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Who Is the Most Toxically Poisonous Box-Office Star of the Last 5 Years?

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | April 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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I am a big fan of Olivia Wilde: She is funny, intelligent, and incredibly attractive (and she absolutely kills in Drinking Buddies with Jake Johnson, which premiered at SXSW this year). There's a reason why she and Jason Sudeikis make a great couple. They are well matched in the quick wit category. If you've had an opportunity to see interviews with Wilde or see her in person, you'll see why she's consistently cast in both comedies and big action pictures. She's an awesome all-around actress and personality. As Josh Kurp noted last week in his write-up of Wilde's Q&A with Kelly Oxford, Wilde should be the person to replace Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night."

Wilde's effortlessly funny, had excellent timing, knew when to let the guest speak and when it was time for her to chip in, and she seemed genuinely engaged in the conversation.

It's all the more important that Olivia Wilde make that transition (or something like it) because she is terrible at movies. I'm not saying she's bad in them. In fact, she's often the best thing about the movies she's in. But for whatever reason, she's either terrible at choosing movies, or someone put a pox on her because everything she appears in ends up failing financially. Yes, she has been in two $100 million movies, but even those two movies came in well below expectations.

Wilde is pure, old-school box-office poison. Don't believe me: Check out her box-office filmography (budget numbers in parenthesis where available). It doesn't matter if she's the lead, a supporting character, or a bit player. All of her movies fail. You can't pin the blame, really, on her for any of these flops, but one thing is true of all of them: Olivia Wilde is in them.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone -- $10 million (on a $30 million budget)

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Deadfall -- $66,000

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Butter -- $105,000

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The Words -- $11 million

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People Like Us -- $12 million (on a $16 million budget)

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In Time -- $37 million (on a $40 million budget)

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Change-Up -- $37 million (on a $52 million budget)

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Cowboys and Aliens -- $100 million (on a $163 million budget)

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Tron Legacy -- $172 million (on a $170 million budget)

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The Next Three Days -- $21 million (on a $30 million budget)

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Fix -- $9,890

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Alpha Dog -- $15 million

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Year One -- $43 million (on a $60 million budget)

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Turistas -- $7 million (on a $10 million budget)

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A Layperson's Guide to Hollywood's Confusing Doppelgangers | Ten 2013 Theatrical Releases with Recognzable Stars That Made Less than $10,000 at the Box Office






Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.


Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • rumocove

    She has been in a ton of crappy movies but she's working. Eventually, she will hit something good.

  • Ruth

    Well, maybe the reason why Olivia Wilde's movies don't work out is because she is unfunny, unintelligent, and incredibly unattractive... in addition to self-important, arrogant, and ignorant. That said, I wish her well. I actually do and, in fact, I liked her performance on the first few episodes she appeared on House.

  • SpongebobSquarepeg

    You seem balanced and at peace.

  • okayflint

    HELL YEA WAY UGLY EWWW 2/10

  • poopnado

    She is actually pretty douchey in interviews. She over-shares and brags too much. Also, she's not that great of an actress. I'm not going to support that with any facts, cuz I too, am a douche.

  • par1964

    Was she smuggling TicTacs in her bra in Butter?? Holy shyte ..... you could hang a wet parka on those nipples!!! Very nice ......

  • googergieger

    These movies were bad and she should feel bad.

  • e jerry powell

    I blame Turistas on Josh Duhamel. Because I do.

    But damn, if the girl can suck out the powers of Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson combined, she must be neutralized.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Netflix keeps recommending Deadfall to me. That cast makes the offer very tempting.

  • Arran

    I tend to avoid Netflix offerings that have great casts but I've never heard of the damn thing. There's usually a reason for that.

  • ,

    She's in "The Next Three Days" for what, five minutes?

    I like her a lot, mainly because she was one of the few characters on the show who didn't seem to stand much for House's bullshit and could spar with him on a more or less equal level.

    Also because she has amazing eyes. Alien eyes. I keep trying to see what the rest of her looks like (I'm vaguely aware she his little boobies) but I can't get past her eyes. They were used to good effect in "Cowboys & Aliens." She should get all the hot alien chick parts. Ever.

  • John W

    I don't know if it's fair to consider someone box office poison if they're not the lead actor in a movie.

    In most of of those movies she's either playing someone's sidekick (Tron, Cowboys & Aliens) or someone's girlfriend (Alpha Dog).

  • John W

    I don't know about the rest but you can't put Year One on her.

    That movie sucked from the moment the credits rolled.

  • annie

    It's not like she's the lead in most of these, or that they were ever highly advertised at the time, but her filmography is one of the most frustrating things ever. I still use 13 from House when i have to explain to other people who she is. Can't she, like, get in on the next Tina Fey-penned movie or something? She's marryng Sudeikis after all. With that, her talent and looks, she should have a lot of decent-to-good movies to choose from.

  • Archie Leach

    "Year One" with Jack Black and Michael Cera = very bad choice.

    "The Words" was really Cooper's and Saldana's movie.

    And in all fairness, "Tron Legacy" did make 400 million worldwide while "In Time" made 2.5 it's budget worldwide.

  • Robert

    Can you call an actor box office poison when so few of the films they're in are marketed with a focus on them? Butter is the only one of these that heavily featured Olivia Wilde in the trailers and press junket and that was a very low budget indie that hardly had a theatrical release at all. They released a poster of her character for Burt Wonderstone that, unlike the other three, is literally just ripped out of graphics made for the film.

  • Boo_Radley

    A pity - I enjoyed Deadfall.

  • sean

    To be fair to her, most of these movies are small, poorly distributed films. No budget direct to internet things. Hardly her fault. The big budget Hollywood films she is in aren't her fault either. She is just the "hot girl" in those. She isn't the lead. She does deserve better.

  • BlackRabbit

    I've always been interested and would love to read an article about that; there's a lot of actors who I'd say deserve their big shot and just don't get it.

  • Archie Leach

    They've been "discussing" this very issue over at imdb for quite some time now.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    But when is Olivia going to poison MY box...office?

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I've seen several of these movies, and they are so bad. Olivia Wilde isn't box office poison, Hollywood is.

  • I'm assuming these numbers are US only, considering Tron Legacy made around $400mil worldwide and they're working on the sequel now.

  • Kala

    After the searing disappointment of Cowboys and Aliens, I was ready to hate this woman with a fiery passion. Then I saw her on The Daily Show and realized that I wanted to hang out with her over homemade margaritas and snorting over Showgirls. I think television would be a great avenue for her.

    Especially after Deadfall. Best imaginary friend or not, I wanted to shake the shit out of her for that garbage.

  • lowercase_ryan

    You know what else is a death knell for movies? Not advertising. And considering I've only heard of half of these I'm hesitant to assign blame.

    But Butter only $105,000?!?! That's a crime.

  • Robert

    I'm pretty sure Butter played one weekend in theater and then went VOD. A lot of indies are doing that nowadays since they earn more money on home video than in the theaters. The theatrical release happens just to qualify for awards should the critics rally.

  • She was flat-out awesome in butter - the best part of a fairly amusing little trifle by a long way.

  • Lauren Frank

    If you think Francisco`s story is something..., four weeks ago my aunt's boyfriend also got a cheque for $6737 sitting there a sixteen hour week an their house and their roomate's aunt`s neighbour has done this for three months and earnt more than $6737 in their spare time at there pc. the information from this site, Big31.com

  • lowercase_ryan

    I thought she was hilarious.

  • Kballs

    So is the room temperature in Butter's picture. Not that I'm complaining . . .

  • Mrs. Julien

    That was such a hilarious sight gag. I think I laughed for about 2 minutes straight. The movie was a mess, but she was great in it.

  • toblerone

    +1. Can we finally move on?

    Pajiba's love of Olivias has always been a little misguided.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I dunno, it doesn't seem that long ago that Ms Wilde was being mocked on here about her rather flat performances on House. Dustin is a fickle lover.

  • Jezzer

    Given half the people who are considered Pajiba Darlings, "Our Love is Misguided" should be the banner motto.

  • toblerone

    Cosign.

  • Mrs. Julien

    T-shirts.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Someone should do an article comparing our misguided hopes regarding upcoming releases from Pajiba Darlings (both individual and in favoured genres) versus our wrath and vitriol when said Darlings fail us. Seriously, most of the time, we're all sunshine and lollipops looking forward to things (TAKE MY MONEY!) and then bereft and irate when they don't pan out. The rest of the time, we go with "this is going to suck" as some sort of futile defense mechanism.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I think someone already did. The article began and ended with Taylor Kitsch.

  • toblerone

    Cosign. Pajiba "Darlings" Jennifer Lawrence and Alison Brie would be a great place to start.

  • lowercase_ryan

    case in point: our Jezzer tolerance.

  • lowercase_ryan

    misguided how?

  • toblerone

    The amount of love this site has and still gives to Olivia Munn is one example of said "misguidance".

  • lowercase_ryan

    I disagree. Have you seen The Newsroom? And why the distaste for Wilde?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Yeah, Munn fully redeemed herself on Newsroom. Clearly she should be doing actual acting and not Daily Show/AotS stuff. Though she should avoid red carpets because random stills don't generally flatter her.

  • e jerry powell

    munnyuckmunnyuckmunnyuckmunnyuckmunnyuck

    She's one of those celebrities who just is. Kind of like Carmen Electra, though Munn is not to the point that she has to catch a cab to the opening of every envelope in Los Angeles.

  • toblerone

    I'm indifferent to both. I liked Wilde in House, but never understood how that translated into a movie career.

  • Scully

    This is just a ploy to post pictures of Ms. Wilde, yes? I am more than OK with this.

  • Pretty sure this should be listed as 'recommended daily amount', just like vitamins and folic acid and stuff (technical term).

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