10 Surprising Movie Flops That Lost More Than $100M at the Box Office

10 Surprising Movie Flops That Lost More Than $100M at the Box Office
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

You will never believe some of the titles.

No matter how much the audience loves the movie, it doesn't really count toward its success until the love is converted into money. All movies are judged by two measures: critical success and commercial success. Often they go hand in hand, and sometimes they differ from what the audience thinks.

Of course, it's impossible to count budgets and studio losses to the penny. In addition to production budgets, there are marketing and distribution costs, as well as taxes that studios must pay. But there are ways to count the estimates. And according to these estimates, 10 movies below have lost their studios more than $100 million at the box office.

John Carter (2012)

Based on A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this sci-fi effort should have been a hit, but it fell flat with audiences. Many blame the lack of promotion, as the movie was no better or worse than other Disney blockbusters. However, the estimated loss of the film was around $112-200 million.

The Lone Ranger (2013)

You would think that with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in the lead roles, The Lone Ranger would be a huge success. However, the western failed to impress critics and underperformed during its opening weekend, ultimately setting it up for failure. With a budget of $375 million, the studio lost about $160 million of that for good.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

No matter how successful Guy Ritchie is today, the director's career has definitely hit a few bumps in the road. King Arthur, which was supposed to be an epic fantasy action adventure, turned out to be an overly modernized box office flop. The movie spent more on production than it made back, with an estimated loss of around $112-153 million.

Tomorrowland (2015)

Another Disney production that failed to connect with audiences is Tomorrowland. No matter how hard the studio tried to present the optimistic and futuristic sci-fi story to audiences, they failed miserably and lost up to $150 million. With mixed reviews and almost no memory of it today, Tomorrowland is one of Disney's biggest failures.

Mulan (2020)

There are many factors that contributed to the failure of the live-action Mulan, from the controversy surrounding lead actress Yifei Liu to the lack of familiarity with the animated characters, but it was COVID that played the biggest role. With $141 million lost, Mulan never had a chance to compete fairly.

Dark Phoenix (2019)

The fourth and final installment of the X-Men prequel franchise had solidified its place on the list of biggest box office bombs of all time when it lost 20th Century Fox $133 million. The X-Men franchise was already in decline and wasn't well received before the release of the final film, but Dark Phoenix was the final nail in the coffin of the X-Men for a good while.

The 13th Warrior (1999)

While there are a few actors who are known to take long career breaks, it's not often the result of a massive failure. The 13th Warrior was so bad and so hated that it caused Omar Sharif to retire from film sets for years. Back in 1999, the movie lost about $120 million, but taking inflation into account, the modern figure would be over $200 million.

The Suicide Squad (2021)

To make up for all the Disney failures, the DC adaptations weren't always well received either. All the sets that Warner Bros. built for the film and all the money they spent promoting it went to waste as male audiences refused to recognize the female-led film. The waves of misogyny in the fandom cost the studio $120 million.

Cats (2019)

Not every play needs to be turned into a live-action movie, and hopefully the executives learned their lesson from Cats. Although all the memes that came out of that movie were great, the reviews were so bad that not many people rushed to the theaters to see it. Cats is considered a box office flop with a total loss of more than $110 million.

Tenet (2020)

Though we have to applaud Christopher Nolan for 2023's Oppenheimer and its runaway success, the 2020's Tenet still calls for nothing but pure confusion. With many viewers not really on board with the complicated universe, Tenet cost Syncopy and Warner Bros. about $100 million and Christopher Nolan a life full of the same questions.