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Biggest Summer Box Office Flops Ever

Since 2020 will have an (at best) abridged summer movie season, and blockbusters typically go hand-in-hand with this time of year, I thought it would be fun to do a list of the biggest bombs in the history of Hollywood’s biggest season. For this list, I will be exposing the biggest money losers released between May and August (the typically-accepted “summer movie season”), and ranking them by how big of a financial bath they took after inflation is taken into account (although the original losses will be noted). There are even some films that lost over a hundred million dollars that weren’t even bad enough to make this list, such as: “Ben-Hur” ($121 million in 2016; $128 million after inflation), “Windtalkers” ($81 million in 2002; $115 million), “Evan Almighty” ($88 million in 2007; $109 million), “Battlefield Earth” ($73 million in 2000; $109 million), and “Fantastic Four” ($100 million in 2015; $108 million).

As with most box office bombs, these films failed because they were over-budgeted and just poor quality, but if you happen to like anything you see here then don’t get offended; I liked “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and that thing sunk like a stone to the tune of $76 million in losses. Each figure listed is the finances from its year of release, with the (inflation figure) also given. Let’s get into it.

10. Stealth (July 2005)

Budget: $135 million ($177 million)

Gross: $79 million ($103 million)

Losses: $96 million ($126 million)

9. Dark Phoenix (June 2019)

Budget: $200 million

Gross: $252 million

Losses: $133 million (N/A)

8. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (July 2001)

Budget: $137 million ($198 million)

Gross: $85 million ($123 million)

Losses: $94 million ($136 million)

7. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (August 2002)

Budget: $100 million ($142 million)

Gross: $7 million ($10 million)

Losses: $96 million ($136 million)

6. Titan A.E. (June 2000)

Budget: $75 million ($111 million)

Gross: $36 million ($53 million)

Losses: $100 million ($148 million)

5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 2017)

Budget: $175 million ($183 million)

Gross: $148 million ($154 million)

Losses: $153 million ($160 million)

4. Tomorrowland (May 2015)

Budget: $190 million ($205 million)

Gross: $209 million ($226 million)

Losses: $150 million ($162 million)

3. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (July 2003)

Budget: $60 million ($83 million)

Gross: $87 million ($121 million)

Losses: $125 million ($174 million)

2. The 13th Warrior (August 1999)

Budget: $160 million ($246 million)

Gross: $61 million ($93 million)

Losses: $129 million ($198 million)

1. The Lone Ranger (July 2013)

Budget: $250 million ($275 million)

Gross: $260 million ($286 million)

Losses: $190 million ($209 million)

Thanks for giving this a glance! I don’t know about you, but I miss sitting around in the sun reading about the summer box office, much less actually going to the theater. Hopefully “Tenet” and “Mulan” are here soon. Stay safe out there!

*all box office figures provided by Box Office Mojo

It’s Batman Day! Here’s How All the Cape Crusader’s Films Rank

BatmanComicIssue1,1940Batman is the best superhero, that has never really been up for discussion (you either think that or you’re wrong). So in honor of Batman Day, here are how all the live-action films of the Caped Crusader stack up.





7.) Batman and Robin (1997)

This will be last on everyone’s rankings of Batman films, if not worst movies of all-time, period. It killed the franchise and left us Batman-less for eight years, and it really isn’t a wonder why. It tried to be campy and self-satirical like the old Adam West Batman but left out all the fun and joy that that style brings, and oh my god the puns…so many puns… The one plus I can give this film is it’s hilarious if you watch it as a comedy; like, it really is hysterical how badly they botched this. Oh, well. At least we’ll always have the Bat Nipples.



6.) Batman Returns (1992)

This one is often split among the Batman community; some appreciate its dark tone and twisted gothic looks, others (myself included) just didn’t enjoy what it was trying to be. Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer are perfect as the Penguin and Catwoman, however their performances aren’t enough to make this a good Batman film.


5.) Batman Forever (1995)

I think this one gets a bad rap. Much like “Batman Returns,” this film is highlighted by its villains. Tommy Lee Jones has the time of his life playing Two-Face and Jim Carrey, who was coming off 1994, the best year an actor has ever had at the box office and was as hot as anything, nails the Riddler. Val Kilmer replaced Michael Keaton as Batman and does a solid job, and they at least tried to stick to the comics.


4.) The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

This was never going to match “The Dark Knight,” but it was a little disappointing how much of a drop-off this was from its predecessor. The film is far from bad, but there are dozens of plot holes and Nolan goes from perfectly depicting Bane (my favorite villain as a kid) to turning him into a lovesick puppy dog with a horrible death (spoilers, but like if you haven’t seen TDKR by now and are reading a list of Batman films, you clearly don’t want to). It’s a fun movie, but unfortunately that’s where it ends.


3.) The Dark Knight (2008)

This film is grossly overrated but it is still great. Christopher Nolan’s crime drama created the new, gritty realism of comic book films (one could argue that may be more bad than good, as that tone is what ruined films like “Man of Steel”), and featured a fantastic performance from Heath Ledger (although not the best depiction of the Joker, more on that in a second).


2.) Batman (1989)

Tim Burton’s original Batman film in a way revolutionized the superhero genre. He put his faith in comic Michael Keaton to portray the Dark Knight and he crushes it, and Jack Nicholson gives the best Joker portrayal to date (read a comic book, haters). I have loved this movie ever since I saw it on VHS as an 8-year-old home sick from school, and is the second best-ever Batman film.


1.) Batman Begins (2005)

Yes, this is better than “The Dark Knight.” Just from a movie perspective it is more coherent and engaging than its successor, and when you take loyalty to the comics into account the separation between the two becomes ever greater. Christian Bale remains the best Bruce Wayne/Batman that we have, and Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul partnered with Cillian Murphey’s Scarecrow gives us the best (and more logical) bad guy evil plan of the Nolan trilogy. Gotham felt like a real, breathing city and not like Detroit (or Detroit, Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles like in TDKR), and that is just one of the reasons why “Batman Begins” is, and likely will forever remain, the best Batman movie of all-time.


Top 5 Films of Summer 2015

The temperature is starting to cool down, the leaves are turning brown and the children are back at school, which means one thing: we’re entering awards season. So that also means that summer movie season, my favorite time of the year at the theaters, is again over. There was some good, some bad, but a lot of meh. So here are the five best films from Summer 2015 (May-August), with the five worst stinkers in a subsequent post!

Honorable Mention/Surprised It Didn’t Suck: The Gift

I saw the trailer, the cast, and the August release date and I honestly thought this thing was destined for disaster. But to my pleasant surprise, Jason Bateman turns in a fantastic performance, and even if the film doesn’t pull as many twists as it wants, it was still a wonderfully uncomfortable viewing experience that I would gladly take again.


5.) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Some people didn’t like this movie, which I have to believe was their own fault for overhyping it. “Ultron” is fun and exciting, with yet another fantastically charismatic performance from Robert Downey Jr., as well as an interesting villain portrayed by James Spader. It may have been a little bit similar to the first “Avengers” film, but this one kicked off the summer movie season with a bang.



4.) Trainwreck

It’s a funny movie with charming performances from Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, with a surprising amount of dramatic heft. It is definitely Judd Apatow’s most mature film to date, and it is arguably his most hilarious.



3.) Spy

One of the first comedies of the year remains its funniest. Melissa McCarthy continues her streak of only being funny when in Paul Feig-directed films, but what really makes this movie so great is the surprise comedy work from Jason Statham. I really hope he does more action-comedies, because that dude is surprisingly hilarious.



2.) Straight Outta Compton

It isn’t too often (or ever?) that one of the year’s best films comes out in the month of August, but that is the case here (the month also has one of the year’s worst films, but that’s for another article). The first half of “Compton” is so energetic and has such a powerful and engaging vibe to it, not to mention fantastically underrated cinematography by Matthew Libatique, that even when the film starts to slow down near the end, you’re on such a high you don’t care.



1.) Jurassic World

Some people hated this movie. And to that I say, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when it’s wrong. I saw this movie twice in the same week, and it blew me away both times. Chris Pratt is Hollywood’s next big star, and the film is the definition of a summer popcorn flick (even if it is so much more than that). If somehow you are one of the seven people who still hasn’t seen this movie (it currently sits 3rd all-time at the box office), you are doing yourself an immense injustice. See “Jurassic World” now; it’ll make you feel like a kid again.



2015 in Film: Halfway Recap

With 6 months of films behind us, we have officially reached the halfway point of 2015 (you’re welcome for that clarification). And although we’ll likely not see many of these films mentioned come Oscar Season, it’s still fun to do a bi-yearly recap. So, as Pink once said: let’s get this party started.

Best Film: Jurassic World

I was shocked how great this film was (more on that in a second). It is one of the best and most summer movies I have ever seen, and Chris Pratt continues to kill it as Hollywood’s next big thing. Unlike most other things in this list, “Jurassic World” will definitely be in my Top 10 of the year, and could even hold out for number one overall when all is said and done.



Worst Film: Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh my God, is this thing dreadful. I can’t imagine a world where this isn’t my worst film come the end of the year. The dialogue, the narrative, the chemistry (or painful lack thereof) all combined for a movie-going experience that made me almost hate movies. I don’t remember much about it (thank God), but from what is stained in my brain I recall this thing just being awful and lazy and the fact that there are going to be two sequels makes me physically ill.



Biggest Surprise: Jurassic World

I didn’t expect this to be awful, but I was never wowed by the original “Jurassic Park” film, and the trailers for “Jurassic World” made it look like standard summer fluff. And as previously stated, I was dead wrong. If somehow you aren’t one of the millions of people who have pushed the film to $1.2 billion (and counting), or you have only seen the film one time so far… whatever you’re doing can wait. Go now.



Biggest Letdown: Entourage

I was a late addition to the “Entourage” series bandwagon, but once I was on it I instantly fell in love with Ari Gold, Johnny Drama and the rest of the, well, entourage. When the beginning of 2015 rolled around the film adoption was one of my most anticipated films of the impending year, and not a day went by that I didn’t think about it. Then I saw it. It is an unfunny, lazily constructed shadow of its former self, and it depressed me. Maybe it was my own fault for hyping it up so much in my head, but hey, this is my list, and “Entourage” let me down.



Shocked It Didn’t Suck: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

I love SpongeBob and I love, love the first film from 2004. However when the trailers for this sequel dropped, I was horrifically worried. They made it out to look like most of the film would be sellout CGI instead of flat 2D animation, as well as lazy potty “comedy” that studios think dumbed-down kids enjoy in 2015. However I was relieved and thrilled when about 80% of the film was both the classic animation and humor of the show’s early seasons. The film itself isn’t great, but it is a lot of fun and didn’t ruin my childhood, and that was good enough for me.



Most Underrated: Run All Night

Unlike the other “Liam Neeson Has a Gun!” film from January (“Taken 3”), “Run All Night” was a lot of fun and had a few fun twists. Not too many people caught this one, and I feel like even less appreciated it, but if you get a chance to watch this on a rainy Saturday afternoon I really think it’s worth your time.



Most Overrated: Mad Max: Fury Road

OK, I seriously am still baffled by this one. Just like last year’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, I can’t begin to fathom why people thought this was a good film, much less how it has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and is being lauded as one of the year’s best films. It is an impressively made but narratively hollow film, and while I don’t expect much plot or character development in my action films, I do enjoy them having a shred of either.



Thanks for reading, and here’s to a successful second half of 2015, which includes my personally most anticipated films, “Ant-Man”, “Black Mass”, and a little indie film called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.  It also includes the latest Adam Sandler project, “Pixels”, but we’ll cross that bridge when we are unfortunately forced come to it.

Worst Films of 2014

What goes up must come down. There were some great films in 2014, so it only makes sense that there were some stinkers.

Unlike my Top Films list, I saw most every bad movie in 2014. There were some that were bad and just didn’t make the cut, such as “Transcendence” and “Annie”, and please do not take those films not being on this list as my approval for you to see them. But without further ado…

Dishonorable Mention: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I really didn’t get the hype around this one. I liked the first film but found the sequel boring and pretty uneventful, and by the time we reached the monkeys firing machine guns while riding horses, I had long checked out.



10.) Think Like A Man Too

The first film was charming, witty and funny. This film was the opposite of all those things, even with Kevin Hart at his Kevin Hart-iest. I wish this Vegas-set sequel had stayed in Vegas…



9.) The Other Woman

I chuckled a few times at this but overall it is a chick flick that is actually insulting to women and their intelligence, so I’m not exactly sure the demographic they were going for here…



8.) Ride Along

Hello, Mr. Hart. We meet again. This wasn’t a *bad* movie, it just was a comedy that wasn’t funny. Like, at all. The storyline was basic and cliché, so it wasn’t even like that could hold my attention. Congrats (?) to Hart and director Tim Story for making this list twice.


7.) Exodus: Gods and Kings

A movie involving ancient Egypt, gods, plagues and all that fun schtuff shouldn’t be boring. Throw in Batman himself Christian Bale and it really, REALLY shouldn’t be boring. Yet, alas, “Exodus” is boring. Like, check-my-phone-every-ten-minutes boring. Leave it to Hollywood to create yet another movie that is nowhere near as good as the book on which the film is based.



6.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There’s really not much to say about this one. Michael Bay produced it. Megan Fox starred in it. I mean, if those aren’t red flags then I don’t know what are…



5.) Transformers: Age of Extinction

Dammit, Michael Bay, when will you stop ruining our childhoods?! You want a plot summary of this movie? Here it is: boom. Boom. Boom BOOM. [objectification of women] Boom. BOOM….boom. Like, this is worse than “Revenge of the Fallen” and once I hit the period ending this sentence I will never have to think about Transformers 4 ever again.



4.) Blended

[sighhhhhhhh] I hate Adam Sandler.



3.) Annabelle

A scary movie that isn’t scary. Actors that make adult film stars look like Oscar contenders. This thing was a mess. When the doll is the best actor in your film, you know you have a problem.



2.) Tammy

I think I laughed…once (?) during this movie. But it wasn’t just me; my theater was dead quiet the whole film. If I wasn’t sick of Melissa McCarthy before, I sure am after seeing this movie. It is just not funny and what’s worse is it’s awkward. And what’s worse yet is when the jokes awkwardly don’t work, the film tries to throw in some drama which doesn’t work, so then THAT adds onto the awkwardness. [exhale] Point is this movie isn’t good.



And “Tammy” would have been the worst film of 2014 had it not been for…

1.) Lucy

It really wasn’t a good year for films with women’s names as their title (see the previous three movies, as well as “Annie”). When I walked out of the theater after seeing “Lucy” on that muggy July afternoon, I knew I had just witnessed the worst 2014 had to offer. “Lucy” is stupid, stupid, stupid. As Scarlett Johansson gets smarter, this movie only gets more unintelligent. The ending is also an insult to the audience, as if the director had no idea how to conclude the picture so he threw his hands up and said, “Screw it! The audience is probably asleep by now anyways!” Some people actually liked this movie and it makes me honestly hope Charles Darwin was right about natural selection.



Do you agree with my list? Any movies you thought were worse than these? See a film on here that you actually thought was good? Let me know in the comments!

‘Fury’ Is Powerful, Gritty and One of Year’s Best

Fury_2014_posterBrad Pitt and World War II. So far, it has proven to be a potent combonation. First Pitt was hunting Nazis in “Inglorious Basterds”, now he is commanding a tank in Germany.

“Fury”, written and directed by “End of Watch’s” David Ayer, tells the tale of five American soldiers who get stuck in their tank behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, they must fight their way through and defeat the surrounding Nazi forces. Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal portray the members of the tank.

There’s really no point of sugar coating it or beating around the bush: “Fury” is one of the year’s best movies and one of the better, and most realistic, war films of all-time. From the haunting depictions of battle, to the heart-wrenching performances, to the high production value everything about this film is as beautiful as it is chilling.

The performances across the board are nothing short of fantastic, with the standouts being Pitt and Lerman. Pitt plays a man who has clearly let the evils of war shatter any morals and sensitivity he ever had, and this is demonstrated when on the first day of the job for the tank’s new recruit (Lerman), Pitt orders him to execute an unarmed German solider.

I have never been a Logan Lerman fan, I believe he plays a pretentious, spoiled boy in every role he takes (“Noah” and “3:10 to Yuma”, just to name two), but the man shut me up with his performance here. He is a soldier who was pulled away from his desk and put on the front lines, and it seems like he will never get used to the idea of taking a human life. But throughout the film we see him begin to change and become more desensitized to the notion of war, but he never loses the innocence that we empathize with.

The rest of the cast are all cookie-cutter roles (minority member, jerky sociopath and Bible-thumper), but the actors all have their moments to shine.

Ayer has proven that he is more than capable of shooting an engaging action scene, but never while sacrificing drama or content. Even when the bullets are flying and shells are being rocketed off, we see the characters’ weaknesses and at times hesitation in their actions. Even at the end of the film, in the midst of an extended battle, the action never feels derivative or redundant, because we are getting heavy doses of human drama, accompanied by a fantastic score from composer Steven Price.

What holds “Fury” back from the greatness it so clearly was striving for is a scene in the middle of the film. After taking a town, Pitt and Lerman come across two German women, who proceed to make lunch. The scene drags on for 22 minutes (I remember looking at my phone twice), and in the end the entire interaction took place simply for a plot point down the road.

If that one scene had been shorter, which it should have been, then “Fury” may have been able to be mentioned in the same breath as “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Hurt Locker” for greatest war movie of all-time. That being said, “Fury” is still a fantastically shot, grittily depicted and powerfully acted war story, which features a climax that had my theater silent when the credits began to roll.

Critics Rating: 9/10