For the most part, 2019 has been a year of record-breaking success and unprecedented popularity for the box office. Granted, this was largely concentrated to the action blockbusters helmed by Keanu Reeves or the Marvel films that exploded into the cinema with the kind of fanfare that was once resigned to teen-boppy boy bands alone.
To put things in perspective, Avengers: Endgame saw numerous records broken, including the film’s two trailers becoming the most-viewed trailers on YouTube history, amassing 289 million views in its first 24 hours. The film itself became the first to take just six hours for pre-sales to topple the $120-$140 million range, while release day saw the film make $100 million within 17 hours of its release.
But reflecting on the year that’s been tends to see us all rest solely on the positives, curating our own highlight reel of triumphs that make 2019 seem like one consistent accomplishment after another. But that isn’t quite the case, with a number of movies crashing harder than a high-speed car chase in Fast and Furious. Thanks to reports from IGN, we can now take stock of the movies we didn’t see – those that opened wide (to at least 1,000 theatres or more) and still failed to recoup their production budget from their worldwide tally.
As IGN explains, “When you factor in the production budget, plus publicity and advertising costs, plus other expenditures like first-dollar gross points paid out to stars and/or filmmakers, it’s generally believed that a film should earn back at least twice its production budget to truly break even.”
So, without further ado, here are the biggest flops of 2019. Should the Christmas food coma prove too much for you, perhaps it’s time to put one of these on TV and watch the calamity of Hollywood unfold thanks to lazy scriptwriting, poor acting, and just over-blown budgets.
$4.5 million domestic, $7.8 million worldwide, $20 million
Given the success of Lord of the Rings, it seemed inevitable that Tolkien would fetch much the same success at the box office. Sadly, the film did little to inspire audiences to go to the cinema and instead, it debuted with just $2.2 million from 1,495 theatres for a $1,471per-screen average. It was later yanked from cinemas after five short weeks.
$13.6 million domestic, $16.4 million worldwide, $10 million budget
Poms is most likely the film you never even heard about, and for good reason. It came out in the midst of Avengers: Endgame and Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, meaning things were always working against it from the beginning. But it failed to cut through the noise, opening to just $5.4 million from 2,750 theatres for a dreadful $1,949 per-screen average.
$21.9million domestic, $44.7 million worldwide, $50 million budget
When Mike Mingola decided to reboot his beloved Hellboy rather than allow The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro to make a third entry in their franchise, things were already on shaky ground. The film that starred David Harbour was absolutely slated by critics, receiving just a 17 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This dismal response was reflected at the box office, after the film opened with just $12 million from 3,303 theatres for a $3,646 per-screen average.
$15 million domestic, $15.4million worldwide, $15 million budget
When Sony attempted to remake the original 2011 thriller, it was hoped that young star Gina Rodriguez would see the new film rise to even greater success. But when Miss Bala debuted in February, it failed to reel in audiences and remains the lowest-grossing overall weekend of 2019,opening with $6.9 million from 2,203 theatres for a $3,116 per-screen average.
The Beach Bum
$3.5 million domestic, $4.6 million worldwide, $5 million budget
As IGN suggests, “On one hand, it’s hard to call a movie like The Beach Bum a bomb when it only cost $5 million to make. On the other hand, it’s hard not to call it a bomb when it can’t even earn that minimal budget back.” Such is the case with the Matthew McConaughey-starring film, which earned just $1,763,070 from 1,100 theatres, for a per-screen average of $1,602.
The Kid Who Would Be King
$16.8 million domestic, $32.1 million worldwide, $59 million budget
While The Kid Who Would Be King was loved by critics, scoring 89 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, it was still largely ignored by audiences, leading to a significant bomb at the box office. The film opened to just $7.2 million from 3,521 theatres for a dismal per-screen average of $2,037.
$20.2 million domestic, $32.5 million worldwide, $45 million budget
When a movie debuts a week after Avengers: Endgame, the figures aren’t going to look too good. But UglyDolls didn’t so much as suffer from a miscalculate debut date, as opposed to just a terrible storyline. Consequently, it debuted with $8.6 million from 3,652 theatres for a per-screen average of $2,355.
$48.5 million domestic, $173 million worldwide, $138 million budget
It used to be the case that if Will Smith was attached to a film, audiences would flock to cinemas to see him act. But those days seem to be well and truly over, with Gemini Man serving as proof. Scoring just 26 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, the film opened with a decent $20.6 million from 3,642 theatres, but then dropped just under 60 per cent in its second weekend.
$12.2 million domestic, $15.9 million worldwide, $38 million budget
The Kitchen had a terrible run at the box office, something that those at Warner Bros. found clearly very surprising, imagining the film to be quite the success. Instead, it debuted to just $5.5 million from 2,745 theatres for a per-screen average of $2,013.
$17.5 million domestic (so far), $55.9 million worldwide (so far), $48 million budget
Compared to the original films, the reboot from Elizabeth Banks fell incredibly short of the mark. It boasted big names like Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Ballinska, but Charlie’s Angels failed to pique the interest of audiences. It came out to an opening of just $8.4million from 3,452 theatres for a per-screen average of $2,419 and has continued to drop considerably since then, with many believing it will be pulled from theatres soon.