The 50 Biggest Box Office Flops of All Time

Sophie Turner stars in Dark Phoenix (2018).
Sophie Turner stars in Dark Phoenix (2018).
20th Century Fox

Considering the convenience of streaming services—not to mention the unconscionably high price of movie tickets these days—it’s a wonder anybody still makes the trek to the movie theater. But, as Avengers: Endgame proved earlier this year, some flicks still have the power to lure us off our couches and into the cinema.

Others, however, perform so abysmally at the box office that they end up costing their producers millions of dollars. To find out which films had the highest losses, musicMagpie compared production budgets with worldwide box office stats for more than 1000 films on Numbers.com, and created a list of the 50 biggest flops of all time.

The biggest loser was 2011’s Mars Needs Moms, which cost $150 million to make and only earned back about $39.5 million at the box office. If you’re quick with math (or you looked ahead to the chart below), that’s a staggering loss of more than $110 million. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mars Needs Moms featured expensive 3D image-capture technology produced by Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers.

An innovative, high-tech filmmaking process is one of many reasons a movie might have a hefty production budget. Another, of course, is A-list actors’ salaries. Case in point: 2019’s Dark Phoenix, which finished just behind Mars Needs Moms with almost $104 million in losses. The X-Men film starred Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner, along with Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, to name a few.

Also on the list are the Reese Witherspoon-led romantic comedy How Do You Know? from 2010, the 1995 swashbuckling epic Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis and Matthew Modine, and 2004’s The Alamo, which Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson, and Billy Bob Thornton would probably rather not remember.

Just because people weren’t willing to go see a certain movie in theaters doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie itself was bad—maybe it had some serious competition during its opening weekend, or maybe it’s just not the type of movie people are clamoring to watch on a giant screen. If this list of highest-grossing films is any indication, a franchise action movie is much more likely to draw a crowd than pretty much any other genre. Having said that, the dreadful Rotten Tomatoes scores for most of the biggest flops suggests that there’s at least some correlation between the quality of a movie and its audience turnout.

Read on to find out how many of Hollywood’s biggest box office disappointments you’ve seen in theaters (or at all), and explore musicMagpie’s study here.

1. Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Production budget: $150,000,000
Worldwide gross: $39,549,758
Total loss: -$110,450,242

2. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Production budget: $350,000,000
Worldwide gross: $246,356,895
Total loss: -$103,643,105

3. Town & Country (2001)

Production budget: $105,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,364,769
Total loss: -$94,635,231

4. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

Production budget: $100,000,000
Worldwide gross: $7,094,995
Total loss: -$92,905,005

5. The Promise (2016)

Production budget: $90,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,551,417
Total loss: -$79,448,583

6. Renegades (2019)

Production budget: $77,500,000
Worldwide gross: $1,521,672
Total loss: -$75,978,328

7. A Sound of Thunder (2005)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $6,300,451
Total loss: -$73,699,549

8. Cutthroat Island (1995)

Production budget: $92,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,517,322
Total loss: -$73,482,678

9. How Do You Know? (2010)

Production budget: $120,000,000
Worldwide gross: $49,628,177
Total loss: -$70,371,823

10. Monkeybone (2001)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $5,409,517
Total loss: -$69,590,483

11. The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)

Production budget: $90,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,466,016
Total loss: -$69,533,984

12. The Alamo (2004)

Production budget: $92,000,000
Worldwide gross: $23,911,362
Total loss: -$68,088,638

13. Air Strike (2018)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $516,279
Total loss: -$64,483,721

14. Monster Trucks (2017)

Production budget: $125,000,000
Worldwide gross: $61,642,798
Total loss: -$63,357,202

15. The 13th Warrior (1999)

Production budget: $125,000,000
Worldwide gross: $61,698,899
Total loss: -$63,301,101

16. Stealth (2005)

Production budget: $138,000,000
Worldwide gross: $76,416,746
Total loss: -$61,583,254

17. Soldier (1998)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,623,082
Total loss: -$60,376,918

18. The Postman (1997)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,841,123
Total loss: -$59,158,877

19. Osmosis Jones (2001)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $13,596,911
Total loss: -$56,403,089

20. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,294,842
Total loss: -$55,705,158

21. Lucky Numbers (2000)

Production budget: $ 65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,014,234
Total loss: -$54,985,766

22. Timeline (2003)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $26,703,184
Total loss: -$53,296,816

23. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Production budget: $137,000,000
Worldwide gross: $85,131,830
Total loss: -$51,868,170

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

Production budget: $130,000,000
Worldwide gross: $79,076,678
Total loss: -$50,923,322

25. Blackhat (2015)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $19,665,004
Total loss: -$50,334,996

26. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $29,725,663
Total loss: -$50,274,337

27. Hard Rain (1998)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $19,870,567
Total loss: -$50,129,433

28. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,107,933
Total loss: -$49,892,067

29. The Great Raid (2005)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $10,597,070
Total loss: -$49,402,930

30. Father’s Day (1997)

Production budget: $85,000,000
Worldwide gross: $35,681,080
Total loss: -$49,318,920

31. Last Man Standing (1996)

Production budget: $67,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,115,927
Total loss: -$48,884,073

32. Beyond Borders (2003)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $11,427,090
Total loss: -$48,572,910

33. Holy Man (1998)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $12,069,719
Total loss: -$47,930,281

34. Hudson Hawk (1991)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $17,218,916
Total loss: -$47,781,084

35. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $13,233,220
Total loss: -$46,766,780

36. Red Planet (2000)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $33,463,969
Total loss: -$46,536,031

37. Flyboys (2006)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,816,379
Total loss: -$45,183,621

38. Supernova (2000)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,816,494
Total loss: -$45,183,506

39. Virus (1999)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $30,626,690
Total loss: -$44,373,310

40. Rollerball (2002)

Production budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide gross: $25,852,508
Total loss: -$44,147,492

41. 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

Production budget: $62,000,000
Worldwide gross: $18,708,848
Total loss: -$43,291,152

42. Live by Night (2006)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $21,774,432
Total loss: -$43,225,568

43. The Last Legion (2007)

Production budget: $67,000,000
Worldwide gross: $25,357,771
Total loss: -$41,642,229

44. Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

Production budget: $75,000,000
Worldwide gross: $34,009,180
Total loss: -$40,990,820

45. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)

Production budget: $76,000,000
Worldwide gross: $35,129,610
Total loss: -$40,870,390

46. Meet Joe Black (1998)

Production budget: $85,000,000
Worldwide gross: $44,650,003
Total loss: -$40,349,997

47. Son of the Mask (2005)

Production budget: $100,000,000
Worldwide gross: $59,918,422
Total loss: -$40,081,578

48. The Invasion (2007)

Production budget: $80,000,000
Worldwide gross: $40,147,042
Total loss: -$39,852,958

49. The Last Castle (2001)

Production budget: $60,000,000
Worldwide gross: $20,541,668
Total loss: -$39,458,332

50. Oliver Twist (2005)

Production budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $26,670,920
Total loss: -$38,329,080

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Netflix Viewers Are Petitioning the Streaming Giant to Stop Cutting Off the End Credits

"Wait! There might be a post-credits scene."
"Wait! There might be a post-credits scene."
JESHOOTS.com, Pexels

To help us decide what to watch next as easily as possible, Netflix always serves up a few suggestions immediately after we’ve finished a program. For many viewers, it’s a little too immediate: The credits shrink to a small window, and Netflix’s recommendations take center stage.

Composer Daniel Pemberton, whose most recent scores include Netflix original films Enola Holmes (2020) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), likened it to a rushed meal at a restaurant. “The second that final spoonful goes in your mouth the waiter runs over, noisily clears the plates away and shoves a new menu under your nose, while insisting that you order the set menu immediately,” he wrote for The Guardian.

While people do often walk away or switch to another program as soon as the credits roll, plenty of others consider them an important part of the viewing experience. The music alone justifies sitting tight for a little while longer, and the credits provide the perfect opportunity to contemplate whatever you’ve just seen. They also pay homage to the hundreds of people who brought the project to life. And, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe always reminds us, not all movies actually end when the credits start to roll.

Netflix doesn’t outright prevent viewers from watching the credits. If you click on the minimized box, the credits will spring back to full screen and remain there until the very end. But if you take too long fumbling for the remote, you might miss your chance—Netflix’s autoplay feature often begins the next preview in mere seconds, in which case you’d have to go back to your home screen and restart the previous program to see the credits.

A video producer named Mark Boszko got so fed up with the arrangement that he launched a petition on Change.org. He’s not asking Netflix to get rid of its end-of-program advertisements across the board; rather, he just wants the platform to let viewers choose to have the full credits play as their default setting.

Boszko’s petition is evidence that he’s far from the only person who cares about the cause. So far, more than 10,500 people have signed it—you can do so here.

[h/t The Guardian]