15 Summer ‘Blockbusters’ That Completely Tanked

John Travolta stars in Battlefield Earth (2000)
John Travolta stars in Battlefield Earth (2000)
Warner Bros.

Summer, according to a normal calendar, begins in late June and ends in late September. Summer, according to Hollywood studios, lasts quite a bit longer, because they’re trying to squeeze every last dollar out of that blockbuster-filled “summer movie season” we all love (or love to hate) so much.

Ever since films like Jaws and Star Wars established a model for ambitious, FX-filled features that could make a lot of money, studios have been tinkering with blockbusters in the summer. Sometimes the real money-making potential is in the stars, sometimes it’s in the intellectual property, sometimes it’s in the massive visual effects, and sometimes it’s all of the above. Whatever the case, it’s a business model that isn’t going anywhere, and as with any continuous Hollywood trend, it’s bound to produce a few flops.

So, in celebration of summer movie season, here are 15 films all filled with blockbuster potential that failed, often spectacularly, upon arriving in front of audiences. Notice: We said summer, referring to the summer movie season that begins roughly in May these days and continues until the fall, so if a movie tanked in December, it’s not included here. Also notice: We said “blockbusters” in the headline, which means that through budget or casting or both, these were films with big intentions that produced not-so-big results, even if they’re often beloved years later.

1. Ishtar (1987)

A film released in mid-May would not have been considered a “summer movie” in 1987, but it very well would be now, and the history of Ishtar as one of cinema’s most infamous flops is too fascinating to pass up. Ishtar was the brainchild of Elaine May, a legendary improvisational comedy performer who’d made a name for herself as a screenwriter, director, and script doctor throughout the 1970s and '80s. When May did uncredited rewrite work on Reds, one of the great triumphs of Warren Beatty's career, the actor was determined to pay her back somehow, and decided to offer his talents as star and producer for a project that would afford her top Hollywood talent and the freedom to make a film she wanted.

May, a fan of the classic Bing Crosby/Bob Hope road movies like Road to Morocco, offered a new comedic riff on that concept, with a twist. Beatty would play against his ladies man type and be the comedic klutz à la Bob Hope, while Dustin Hoffman (who credited May with saving his film Tootsie and was coaxed into the production by Beatty despite being unsure of the script) would play the ladies man, à la Bing Crosby. With the key talents in place, the production began … and then things started to go wrong. May’s blend of indecision and perfectionism meant that hours were wasted arguing about things like camera placement, while shooting on location in Morocco (as opposed to California) meant dealing with everything from a lack of local cooperation to guerilla fighters and land mines in the region, and May spent much of the on-location work completely wrapped up in shawls or under tents.

When it came time to edit the film, May had produced more than 100 hours of footage, at least three times what a typical comedy of the time would be. Post-production stretched on, with its own various arguments and issues, and the film completely blew past its Christmas 1986 release date. To make matters worse, much of this production drama was being documented in the Hollywood press, which dubbed Ishtar and its ballooning budget “Warrensgate.” It’s a very, very long story, but Ishtar finally rolled into theaters in 1987 with a massive budget, a whole lot of bad blood between various people involved, and journalists eager to document a notorious flop. That’s exactly what happened. Though Ishtar is not as bad as its reputation, it was a bomb, earning $14.37 million domestically from a $55 million budget.

2. Super Mario Bros. (1993) 

If you happened to be alive in 1993, and you weren’t an infant, there’s a good chance you remember how big Super Mario Bros. was. It might not have been the first hit video game, but in the age of Nintendo, Mario and his brother Luigi had become the hit video game. A movie seemed inevitable, even in a time before video game movies were common. So, a movie arrived … and then quickly plummeted.

A host of tonal clashes and other production troubles led to the film going through multiple directors and writers, including one who was asked to write a new script just a week before principal photography was set to begin. The initial idea was to make a Mario film that had an edge, because the video game was played by adult consumers almost as much as children. It never worked, the production never quite came together, and the finished film is something that barely resembles its internationally famous source material. The film arrived to negative reviews and ultimately earned just shy of $21 million at the box office, less than half of its reported budget. Bob Hoskins, who played Mario in the film, later called it “the worst thing I ever did.”

3. The 13th Warrior (1999)

The 1990s were a great time to have a Michael Crichton project on your hands. After the bestselling author landed one of the most influential blockbusters of all time with Jurassic Park, studios were eager to adapt his other work. That led to Disclosure, Rising Sun, The Lost World, Congo, Sphere, and The 13th Warrior.

Adapted from Crichton’s 1976 novel Eaters of the Dead, itself loosely based on Beowulf, the film had all the makings of a medieval epic, and blockbuster director John McTiernan (Die Hard) was hired to give it blockbuster appeal. McTiernan shot the film in 1997 for a release the following spring, but then the release was pushed to later in 1998 in the hopes of creating a summer event. Those hopes were dashed when audiences didn’t respond well to test screenings. With McTiernan out as director, Crichton reshot much of the film, and The 13th Warrior (as it was then called) hit theaters in the summer of 1999. While the critical reaction wasn’t completely dismal, the box office was lackluster. Low ticket sales combined with the cost of reshoots meant the studio may have lost as much as $130 million on the film in the end.

4. Battlefield Earth (2000)

It’s possible that no film has ever been as synonymous with a total flop as Battlefield Earth, the big-screen adaptation of science fiction author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s epic novel of the same name. The film was almost universally panned for bad acting, weird Dutch angles, and goofy costumes, among other things, and its reputation endured so much that by the end of the 2000s the Golden Raspberry Awards declared it their pick for “Worst Picture of the Decade.” The film went far beyond a mere critical failure, though, only earning back about $29.7 million of a reported $73 million budget (and keep in mind that those budgets often don’t factor in marketing costs).

What went wrong? According to writer J.D. Shapiro, who came up with the initial pitch and script for the film after meeting star and prominent Scientologist John Travolta, he was fired from the production after receiving a series of new directives on how to rewrite the film. Shapiro claimed his original draft bears little resemblance to what ended up onscreen, and that he heard that Travolta requested the changes because Battlefield Earth was Hubbard’s pick for the book he must wanted to see a film version of, and had left numerous notes on his ideas. Shapiro owned the failure, though, penning an infamous New York Post editorial on the film and accepting the Worst Picture Golden Razzie in person.

5. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Final Fantasy might not be a video game franchise quite on par with Super Mario Bros., but it’s still a massive and enduring success that’s been running for more than 30 years, so a big-screen adaptation of it would make sense. For The Spirits Within, video game developer Square (now Square Enix) turned to its own newly formed studio—Square Pictures—to create an extremely photorealistic animated film. The groundbreaking animation techniques worked. The visuals are indeed stunning, and realistic enough that one of the film’s characters appeared alongside real women in Maxim magazine, but nothing else about the film worked.

Critics praised the animation but didn’t like the story; Final Fantasy fans didn’t like the story’s departure from the games they loved; and everyone else just didn’t show up. The Spirits Within ended up costing nearly $170 million to produce, and lost Square Pictures $81.8 million. The failure was drastic enough that Square Pictures folded in 2002.

6. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Eddie Murphy’s sci-fi comedy about a smuggler turned lunar nightclub owner, might not have the same reputation as other films on this list do—but that’s only because almost no one saw it. The film was supposed to come out far sooner than its August 2002 release, but was delayed because of reshoots and poor test screenings, to the point that Warner Bros. eventually just decided to roll out the film without any real promotion or screenings for press. The critics who finally did see the film largely hated it, but the real proof of Pluto Nash’s bomb status is in the box office. From a reported budget of about $100 million, it made just $7.1 million worldwide. Not every Eddie Murphy movie can be The Nutty Professor, but this particular failure was downright astronomical.

7. Stealth (2005)

At one point, Sony Pictures was very high on Stealth, director Rob Cohen’s action film about a group of pilots dealing with new sci-fi stealth technology. The studio put it on the fast track to a prime summer 2005 release and poured a lot of money into marketing it, particularly after co-star Jamie Foxx earned an Oscar earlier that same year. Sadly, Stealth went the same route as other big films released on the heels of major awards seasons for their stars.

Even with early box office tracking looking poor, the film performed worse than imagined on its opening weekend, finishing in fourth place and earning less than $14 million. The total box office take ultimately came in just shy of $77 million against a $135 million budget, while critics panned it as a ripoff of Top Gun.

8. Evan Almighty (2007)

Evan Almighty had a reported budget, before marketing, of $175 million, in 2007. That might not sound unusual now if you’re talking about a huge action movie with a handful of major stars to its name, but this was a sequel to a comedy about a man who was temporarily granted God’s powers. Bruce Almighty, the original film, made more than $480 million worldwide when it was released in 2003, but it starred Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston—two of the biggest stars in the world at the time—and cost just $81 million to produce. Bruce plays God, but the film isn’t exactly packed full of extravagant setpieces. For Evan Almighty, the studio decided to go bigger, much bigger, to the point that the film had the distinction of being the most expensive comedy ever produced at the time.

Steve Carell, who played Evan, was already an acclaimed comedy star, but he didn’t have Carrey’s proven box office draw. All of that, plus the massive costs of visual effects and live animals on the set, led to the film earning just under its reported budget at the box office. When you factor in promotional costs and the cut theatrical distributors take from a film’s earnings, that means the studio had to take a loss.

9. COWBOYS & ALIENS (2011)

Cowboys & Aliens is another one of those big genre projects that seems to have all the right ingredients for success, and then just fizzles. It was director Jon Favreau’s next project following dual hits Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and starred Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford: James Bond and Indiana Jones, sharing the screen while they battle aliens in the Wild West. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Sadly, Cowboys & Aliens just never connected with audiences. Despite a critical reception that was at least mixed, the film’s box office returns were barely enough to earn back its $163 million budget. That’s not a massive flop on the scale of The Adventures of Pluto Nash, but this was a post-Iron Man Jon Favreau action movie being released in 2011 with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig as the leading men. To say everyone involved expected better when they set out to make this movie would be an understatement.

10. THE LONE RANGER (2013)

Though it has healthy winning streaks with films like the Marvel Cinematic Universe installments and recent successes with live-action reboots of its animated classics, Disney still faces massive blockbuster flops while attempting to build new franchises. On paper, The Lone Ranger had many key ingredients that could have made it a hit: an attractive young star (Armie Hammer) looking for his big action movie break, a seasoned fan favorite actor (Johnny Depp) in a quirky supporting role, and the director (Gore Verbinski), producer (Jerry Bruckheimer), and screenwriters (Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio) who helped build the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise into a Disney behemoth.

The first public sign of trouble came in 2011, when Disney halted production on the project over reported budget concerns. The filmmakers eventually returned to work, but Disney was reportedly still concerned about the return on its investment. The concerns were warranted. The Lone Ranger failed critically and commercially, despite its creators insisting the film would one day be appreciated. In the end, Disney reported during an earnings call that the film would lose them somewhere between $160 and $190 million.

11. R.I.P.D. (2013)

“Ryan Reynolds in a comic book movie” sounds like a great idea now in the era of Deadpool, but five years ago things were a bit different. Though Green Lantern might receive the most mockery now, R.I.P.D. is perhaps the best example of this. Based on a Dark Horse comic book about a pair of deceased cops who have to hunt paranormal fugitives in our world, it basically looked like Men In Black meets Ghostbusters without the same appeal of either. As the film’s box office projections dropped, Universal scaled back some of its marketing and didn’t screen it for critics. Basically, they knew R.I.P.D. wasn’t going to work. The film was received poorly by both critics and the audiences that did see it, and made back only $78 million of its reported $130 million budget.

12. Fantastic Four (2015)

As with so many of the films on this list, it’s not hard to understand why a studio would have wanted to pursue a Fantastic Four movie in 2015. Fox, which also owns the film rights to Marvel’s X-Men characters, wanted to take another shot at the franchise after two previous Fantastic Four films did moderately well (even with middling reviews) in 2005 and 2007. It’s also not hard to understand why they’d want to pursue the movie with this team: Director Josh Trank was riding high from his breakout indie hit (which also deals with superpowers) Chronicle, and his chosen stars to play the titular team—Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Kate Mara—were all rising stars at the time, full of acclaim and potential. What happened next was a combination of many things, some of which matter more than others, depending on who you ask.

There was the racist backlash against Michael B. Jordan playing the Human Torch, the whispers of Marvel sabotaging its own comic book property from afar by canceling the Fantastic Four’s monthly series, the worries over Trank’s decision to make the film about younger superhumans and how they deal with getting their powers, and more. Then there were the rumored reshoots. You can see at least some evidence of this in the finished film (Mara’s hair seems to rather abruptly change color at times), and much of the final act does morph from emotional journey for young and confused heroes to a big CGI battle, but the best confirmation of this came from Trank himself.

On the eve of the film’s release, he tweeted a cryptic message about a version of the film audiences will “probably never see,” which he then deleted. It was widely viewed as confirmation that the film he wanted to make had indeed been heavily reworked by the studio. At any rate, Fantastic Four suffered poor reviews and grossed $168 million worldwide, much of that overseas, against a $120 million budget.

13. Ben-Hur (2016)

Sometimes you hear about a remake, think “who was asking for this?,” and it turns out a lot of people were ready to show up to the theater for an updated take on a classic. Other times you get Ben-Hur, the 2016 reboot starring Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston in the title role. Though the film’s marketing leaned heavily on the lavish action sequences (including a new version of the famous chariot race sequence) and sword-and-sandal sets, and the final box office wasn’t as dismal as other entries on this list (the film actually came within $10 million of earning back its budget), Ben-Hur was still a flop for a number of reasons.

Critics, though they were kinder to it than other films, mostly weren’t ever enthused about a reboot of William Wyler’s Oscar-winning classic, and audiences weren’t much more excited. The film’s marketing efforts specifically tried out a Passion of the Christ-esque strategy, using its Biblical setting to get faith leaders on their side. While that did work in some cases, the other demographics who were supposed to turn out to watch the action sequences just weren’t there, in part because of the sheer number of FX-driven blockbusters already on the market.

14. The Mummy (2017)

In the age of Marvel Studios, every major distributor in America is trying to bring in Avengers-style money on whatever shared universe concept they can get across to audiences. That’s why spinoff films from both the Transformers and Fast and the Furious universes are on the way right now, and that’s why last year Universal Pictures decided to launch something they dubbed “Dark Universe” with new reboots of their classic monster films. The idea was that eventually characters like Frankenstein’s Monster (Javier Bardem) and The Invisible Man (Johnny Depp) would all get films that would allow various crossovers and team-ups in a big budget, FX-driven style. The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, was supposed to be the film that kicked it all off.

While there are whispers that the Dark Universe isn’t dead, it certainly wasn’t jumpstarted by its opening gambit. The film was critically panned, and while it did manage to earn $400 million on a $125 million budget (which some estimates place closer to $300 million if marketing is factored in), it did less than $81 million domestically. As for what went wrong, insider reports have laid blame on Cruise stepping in and taking a very direct role on the production, hiring his own writers to place the focus more on his character than Sofia Boutella’s title monster, and other such changes. Those reports went unconfirmed, and the Dark Universe might not be dead, but The Mummy certainly didn’t bring it out of the grave on the right foot.

15. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Speaking of studios trying to capitalize on classic characters to jumpstart new shared universe: There’s Guy Ritchie’s most recent take on the saga of King Arthur. The idea here seemed to be to tell a gritty, action-driven origin story focused on the title character’s rise to be the wielder of Excalibur, followed by subsequent films that would bring us new takes on Merlin, Lancelot, and so on. The film took a critical beating, saw its budget driven up by reshoots, and earned just $148.67 million worldwide. As for why, you can blame anyone from Ritchie to the lack of recognition of star Charlie Hunnam to the idea that moviegoers just weren’t interested in yet another King Arthur movie.

11 Fun Facts About Dolly Parton

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images
Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

Over the past 50-some years, Dolly Parton has gone from a chipper country starlet to a worldwide icon of music and movies whose fans consistently pack a theme park designed (and named) in her honor. Dolly Parton is loved, lauded, and larger than life. But even her most devoted admirers might not know all there is to this Backwoods Barbie.

1. You won't find Dolly Parton on a Dollywood roller coaster.

Her theme park Dollywood offers a wide variety of attractions for all ages. Though she's owned it for more than 30 years, Parton has declined to partake in any of its rides. "My daddy used to say, 'I could never be a sailor. I could never be a miner. I could never be a pilot,' I am the same way," she once explained. "I have motion sickness. I could never ride some of these rides. I used to get sick on the school bus."

2. Dolly Parton once entered a Dolly Parton look-alike contest—and lost.


Getty Images

Apparently Parton doesn't do drag well. “At a Halloween contest years ago on Santa Monica Boulevard, where all the guys were dressed up like me, I just over-exaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage," she told ABC. "I didn’t win. I didn’t even come in close, I don’t think.”

3. Dolly Parton spent a fortune to recreate her childhood home.

Parton and her 11 siblings were raised in a small house in the mountains of Tennessee that lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. When Parton bought the place, she hired her brother Bobby to restore it to the way it looked when they were kids. "But we wanted it to be functional," she recounted on The Nate Berkus Show, "So I spent a couple million dollars making it look like I spent $50 on it! Even like in the bathroom, I made the bathroom so it looked like an outdoor toilet.” You do you, Dolly.

4. Dolly Parton won't apologize for Rhinestone.


Getty Images

Parton is well-known for her hit movies Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5, less so for the 1984 flop Rhinestone. The comedy musical about a country singer and a New York cabbie was critically reviled and fled from theaters in just four weeks. But while her co-star Sylvester Stallone has publicly regretted the vehicle, Parton declared in her autobiography My Life and Other Unfinished Business that she counts Rhinestone's soundtrack as some of her best work, especially "What a Heartache."

5. Dolly Parton is Miley Cyrus's godmother ... sort of.

"I'm her honorary godmother. I've known her since she was a baby," Parton told ABC of her close relationship with Miley Cyrus. "Her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) is a friend of mine. And when she was born, he said, 'You just have to be her godmother,' and I said, 'I accept.' We never did do a big ceremony, but I'm so proud of her, love her, and she's just like one of my own." Parton also played Aunt Dolly on Cyrus's series Hannah Montana.

6. Dolly Parton received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan.

A photo of Dolly Parton on stage
Getty Images

In the mid-2000s, Dollywood joined the ranks of family amusement parks participating in "Gay Days," a time when families with LGBTQ members are encouraged to celebrate together in a welcoming community environment. This riled the KKK, but their threats didn't scare Dolly. "I still get threats," she has admitted. "But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

7. Dolly Parton started her own "library" to promote literacy, and has given away more than 100 million books.

In 1995, the pop culture icon founded Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with the goal of encouraging literacy in her home state of Tennessee. Over the years, the program—built to mail children age-appropriate books—spread nationwide, as well as to Canada, the UK, and Australia. When word of the Imagination Library hit Reddit, the swarms of parents eager to sign their kids up crashed the Imagination Library site. It is now back on track, accepting new registrations and donations.

8. There's a statue of Dolly Parton in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.

A stone's throw from Dollywood, Sevierville, Tennessee is where Parton grew up. Between stimulating tourism and her philanthropy, this proud native has given a lot back to her hometown. And Sevierville residents returned that appreciation with a life-sized bronze Dolly that sits barefoot, beaming, and cradling a guitar, just outside the county courthouse. The sculpture, made by local artist Jim Gray, was dedicated on May 3, 1987. Today it is the most popular stop on Sevierville's walking tour.

9. The cloned sheep Dolly was named after Dolly Parton.

In 1995 scientists successfully created a clone from an adult mammal's somatic cell. This game-changing breakthrough in biology was named Dolly. But what about Parton inspired this honor? Her own groundbreaking career? Some signature witticism or beloved lyric? Nope. It was her legendary bustline. English embryologist Ian Wilmut revealed, "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's."

10. Dolly Parton turned down an offer from Elvis Presley.

After Parton made her own hit out of "I Will Always Love You," Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, reached out in hopes of having Presley cover it. But part of the deal demanded Parton surrender half of the publishing rights to the song. "Other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley. I'd give him all of it!'" Parton admitted, "But I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says don't do that.' And I didn't do it and they didn't do it." It may have been for the best. Whitney Houston's cover for The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992 was a massive hit that has paid off again and again for Parton.

11. In 2018, Dolly Parton earned two Guinness World Records.

Parton is no stranger to breaking records. And on January 17, 2018 it was announced that she holds not one but two spot in the Guinness World Records 2018 edition: One for Most Decades With a Top 20 Hit on the US Hot Country Songs Chart (she beat out George Jones, Reba McEntire, and Elvis Presley for the honor) and the other for Most Hits on US Hot Country Songs Chart By a Female Artist (with a total of 107). Parton said she was "humbled and blessed."

7 Weird Super Bowl Halftime Acts

Al Bello, Getty Images
Al Bello, Getty Images

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez seem like natural choices to perform the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl, but the event didn’t always feature musical acts from major pop stars. Michael Jackson kicked off the trend at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, but prior to that, halftime shows weren’t a platform for the hottest celebrities of the time. They centered around themes instead, and may have featured appearances from Peanuts characters, Jazzercisers, or a magician dressed like Elvis. In honor of Super Bowl LIV on February 2, we’ve rounded up some of the weirdest acts in halftime show history.

1. Return of the Mickey Mouse Club

The era of Super Bowl halftimes before wardrobe malfunctions, illuminati conspiracy theories, and Left Shark was a more innocent time. For 1977’s event, the Walt Disney Company produced a show that doubled as a squeaky-clean promotion of its brand. Themed “Peace, Joy, and Love,” the Super Bowl XI halftime show opened with a 250-piece band rendition of “It’s a Small World (After All).” Disney also used the platform to showcase its recently revamped Mickey Mouse Club.

2. 88 Grand Pianos and 300 Jazzercisers

The theme of the halftime show at Super Bowl XXII in 1988 was “Something Grand.” Naturally, it featured 88 tuxedoed pianists playing 88 grand pianos. Rounding out the program were 400 swing band performers, 300 Jazzercisers, 44 Rockettes, two marching bands, and Chubby Checker telling everyone to “Twist Again."

3. Elvis Impersonator Performs the World’s Largest Card Trick

Many of the music industry's most successful pop stars—like Prince, Madonna, and, uh, Milli Vanilli—were at the height of their fame in 1989, but none of them appeared at Super Bowl XXIII. Instead, the NFL hired an Elvis Presley-impersonating magician to perform. The show, titled “BeBop Bamboozled,” was a tribute to the 1950s, and it featured Elvis Presto performing “the world’s largest card trick.” It also may have included the world's largest eye exam: The show boasted 3D effects, and viewers were urged to pick up special glasses before the game. If the visuals didn't pop like they were supposed to, people were told to see an eye doctor.

4. The Peanuts Salute New Orleans

Super Bowl XXIV featured one of the last halftime acts that was completely devoid of any musical megastars. The biggest celebrity at the 1990 halftime show was Snoopy. Part of the show’s theme was the “40th Anniversary of 'Peanuts,'” and to celebrate the milestone, performers dressed as Peanuts characters and danced on stage. The other half of the theme was “Salute to New Orleans”—not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the comic strip.

5. A Tribute to the Winter Olympics

Super Bowl XXVI preceded the 1992 Winter Olympics—a fact that was made very clear by the event’s halftime. The show was titled “Winter Magic” and it paid tribute to the winter games with ice skaters, snowmobiles, and a cameo from the 1980 U.S. hockey team. Other acts, like a group of parachute-pants-wearing children performing the “Frosty the Snowman Rap,” were more generally winter-themed than specific to the Olympics. About 22 million viewers changed the channel during halftime to watch In Living Color’s Super Bowl special, which may have convinced the NFL to hire Michael Jackson the following year.

6. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

“Peace, Joy, and Love” wasn’t the only Disney-helmed Super Bowl halftime. In 1995, Disney produced a halftime show called “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” to tease the new Disneyland ride of the same name. It centered around a skit in which actors playing Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood stole the Vince Lombardi Trophy from an exotic temple, and it included choreographed stunts, fiery special effects, and a snake. Patti LaBelle and Tony Bennett were also there.

7. The Blues Brothers, Minus John Belushi

The 1990s marked an odd period for halftime shows as they moved from schlocky themed variety shows to major music events. Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 perfectly encapsulates this transition period. James Brown and ZZ Top performed, but the headliners were the Blues Brothers. John Belushi had been dead for more than a decade by that point, so Jim Belushi took his place beside Dan Aykroyd. John Goodman was also there to promote the upcoming movie Blues Brother 2000. The flashy advertisement didn’t have the impact they had hoped for and the film was a massive flop when it premiered.

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