This year will likely produce the biggest box office of all time on an unadjusted basis. Moviegoers have already shelled out $9 billion on tickets and two films, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3, have each earned more than $1 billion.
But that doesn’t mean 2010 didn’t have its share of failures. Topping our list of the year’s biggest turkeys is Jonah Hex. Based on a graphic novel, the film starred Josh Brolin as a disfigured bounty hunter and Megan Fox as a tough prostitute. Not even fanboys could get behind the film, which scored a scant 13 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes. The film earned back only 24% of its estimated production budget of $47 million at the box office.
While Josh Brolin continues to get work (he’ll next appear in a remake of True Grit), the film’s failure won’t help Megan Fox’s career. The actress has yet to star in a successful film outside of the Transformers series, and she was recently kicked off of that rich franchise.
To compile our list, we looked at worldwide theatrical grosses for the top 200 films to date of 2010 and their estimated budgets to determine what percentage of a film’s budget was earned back at the box office.
It used to be that even a bomb had a good chance of making up some of its losses on home video. Not anymore. DVD sales are off 19% since 2006 with no signs of that market coming back as cheap rentals from Redbox and Netflix outweigh purchases of expensive Blu-ray DVDs.
Ranking second behind Jonah Hex is Extraordinary Measures. One of the first releases from the new feature film wing of CBS, the movie starred Harrison Ford as a crusty doctor trying to help Brendan Fraser’s sick kids. Critics said the film had a TV movie-of-the-week feel, which apparently didn’t draw people to the theaters. The film earned only $15 million on an estimated $31 million budget, meaning it earned back only 48% of its budget.
In third place: Repo Men, starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. The futuristic thriller from troubled Universal Pictures was made for only an estimated $32 million, but it failed to perform at the box office, earning only $18 million, or 56% of its budget. Luckily for Law his previous film, Sherlock Holmes, was the highest grossing of his career.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World lands in fourth place. The Universal film had all the hype in the world going into its Aug. 13 opening. The movie had worked fanboys into a lather at the recent Comic-Con and critics generally liked the film.
Nonetheless, the comic book tale of a boy fighting his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes flopped, earning only $46 million on an estimated $60 million budget.