Remembering Hollywood's biggest box office disasters

AP News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2015 3:32 PM
Remembering Hollywood's biggest box office disasters

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Pan" walked the plank this weekend and it didn't go well.

Warner Bros.' $150 million live-action Peter Pan origin story captured a dismal $15.5 million from North American theaters, and its international prospects don't look much more promising. The film earned only $20.5 million from 52 markets.

Unlike Disney's largely profitable foray into live-action fairy tale adaptations, "Pan, "starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and newcomer Levi Miller, might find Warner Bros. taking a write-down for their losses. Only time and the promise of an Oct. 22 China opening will seal "Pan's" ultimate fate, but it already has the dubious distinction of being one of 2015's biggest bombs, up there with Disney's "Tomorrowland" and Fox's "Fantastic Four."

In honor of the rare, fascinating spectacle of the box office bomb, here are some of Hollywood's most infamous financial catastrophes.

HEAVEN'S GATE (1980)

It might not come close to matching some of the epic losses on the list, but director Michael Cimino's Western starring Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken is one of cinema's most famous flops. The $44 million film made only $3.5 million domestically and effectively destroyed the estimable United Artists.

TOWN & COUNTRY (2001)

Somehow this no-frills Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn romantic comedy cost $90 million to produce, and earned $10.3 million worldwide. Suddenly Beatty's 1987 "Ishtar" embarrassment didn't look so bad.

HOW DO YOU KNOW (2010)

Having not learned any lessons from "Town & Country's" out of control budget, writer-director James L. Brooks made this romantic triangle comedy, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, for $120 million. It went on to gross only $48.7 million worldwide.

CUTTHROAT ISLAND (1995)

Geena Davis starred alongside Matthew Modine in this pirate adventure, directed by her then-husband Renny Harlin, as a woman seeking buried treasure and vengeance. The $98 million MGM film made only $10 million domestically and for years was considered the biggest money-loser ever.

THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH (2002)

Warner Bros. sat on this $100 million Eddie Murphy space comedy for two years before finally pushing it out to theaters. The result? A worldwide sum of $7.1 million.

THE 13TH WARRIOR (1999)

This John McTiernan-directed 10th century Viking saga starring Antonio Banderas cost a whopping $160 million to make, bringing in only $61.7 million worldwide.

MARS NEEDS MOMS (2011)

This already forgotten, $150 million CG-animated disaster featured the voices of Seth Green and Joan Cusack, and netted only $39 million worldwide.

47 RONIN (2013)

With a budget that's been reported to be in the $175 to $225 million-range, Keanu Reeves' samurai epic was a flop before audiences had the chance to decide for themselves. Universal let the stinker sit on the shelf for a year, reporting a $175 million loss before the film even hit theaters.

THE LONE RANGER (2013)

After spinning box office gold with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp tried their hand at a $215 million take on "The Lone Ranger." The film, which co-starred Armie Hammer, grossed $89 million domestically and $260.5 million worldwide, but Disney still prepped shareholders for a $160 to $190 million loss.

JOHN CARTER (2012)

The century-old story may have directly inspired some of modern sci-fi's biggest hits (hello, "Star Wars"), that didn't seem to matter much to anyone in the end. Disney poured a reported $250 to $275 million into producing the film, resting it all on the broad shoulders of small screen star Taylor Kitsch. "John Carter" opened to only $30.2 million, and the studio took a $200 million write-down while it was still in theaters.