You can measure a box-office bomb in several ways, and surely this list would look (slightly) different if you measured it simply on the difference between box-office gross and the production/marketing budget of the film. There’s a lot of variables you could use. But for the purposes of this list, we’re looking only at the real box office dollars of the 10 lowest grossing major studio releases (movies released in over 1500 theaters).
I think it’s also safe to assume that this is how the list will wind up at the end of the year, with only 9 major studio releases left this year and none of them with the potential to gross as low as any of the ten here (I know you’d all like to think that Yogi Bear or Gulliver’s Travels will fall miserably on their faces, but expect opening weekends in the $20 million range for both).
And if you’re wondering why I’m releasing the list this weekend, it’s because the box-office didn’t have a lot of highlights (except for whopping theater averages for both Black Swan and The King’s Speech, which bodes well for their prospects, both box-office and Oscar) and because the number one film on this list was released this weekend.
For the curious, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which might have made the list if it were gross vs. budget, was far from the top ten, with $31 million. Also, if it were gross vs. budget, I believe the number one film on this list would still be number one (as it lost even more money than Jonah Hex, not taking into account marketing).
10. Splice: $17 million
9. Youth in Revolt: $15.2 million
8. My Soul to Take: $14.7 million
7. Repo Men: $13.7 million
6. Case 39: $13.2 million
5. Let Me In $12.1 million
4. Extraordinary Measures: $12 million
3. 4.Jonah Hex $10.5 million
2. MacGruber $8.5 million
1. The Warrior’s Way: $5.5 million (Est. after a $3 million opening weekend)