2016 was a year of shocks on all fronts. From Donald Trump winning the presidency to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Cavaliers becoming champions of the MLB and NBA respectively. The same could be said for Hollywood, with stars Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth and filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee suffering rare disappointments. Poking a hole in the theory that they were sure things.
The movie industry is never an exact science as the following list of flops will illustrate. Disney's record making $7b taken annually happened to include a bomb or two while the big budget blockbusters that appeared to be guarantees didn't muster the reception they were looking for.
Remakes To Animation Classics: Somehow These Didn't Work
On the basis of what returned the lowest portion of the budget at the box office, Timur Bekmambetov's reboot of Ben-Hur topped the lot. Or, should we say, bottomed out the rest of the competition. Taking a mere $94.1m around the world after requiring $110m to make it happen. A 43% return at the movies stood out to ensure a sequel will be highly unlikely.
Steven Spielberg would be the next to make a hash of a remake via The BFG. The animation flick adapted from the children's classic only managed $178m at the cinemas, needing approximately $140m of a budget. Lionsgate's Gods of Egypt failed to return only $31.1m domestically. While the Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart sequel The Huntsman: Winter's War flopped to return 71% of their budget at the box office.
Pitt's Romance War Epic Fell Flat
Whether it was the critics who cautioned the audience, the marketing strategy that didn't cut through, or just a simple lack of enthusiasm. But the studios should take note of what moviegoers responded to. Brad Pitt's Allied can be included in this unwanted group. The film hit the skids when his off screen life was thrown into turmoil, following the split between himself and Angelina Jolie. The war flick from Robert Zemeckis is another swing and miss from Paramount, who will be wondering where to turn to next as reports of a loss range between $75-90m.
Disney's The Finest Hours dropped as low as 33% return while Mark Wahlberg's action blockbuster Deepwater Horizon is expected to lose up to $60m. Others that didn't manage to break even at the box office include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Ghostbusters, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and surprisingly after a slow start, Assassin's Creed.