9 Hyped-Up Movies That Flopped Miserably


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Making movies is nothing if not a business. To make it a successful business, movies need more than just talented actors and a compelling plot — they need to be hyped so people will actually go and see them. 

However, sometimes movies are hyped to the point that it raises suspicion, and as a result, they flop. Here are nine movies that set high expectations but ended up disappointing viewers, becoming subjects of criticism for critics, and causing financial headaches for studio execs. 

Image Credit: IMDb.

1. ‘Flash’ (2023)

Budget: $200–$300m

Box Office: $271m

“Flash” sprinted into cinemas with the thunderous promise of reviving the DC Universe, only to stumble disastrously at the box office. Despite a ridiculously aggressive marketing campaign, the film failed miserably even on opening weekend. It didn’t help that in the months leading up to the movie’s release, lead actor Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash, made headlines with their controversial behavior. Reports of harassment and disorderly conduct made the promotion of this anticipated DC blockbuster an uphill battle. Despite Michael Keaton’s much-anticipated return as Batman, the film sputtered financially and critically. It grossed $93 million domestically against a budget of $200 million and ended up being one of the DC franchise’s biggest flops, with a drop-off of 72%.

Image Credit: IMDb.

2. ‘John Carter’ (2012)

Budget: $250 million

Box Office: $284 million

In 2012, Disney was riding the high wave with the smashing success of “The Avengers,” so they decided to double down on its blockbuster bets. “John Carter” was supposed to be a golden ticket, bringing to life the fantastical Mars chronicles of Edgar Rice Burroughs with a whopping $306.6 million budget and a star-studded cast. Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, and Lynn Collins headlined this cinematic juggernaut, backed by an entourage of Hollywood heavyweights like Mark Strong and Bryan Cranston, all wrapped up in trailers promised an otherworldly adventure to viewers and pockets full for Disney. 

Alas, the  viewers and critics were far from impressed. The film grossed a mere $282.7 million worldwide, and ended up being a financial black hole for the studio.

Image Credit: IMDb.

3. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)

Budget: $144 million

Box Office: $229.1 million

In 2016, “Ghostbusters” promised a big comeback with a flashy campaign and a hilarious cast featuring comedy A-listers Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Despite all the buzz, it didn’t quite set the box office on fire as Sony had hoped.

With just $180 million in worldwide earnings against a hefty $144 million budget, it fell short of expectations. The movie received mixed reviews and faced some backlash for flipping the gender roles, which didn’t help. Plus, it couldn’t compete with other big summer hits like “Captain America” and Pixar’s long-awaited sequel “Finding Dory,” which was a box office champion. Overall, it was a bit of a letdown for Sony.

Image Credit: IMDb.

4. ‘Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny’ (2023)

Budget: $294.7 million

Box Office: $384 million

Indiana Jones swung back into theaters in 2023 with “The Dial of Destiny,” promising another globetrotting adventure for the fedora-wearing hero. Harrison Ford’s return was a nostalgia goldmine, and director James Mangold, of “Logan” fame, sent expectations through the roof. Trailers were everywhere, teasing daring escapes and Indy in classic peril. 

But then the reviews came in and … meh. The movie debuted with a measly $60 million during its opening weekend in the United States on June 30, 2023. To break even, it had to make at least $600 million globally, which it fell far short of achieving.

Image Credit: IMDb.

5. ‘Blade Runner’ (1982)

Budget: $30 million

Box Office: $41.8 million

Speaking of Harrison Ford flopping at the box office, “Blade Runner” is a great example of a film that defied expectations. One of Ridley Scott’s greatest works sputtered at the box office and proved a disappointment for Warner Bros. Critics were initially divided, some finding its slow-burn pacing and philosophical themes too dense for mainstream audiences. Little did anyone know, “Blade Runner” would become a cult classic, influencing countless sci-fi films to come.

Image Credit: IMDb.

6. ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (2017)

Budget: $175 million 

Box Office: $146.2 million

Directed by Guy Ritchie, the 2017 action fantasy flick advertised itself as a grand reboot of the Arthurian legend, with Charlie Hunnam taking the reins as a street-smart Arthur. Despite the ton of buzz around it, it ended up being an epic fail, grossing just $15 million on its opening weekend against $146.2 million in production and marketing costs. Critics found the plot derivative and the Ritchie trademarks a bit forced in this medieval setting, making the movie a royal flop.

Image Credit: IMDb.

7. ‘The Lone Ranger’ (2013)

Budget:  $225–250 million 

Box Office: $260.5 million

Fresh off his success with “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Johnny Depp took on the role of Tonto, the mysterious sidekick, alongside Armie Hammer as the titular hero in Disney’s 2013 “The Lone Ranger.” With Gore Verbinski, the mastermind behind the “Pirates” franchise, at the helm, expectations were sky-high. 

However, although Disney poured ridiculous amounts of money into the film, it flopped big time at the box office. It seemed that audiences didn’t care about the cowboy theme or the remake in general, and Depp’s portrayal of Tonto didn’t quite resonate as anticipated.

Image Credit: Disney/ IMDb.

8. ‘Catwoman’ (2004)

Budget: $100 million

Box Office: $82 million

In 2004, “Catwoman” clawed its way onto screens with high hopes, but it fell flat on its face. Despite featuring Halle Berry in the lead role, the film struggled to impress anyone with a weak plot, cheesy dialogue, and mediocre special effects. It earned Berry a Razzie Award for Worst Actress and snagged multiple other Razzies, and left Warner Bros empty-handed.

Image Credit: IMDB / Warner Bros..

9. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ (2018)

Budget: $275 million

Box Office: $393.2 million

In 2018, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” blasted off with a ton of hype. Origin story for the beloved Han Solo? Check. Newcomer Alden Ehrenreich stepping into Harrison Ford’s shoes? Intriguing. Donald Glover piloting the Millennium Falcon? Hype levels were through the roof. Lucasfilm invested top dollar, and trailers were action-packed glimpses into a young smuggler’s life. However, “Solo” landed at $393 million globally, falling short of expectations. This first Star Wars film to lose money forced Lucasfilm to reassess their standalone movie strategy.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: Lucas Film/IMDB.

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