The 10 Biggest Box-Office Flops Through the First 12 Weeks of 2013

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The 10 Biggest Box-Office Flops Through the First 12 Weeks of 2013

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | March 17, 2013 | Comments ()


Through the first 12 weeks of 2013, it's been a miserable time at the box-office. There have been only two (2) legitimate box-office hits: This week's number one, Oz the Great and Powerful ($145 million after 10 days) and Identity Thief ($123 million after six weeks). It's so bad at this point that the third and fourth highest grossing films of 2013 are the forgettable Mama ($71 million) and the putrid Safe Haven ($66 million). Nearly every weekend this year has been met with either a huge bomb or a major disappointment (Die Hard 5, Gangster Squad, The Snitch, Parker). It's so bad that, barely three months into the year, I'm already able to (easily) amass ten box-office bombs without even the need to hedge, because so far none of the below films have performed well internationally, either. They are flushed turds, both financially and critically, here and abroad.

Here are the ten biggest bombs of 2013 so far:

1. Jack the Giant Slayer -- $53 million (on a $195 million budget, and only an additional $22 million worldwide, so far)

2. Bullet to the Head -- $9.4 million (on a $55 million budget, despite featuring Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa)

3. The Last Stand -- $12 million (on a $45 million budget in what was supposed to be Arnold Schwarzennegar's huge comeback film)

4. Phantom -- $850,000 (on an $18 million budget, in a film released in over 1000 theaters starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny).

5. Movie 43 -- $8 million despite the biggest collection of A-list talent in one film since Mars Attacks.


6. Dead Man Down -- Less than $10 million after two weeks (on a $30 million budget, despite starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace)

7. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone -- $10 million opening (on a $30 million budget, despite starring Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, and Olivia Wilde)

8. Beautiful Creatures -- $19 million (on $60 million budget, quashing any hopes of a hoped-for franchise)

9. Broken City -- $19 million (on a $35 million budget, starring two A-list stars in Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, coming off his hugely successul Ted).

10. Stand Up Guys -- $3.5 million (on a $15 million budget, with Oscar winners Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walken)

Bonus: The Last Exorcism Part II $14 million (compared to the $41 million of the original)


Is this a sign of the continued disinterest in moviegoing who are opting to stay home and catch up on television, or is it just the weak offerings, so far? Given the success of Oz and Identity Thief (both mediocre films, at best), I'd say it's the latter, but we probably won't know for sure until May when the guaranteed blockbusters like Iron Man 3 roll out (and compete with "Arrested Development" on Netflix).

Meanwhile, the number two film of this weekend, Halle Berry's The Call, was a quiet surprise, packing in $17 million worth of moviegoers despite being a fairly forgettable thriller (the budget was only $13 million, so it's already a success after three days). Burt Wonderstone debuted at number three, tanking with only $10 million and once again demonstrating how little box-office grosses huge star power can generate if the premise isn't interesting or the marketing fails (or the movie just plain blows, as in this case of Wonderstone).

There was another bright spot in the weekend's box-office: Harmony Korinne's Spring Breakers managed a $90,000 per screen average in only three theaters, better than the limited release of films like The King's Speech, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Does this mean that Korinne has a huge hit on his hands?

No. No it doesn't Spring Breakers rolls out nationwide next weekend. Don't expect it to make more than $3 million in 1000 theaters but do expect a lot of disappointed and pissed-off filmgoers. Twitter and word of mouth is going to destroy this film come Friday night, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another "F" from Cinemascore.

AHS: Coven (Witches, B*tches!) and Westeros Valley High: Five Things You May Not Have Heard About This Week | 5 Shows After Dark 3/17/13

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Archie Leach

    With stuff like Game of Thrones and Walking Dead and torrent and veetle around who needs to go to movie theaters.

  • Theron

    For me, the lack of anything that looks remotely good is the reason for my absence at the movies. I'm an avid moviegoer, but holy sh*t there has been nothing at all. The last GOOD movie I saw was Zero-Dark-Thirty and the last passable movie I saw was Mama (hardly wanted to watch it in the first place), and those feel like forever ago. I didn't want to see Die Hard 5 because of how bad the reviews were but now I'm thinking I'll just go see Olympus has Fallen no matter what the reviews are like. It's been too many weeks away from the theater for me so I'm going.

  • Mel C.

    Hollywood is trying really hard to make Olivia Wilde happen.

  • e jerry powell

    Worse, Hollywood is still trying to make Olivia Munn happen.

  • BlackRabbit

    So Phantom was a bomb, without Ben Affleck?

  • dizzylucy

    This time of year always seems like a wasteland at the movies, stuck between the end of the year Oscar contenders and the summer blockbusters. The movie club I belong to was going to 1 or 2 a week for a while there, now we have maybe one a month if lucky. There's nothing out there right now worth spending the money to see.

  • I'll hate you forever for making me look at that photo of Hugh Jackman.

    God.Damn you.

  • rocky

    (the budget was only $13 million, so it’s already a success after three days)

    Wait, what?

    Okay, first, I've got to call you guys out on only using US Box Office again (admittedly, not the crime in the case of this movie, but it is in the case of the other analysis in this post). I've mentioned it before, but you have to realise - really that US studios don't make decisions based around US Box Office alone - Rest of World is as big a consideration.

    Secondly, did you guys fail studio accounting? Honestly, if you're going to run posts on Box Office, defining "success" on the basis of BO gross exceeding production budget is, um, so endearingly 1952 that I'm smiling just thinking about it. Yes, it's a success for the distributor, in this case Tristar. And probably for Berry, although I haven't done deals around these kinds of indies in the past decade or so and I doubt she'd have gross points.

    As for the filmmakers? If this is a pickup (and I think it is, at that budget, if it's real) it's almost certainly had 30-40 million in Prints and Advertising expended on top of the production budget, and all of that is first out, meaning all that money gets recouped by Tristar, before the filmmakers or investors see a dollar. P&A is a little hard to work out these days now that their are digital prints, but I was on Sunset regularly in the past few weeks and there were some expensive billboards for this there, and all of those were out of P&A. Which might be subordinate to Berry, but it's doubtful. The point is, they're first out of *success*.

    Now, I agree that with this opening, and that budget, plus the international figures, this film will eventually return money to the investors. But in international territories the sales agents will take 30% off the returns after exhibitors have had their take and after P&A.

    As AC/DC once put it, it's a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll.

    Please be careful with your B.O. analysis.

  • Bert_McGurt

    B.O. analysis has got to be, like, the WORST job at the Old Spice factory.

  • rocky

    yes indeed Bert. :)

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Thanks for this Rocky.

    Not sure why some idiot downvoted you. It's really good to see some inside baseball analysis. Is it still the case that the studio takes home 90% of gross for the first 2 weekends, and then every weekend after the theater gets a larger and larger cut?

  • rocky

    You're welcome, and thank you. I'm semi-retired these days, on account of I never made a picture that made anything like net profit and so eventually I moved into a new career at the tender age of 45, which was a fair while ago. My heart belongs to the movies. Just not the studios.

    The math, however, is fascinating. Once you have the appetite for it (and if you're a producer, you can't not pay attention) it's like being a hedge fund manager - you can't not respect people who have the edge on you, even as you hate their studio-swaddled guts.

    Long live Hollywood. Bless its little demented soul.

    And yes, there's a break. It's negotiable for tentpole pictures (Avatar set some new benchmarks), but broadly speaking it's about 90, dropping to 85 or even 70 subsequently. These figures vary depending upon the clout of the chain - Cineplex Odeon can get a different break than your local indie. Rolling breaks are part of the charm of calculating returns.

    One day I'll explain how the suite for the sales exec at Cannes, Venice and the condo at Sundance come out of the returns of movies that had no acquaintance with those festivals. :)

  • e jerry powell

    There are films that have shown net profit?

  • mediapileup

    Pajiba_Pragmatist, I work for an independent movie theater and as far as I can tell the studio/theater split is determined by a combination of magic and coin flipping.

    That being said, the studio does get a bigger take at first not 90% (it usually averages out to slightly more than 50% for the studio). Might be different for blockbuster movies though as we don't typically show those.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Interesting. My friend who owned an indy theatre (went out of business a few years ago) told me that it was brutal to get movies to show - even indy flicks were sometimes bought up by the "indy" arm of a huge company. He said he would have done more first runs, but just couldn't get them.

  • e jerry powell

    Having production and distribution as separate processes really bites it from the exhibitors' end, I think.

  • rocky

    *there* are digital prints. I can't believe I did that. Gah.

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    Movie 43 cost 6mill and has made 20+mill worldwide. It's not a lot but not really a flop

  • I know that 'Arrested Development' gives people big nerd boners for some reason, but if you're actually expecting it to compete with Iron Man, you're on drugs.

  • Buck Forty

    No, I think we can all agree: it's Iron Man 3 vs Arrested Development. Whichever grosses less loses, and we shall forever point at them and sneer "LOSER!!"

  • Fredo

    I'm dying to catch Evil Dead and Stoker only reached my area this weekend (so that's something to catch this week).

    That's the problem. I want to go see something, but there's nothing worth the effort, the willpower and the money to go see. The Oscar fare is coming out right now on DVD/VOD/Stream. So why pay $10 per person to see a movie I can rent for $5 and enjoy at home with friends/fam and no pains from the theater-going experience?

  • sean

    I forgot about EVIL DEAD. OK, I want to see that too.

  • Natallica

    What did Hugh Jackman do to deserve that movie? He failed to do his annual human sacrifice honoring the Illuminati overlords?

  • e jerry powell

    The virgin died first.

  • TheReinaG

    Does that include the advertising budgets? Because I can't imagine The Call hasn't spent at least that much in ads, it seems to have be enin every commercial break for the last two months.

  • Shut Up Already

    People never include marketing budgets when talking about this stuff, only production costs. Mostly because production costs are usually at least semi-public, while marketing costs aren't. The usual assumption, though, is movies cost about as much to market as they cost to make.

  • e jerry powell

    Because thanks to a lot of lawsuits, production budgets are supposed to be kept on the production company's books, where the marketing expenses are on the distributor's books.

    At least that's supposed to be how it works, clipping a wing of the Hollywood Accounting Machine.

  • JazzCat

    Halle Berry's movie is "The Call." "The Cell" was a shitty (but visually interesting) movie with Jennifer Lopez like 13 years ago.

  • e jerry powell

    Or maybe he was thinking of Cellular with Kim Basinger from like nine years ago.

  • sean

    Shit movies=shit box office. Movies have to offer something special, or have to have appeal for morons or kids. No in-between now. Identity Theft appeal to morons. Oz to kids. Nothing special has come out for a few months now. And those were all available online at the same time(Zero Dark Thirty,Django, etc). Movies need to be big, and good these days. Or people will just download them in a few weeks or less after they are in the theaters.

  • sean

    Further, I just looked at all the movies coming out for the next 6 months or so. Is there anything that anyone really wants to see, other than Iron Man 3 and Star Trek 2? Maybe Monsters University. Kick Ass 2. Hollywood needs to make better movies. And get with theaters to lower prices. No one is going to spend $10 on shit. Especially since anyone with a high speed internet connection can have any damn move they want for free.

  • Morons? I think I see one ^

  • Jezzer

    The only way you could have possibly taken offense at Sean's remark is if you somehow managed to enjoy "Identity Theft," so I have to agree with Andrew.

  • LOL OK andy, never saw identity thief, don't want to, but I'm not some elitist "moron" who is better than everyone else.

  • Jezzer

    Well, you're 2/3 right.

  • Yeah I can see you guys now. "oooo we watched (insert artsy movie here) and we totally got it, we know so much more about movies than you do." "if it's not art house it's crap!" your families must have such a good time for movie night. "you guys are morons...wah I'm going to my room and complain about you on the internet."

  • Jezzer

    Jesus, dude, show us on the doll where the art film touched you.

  • Funny how you bring up some form of bad touch...that's why you think everyone else is a moron and you are the normal one. some repressed anger.

  • par1964

    We're lookin at you, Jimbo .....

  • Brown

    "despite featuring Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa"

    I hadn't realized Jason Momoa had reached "despite" status.

  • toblerone

    This is the same site that gave Olivia Munn "despite" status. So really is it surprising?

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I think you overlooked the sarcasm font.

  • Melina

    Jason Momoa can reach any status he wants in my fantasies...and I don't even care if he can act or not.

  • e jerry powell

    I think someone would really like to give the Conan reboot more credit than it deserves. Probably Momoa's agent.

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    That's the kinda status he thought he had turning down Guardians of the Galaxy

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