead, those crowds gravitated toward Sully.
Knight of Cups (2015)
While Terrence Malick’s films are always aimed at a niche audience, he couldn’t have foreseen how mediocre his experimental film Knight of Cups was in 2015. Even with the low overhead, the immense talent of Oscar caliber failed to strike a deal. with the movie-loving masses.
Despite featuring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Brian Dennehy and more, Knight of Cups grossed less than $1.1 million internationally. Many critics claimed that Malick was too distant and out of touch with his story. However, the movie only opened in four theaters, which is the main reason it did such bad business.
With Cameron Crowe at the helm, it’s hardly a shock that A-list actors such as Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin and other actors from the unfortunate 2015 film Aloha. Along with a whitewashing controversy and poor reviews, the film did not break even financially.
Regardless of the immense talent attached to Aloha, the film grossed a disappointing $26 million against a production budget of $37 million (per Box Office Mojo). Aside from the controversial whitewashing review that doomed the film’s chances of success, details of Sony’s email hack also indicated that studio executives were disappointed with the film.
The Last Duel (2021)
Although Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver and breakout star Jodie Comer led the way, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel was one of the biggest box office failures of 2021. Despite positive reviews , the film was released during the height of the pandemic lockdown and suffered badly from it.
Armed with an estimated budget of $100 million, The Last Duel earned $30 million internationally, including just $10.8 million in North America (according to The Numbers). Scott blamed millennials’ attention span as the reason for the film’s failure, while audiences claimed it was due to poor marketing (per Insider.com)
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10 Movies That Failed Despite All-Star Castings | Pretty Reel