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13 of the biggest movie flops of 2018 that failed dramatically at the box office

“Robin Hood.” Lionsgate
  • At the box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still experienced plenty of flops.
  • From “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” to “Robin Hood,” these are the biggest box-office disappointments of the year.

At the North American box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still had its fair share of flops.

A “Star Wars” movie didn’t land with audiences the way Disney expected, and anything starring Claire Foy struggled this year. The latest iteration of “Robin Hood” was dead on arrival, and a new big-budget fantasy from Peter Jackson didn’t attract moviegoers the way the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy did.

We’ve rounded up the biggest box-office disappointments and disasters this year.

Below are 13 of the biggest movie flops of 2018 (box-office figures and production budgets are based on numbers from Box Office Mojo, unless otherwise stated):

“A Wrinkle in Time” (March 9)


Worldwide box office: $132 million

Estimated production budget: $100 million (source: The Hollywood Reporter)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 42%

Disney ruled the box office in 2018 with movies like “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Incredibles 2.” But not everything it released was a wild success. The first disappointment was with Ava DuVernay’s Disney adaptation of the fantasy novel “A Wrinkle in Time,” which made just $132 million worldwide. Only $32 million of that came from international box office.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (May 25)


Worldwide box office: $392 million

Estimated production budget: $250 million (source: Variety)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%

“Solo” is in the top 10 of the highest-grossing movies of the year in the US. But it’s still a major disappointment by “Star Wars” standards and is the first movie during the Disney era of the franchise to likely lose money. After a troubled production, in which Ron Howard replaced fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, “Solo” didn’t even crack $400 million worldwide. Every other Disney “Star Wars” movie has grossed over $1 billion.

“Billionaire Boy’s Club” (August 17)

Vertical Entertainment

Worldwide box office: $2.2 million

Estimated production budget: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 8%

Kevin Spacey’s new movie made only $126 on its opening day in August, with just six people seeing it per theater in its first weekend. It barely made more than $600 during its opening weekend. The movie went on to earn only $1,300 in the US and $2.2 million internationally.

“The Happytime Murders” (August 24)

STX Entertainment

Worldwide box office: $27 million

Estimated production budget: $40 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 23%

This raunchy puppet movie starring Melissa McCarthy made only $27 million worldwide. It had a production budget of $40 million.

“Life Itself” (September 21)

Amazon Studios

Worldwide box office: $5.8 million

Acquisition deal: $10 million (source: Deadline)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 14%

Amazon’s “Life Itself,” directed by “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman, had one of Amazon’s widest releases ever when it opened in November, but it failed to generate an audience. It earned $2.1 million in its opening weekend, which was the worst opening for a movie released in more than 2,500 theaters this year. It went on to gross $4 million in the US and $5.8 million worldwide. Amazon paid $10 million for the US rights to the movie, according to Deadline.

“London Fields” (October 26)


Worldwide box office: $252,000

Estimated production budget: $8 million (source: Variety)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 0%

Amber Heard’s latest movie, “Aquaman,” is making a huge splash at the box office. But another movie she starred in earlier this year, “London Fields,” barely made a blip. It had one of the worst openings of all time for a movie opening wide on 600 screens or more and made only $252,000 total at the box office.

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (November 2)


Worldwide box office: $166 million

Estimated production budget: $120 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 34%

Disney’s live-action take on “The Nutcracker” made $166 million worldwide, and it had a $120 million production budget. That’s not great by Disney standards. They can’t all be “Beauty and the Beast.”

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” (November 9)


Worldwide box office: $34 million

Estimated production budget: $43 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 41%

Claire Foy won an Emmy this year for her performance in Netflix’s “The Crown.” But on the big screen, her year wasn’t great. Three movies Foy starred in – “Unsane” (March 23), “First Man” (October 12), and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” (November 9) – all underperformed. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the reboot/sequel of David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” is the biggest disappointment of them all: It made $34 million worldwide, and it had a production budget of $43 million.

“Robin Hood” (November 21)


Worldwide box office: $73 million

Estimated production budget: $100 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 16%

The latest iteration of “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton, was the biggest box-office bomb of the year when it was released. It made just $14 million in its first weekend – the five-day Thanksgiving weekend – the worst opening of the year at the time for a movie with a budget over $90 million. “Robin Hood” cost $100 million to make, but has made only $73 million at the box office ($30 million of which came from the US).

“Mortal Engines” (December 14)


Worldwide box office (so far): $55 million

Estimated production budget: $100 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 27%

It didn’t take long for “Robin Hood” to be dethroned as the biggest big-budget bomb of the year. After an awful domestic opening weekend of $7.5 million, “Mortal Engines” was estimated to lose its studio, Universal, more than $100 million, according to Deadline. The movie, produced by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, has made just $13 million in the US and $55 million worldwide since opening two weeks ago, and it was made for $100 million.

“Welcome to Marwen” (December 21)


Worldwide box office (so far): $4.8 million

Estimated production budget: $39 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 26%

Director Robert Zemeckis has now made three bombs in a row with “The Walk” (2015), “Allied” (2016), and “Welcome to Marwen,” which had the worst opening weekend of the year for a major studio with $2.35 million domestically. “Marwen” and “Mortal Engines” mark two back-to-back flops for Universal. The movie has made almost $5 million in the US, and it had a production budget of $39 million.

“Holmes & Watson” (December 25)


Worldwide box office (so far): $12 million

Estimated production budget: $42 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 7%

The comedy that reunites Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly is fading fast at the box office, according to Exhibitor Relations. The movie has grossed $12 million in three days and was made for $42 million. With one of the worst Rotten Tomatoes critic scores of the year, it will likely end the year as another huge flop.

Oscar hopefuls


“Widows,” “First Man,” and “The Frontrunner” are a few of the major Oscar hopefuls that won’t get a bump from their box-office success. All three disappointed at the box office. As Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio reported, the highest theater count the studio Columbia gave “The Frontrunner,” starring Hugh Jackman, was 800 screens. “Widows” failed to find a large audience despite an all-star cast and awards conversation, and box-office experts told Business Insider it was because of poor marketing and an inconvenient release date. And Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” follow-up, “First Man,” also failed to generate excitement among moviegoers. They weren’t total disasters, but any chance they have at the Oscars won’t be helped by their underwhelming box-office performances, either.


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