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10 Massive Box Office Bombs That Opened Better than 'I, Frankenstein' Did This Weekend

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 27, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 27, 2014 |

I, Frankenstein, the Aaron Eckhart action pic that couldn’t even muster a decent trailer despite a $65 million budget (two and a half minutes of Yvonne Strahovski whipping her hair around would’ve been better received than the trailer we saw) failed to muster up much in the way of ticket sales over the weekend. Hurt by a shoddy marketing campaign, and 5 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the (sadly) waning career of Aaron Eckhart, I, Frankenstein came in at number six with only $8.2 million.

Again, for a $65 million film.

Those are pathetic numbers, and just to put them into context, here’s ten massive box office bombs that had better openings (adjusted for inflation) than I, Frankenstein:

1. Howard the Duck — $11 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

2. Hudson Hawk — $14 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

3. Ishtar — $9.2 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

4. The Postman — $9.5 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

5. Battlefield Earth — $17 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

6. The Alamo — $11.4 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

7. Speed Racer — $21 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

8. Land of the Lost — $25 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

9. Rollerball — $11.1 million opening (adjusted for inflation)

10. Legend of Hercules — $8.8 million opening


It’s unlikely that I, Frankenstein even breaks $20 million in North America, and unless international audiences are duped into seeing the movie in droves, Lionsgate may end up taking a write down of $50 million or more (once the marketing budget is accounted for). In an era when even the biggest box office bombs tend to make up most of the difference internationally, I, Frankenstein stands as what will certainly be one of the year’s biggest flops.

It was bad enough that Ride Along managed to hang on to number one for the second weekend in a row, adding $21 million to its January opening weekend record of $41 million from last week. The $75 million it’s earned in 10 days is all the more impressive when you consider that only 12 percent of its audience is white, demonstrating once again the box-office power of the black and hispanic markets. Imagine the numbers Ride Along might have received if it were actually good.

Meanwhile, Lone Survivor held steady at number two, and with $93 million now, it’s set to surpass Zero Dark Thirty. It also makes Mark Wahlberg the undeniable box-office champ of January. The Nut Job added another $12 million to come in at number three, Frozen remained in the top five in its 10th week of release, adding another $9 million, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is fading fast, dropping to number five in its second weekend with a meager $8.8 million. Even still, with $76 million worldwide on a $60 million budget, the film should at least break even for Paramount.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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