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The 10 Biggest Box Office Flops of 2012 -- A Pajiba Prediction

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 22, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 22, 2012 |

Wow! What a year, right? The Giants beat the Pats in the Super Bowl again, Theo Epstein turned the Chicago Cubs around, but they still lost in the series to … the Red Sox (poetic justice), and in politics, Barack Obama easily toppled Mitt Romney in the presidential election thanks to an improved 7% unemployment rate, Romney’s inability to connect with voters, and the release of those photos. You know what I’m talking about. The celebrity world also saw the passing of some greats (Betty White! We love you!) and not so greats (Lindsay Lohan! We saw it coming in 2006). The worst thing about 2012? “The Killing” dragged us along another entire season and still didn’t solve the murder of Rosie Larsen.

Thanks to an improving economy and better box office choices and fewer gimmicks, it was a bounce-back year at the movies. However, not all movies were so lucky. Here were the year’s ten biggest flops based on box office versus budget and expectation.

10. Dredd ($56 million) — It was a sh*tty movie the first they made it, and it only $35 million on a $70 million budget in 1995. What dumbass thought they could do better with Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby over Sly Stallone?


9. The Three Stooges ($33 million) — Nobody wanted a Three Stooges movie, and we really didn’t want a Three Stooges movie starring Sean Hayes as Larry. Thanks Farrelly Brothers for ruining something that was already sort of ruined already.

8. Taken 2 ($67 million) — You see, Liam? Taken actually was a fluke. Sure, your mediocre thriller will do fine in the middle of January with no competition, but so did Paul Blart. You see what Zookeeper did in the middle of the summer of 2011? That’s exactly what Taken 2 did in the middle of the summer of 2012. Pbbbbbbt.


7. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance ($43 million) — God bless directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Jonah Hex). They are completely f*cked in the head, but it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. The sequel was even worse than the original, if that’s possible, and fared worse at the box office, too.

6. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (in 3D) — ($21 million) This was justice: Sure, the first time you released it, it made $431 million. But this time? We know better. You know why? Because we’ve seen it. We knew what to expect, and we avoided it. Suck it, Lucas.

5. American Reunion ($56 million) — A decade and 57 direct-to-DVD sequels didn’t help the cause, but the biggest detriment was the fact that no one gave a sh*t what happened to the characters after they lost their virginity.

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ($21 million) — The novelty wore off before the movie arrived in theaters. There’s a reason it went through half a dozen directors: Because, while it makes for a great movie/book title, nobody actually wants to watch the whole thing.


3. Total Recall ($67 million) — I like you, Colin Farrell, but you’re no Arnie. If you’re going to remake a classic, you don’t stoop to the B-level with your director (Len Wiseman) and your cast (Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke). You’ll get a B-movie, with B-movie box office results, as the performance of Total Recall suggested.


2. John Carter ($49 million) — What a disastrous mess. The reviews were brutal, and the plot incoherent. It made Cowboys and Aliens seem like a Christopher Nolan movie by comparison. The Jar Jar jokes were fun, though.

1. Battleship ($72 million): People were mocking this the day it was announced, and it never let up. The whole idea seemed like a joke taken too far, and no one wanted to pay $12 to see a joke. It’s too bad for Taylor Kitsch, who was the star in the year’s two biggest flops. It wasn’t all his fault, but his wooden acting certainly didn’t help matters.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.