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15 A-List Directors and the Biggest Box-Office Bombs of their Careers

By Dustin Rowles | Posted Under Book Reviews | Comments (20)



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Empire of Sun: $22 million. Steven Spielberg’s Average Gross: $150 million

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The Abyss: $54 million. James Cameron’s Average Gross: $219 million.

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The Island: $35 million. Michael Bay’s Average Gross: $205 million

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The Missing: $27 million. Ron Howard’s Average Gross: $90 million

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I Love You, Beth Cooper: $14 million. Chris Columbus’ Average Gross: $119 million

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Mars Attacks!: $37 million. Tim Burton’s Average Gross: $110 million

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Lovely Bones: $44 million. Peter Jackson’s Average Gross: $146 million

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A Good Year: $7 million. Ridley Scott’s Average Gross: $61 million

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Anonymous: $4 million. Roland Emmerich’s Average Gross: $123 million

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After the Sunset: $28 million. Brett Ratner’s Average Gross: $117 million

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Mystery, Alaska: $7 million. Jay Roach’s Average Gross: $142 million

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Lady in the Water: $42 million. M. Night Shyamalan’s Average Gross: $121 million

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Zathura: $29 million. Jon Favreau’s Average Gross: $150 million

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Big Trouble: $7 million. Barry Sonnenfeld’s Average Gross: $97 million

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Bringing Out the Dead: $17 million. Martin Scorsese’s Average Gross: $41 million

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Comments

Brett Ratner?

Big Trouble was underrated.

Posted by: John W at May 14, 2012 12:49 PM

Second on the Big Trouble love. Loved the book, and loved the movie just the same. There really need to be more Stanley Tucci-centric comedies.

Posted by: DoctorControversy at May 14, 2012 12:53 PM

I was just thinking about Anonymous for some reason. Was it any good? I don't recall reading a review. That is a lot of set design and costuming gone to waste.

I kind of feel sorry for all other movies now that the Avengers has kicked butt so hard.

Posted by: MRod at May 14, 2012 1:13 PM

Brett Ratner?

"your a bad person" -abed.

Posted by: John G. at May 14, 2012 1:13 PM

Brett Ratner's average is nearly triple Martin Scorsese's? Fuck you world.

Posted by: lowercase_ryan at May 14, 2012 1:20 PM

Well hello there Salma Hayek. Don't ever let anyone tell you that's inappropriate attire for mechanic-ing.

Posted by: Bert at May 14, 2012 1:28 PM

Empire of the Sun is Spielberg's biggest bomb? It's most definitely in his top 5 films that he's directed.

Posted by: Philip at May 14, 2012 1:35 PM

I just watched Big Trouble again yesterday. The book had me howling with laughter, and the movie isn't too far behind. It deserves more love.

Posted by: fribbley at May 14, 2012 2:08 PM

It would be much more fun to addend this list with the movies that should have been their biggest bombs. The Last Airbender, anyone?

Posted by: ed newman at May 14, 2012 2:26 PM

Book review?

Posted by: Meghan at May 14, 2012 2:42 PM

I just watched Big Trouble again yesterday. The book had me howling with laughter, and the movie isn't too far behind. It deserves more love.

Speaking as a Carl Hiaasen fan - the guy who also owns the "Florida is insanely fucked up" narrative with Dave Barry - Big Trouble isn't nearly mean enough to deliver the comedy rewards. It's not bad, but many of the movies on this list are good to pretty good.

Posted by: idiosynchronic at May 14, 2012 4:17 PM

I've defended Big Trouble before, so today, instead, I'd like to wave small Sir Robin flags (yayyyy!) for Mystery, Alaska. Because it was adorable, especially the bit where Ron Eldard gets whacked in the back of the head with a snow shovel.

Posted by: Salieri2 at May 14, 2012 4:25 PM

I can't believe the average gross of Scorsese is only $41 million!!!!!!!

Posted by: marigi at May 14, 2012 4:33 PM

Many of these movies were really good, so I guess that says something about the (dismal) viewing preferences of the average American.

Posted by: snapnhiss at May 14, 2012 5:09 PM

What book is this and where can I find a copy?

Posted by: space oddity at May 14, 2012 5:45 PM

Empire of the Sun was a hella good movie!! I had no idea it made so little. Is this number just the U.S. box office or worldwide? I'm gonna look it up.

Posted by: mslewis at May 14, 2012 8:35 PM

Take Tim Allen out of the Big Trouble equation and you have yourselves a movie.

Mystery,Alaska? Rusty on skates? Yes please.

Posted by: kirbyjay at May 14, 2012 8:38 PM

It's not that I didn't believe you Dustin, it's just that I didn't believe you: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=empireofthesun.htm

Which is a shame because that was a fine piece of directorin'. A John Williams score, Christian Bale (as a kid, damn I'm getting old) and John Malkovich. It was perhaps a little lost in purpose, a little too fascinated with cinematography (which was excellent) and a little less fascinated with story. But still, enjoyable.

Posted by: frobme at May 15, 2012 2:58 AM

That was a pic of Salma Hayek? Ha! I thought it was Megan Fox. It must be those augmented breasts the Internet keep talking about.

Posted by: Nick at May 15, 2012 4:09 AM

Speaking as a Carl Hiaasen fan - the guy who also owns the "Florida is insanely fucked up" narrative with Dave Barry - Big Trouble isn't nearly mean enough to deliver the comedy rewards. It's not bad, but many of the movies on this list are good to pretty good.

I went into Big Trouble a pretty big Dave Barry fan already, so I was prepared for his style. I haven't read any Hiaasen, so I can't speak to that.

Posted by: fribbley at May 15, 2012 9:23 AM





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