Greatest Box-Office
Bombs, Disasters
and Film Flops:

The Most Notable Examples


Written by Tim Dirks
Greatest Box-Office Bombs, Disasters and Flops of All-Time
(chronologically, by film title)
Intro | Summary Chart | Silents-1949 | 1950 -1966 | 1967-1969 | 1970-1974 | 1975-1977 | 1978-1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983-1984 | 1985-1986 | 1987-1989
1990-1991 | 1992-1994 | 1995 - 1 | 1995 - 2 | 1996-1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 - 1 | 2001 - 2
2002 - 1 | 2002 - 2 | 2002 - 3 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007-2011 | 2012-2014 | 2015-2017 | 2018-2019 | 2020-2021
Film Title, Director, Studio, Budget Information, Description

All the King’s Men (2006)
Director: Steven Zaillian
Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Budget: $55 million
Domestic Gross: $7.2 million
Worldwide Gross: $9.5 million
Total Net Loss: $45.5 million

This pretentious political drama was a remake of the Best Picture-winning film All the King's Men (1949), starring Best Actor-winning Broderick Crawford -- both were adapted from Robert Penn Warren's complex 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of a backwoods rebel. The story was inspired by the rule (and abuse of personal power) of Louisiana's colorful state governor (1928-32) and Democratic U.S. Senator (1932-35), notorious Huey Pierce Long - "The Kingfish", who was assassinated in 1935 at the age of 42.

Writer/director Steven Zaillian's film received mixed reviews, although Zaillian had won an Oscar for his screenplay for Schindler's List (1993), and it had a star-studded ensemble cast: Sean Penn as Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford's role), Jude Law as journalist Jack Burden (John Ireland's role), Kate Winslet as Anne Stanton (Joanne Dru's role), Mark Ruffalo as Adam Stanton (Shepperd Strudwick's role), James Gandolfini as sleazy political operative Tiny Duffy (Ralph Dumke's role) and Patricia Clarkson as his associate Sadie Burke (Oscar-winning Mercedes McCambridge's role). There were a number of major changes, including condensation of the span of the story from more than a dozen years to five, the incredulous movement of the story from the 1930s to the late 1940s and early '50s, shooting on location in Louisiana, and the inclusion of many details left out of the previous version - including more of an emphasis on the character of Jack Burden (underplayed by Jude Law), adding to the already-complex narrative.

It was a mediocre, overdone, belabored and ponderous two-hour narrative film with ill-used actors, and lacking in the grittiness and real-life vulgar vitality of its predecessor. Three of the seven British actors displayed varying accents. Penn seemed particularly poorly-cast as Stark without clarity of character (except caricature with his tirelessly flailing arms and gesticulations), when compared to Broderick Crawford's bullying personification. To add insult to injury to the stunned director when he realized that his film was both a critical and box-office failure, the shocking Paramount docu-comedy from the TV series about stunts Jackass: Number Two (2006) was the number one film the same week it opened.

Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Studio/Distributor: MGM
Budget: $70 million
Domestic Gross: $6 million
Worldwide Gross: $38.6 million
Total Net Loss: $31.4 million

This critically-lambasted, belated sequel to the 1992 film by director Michael Caton-Jones (originally subtitled Risk Addiction) found the now 48 year-old Sharon Stone character (ice-pick suspected serial killer-murderess and bisexual crime novelist Catherine Tramell from the original film) living in London where she was being reluctantly treated by psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass (miscast David Morrissey) - who soon fell for her game of seduction. The R-rated US version was full of sexy (mostly vulgar) dialogue, an orgy scene, a full-frontal nude rooftop hot-tub scene, and an over-hyped rough sex scene involving erotic asphyxiation. Fifteen minutes of footage was edited out of the film (including a menage a trois scene) to avoid an NC-17 rating. The film opened with an incredulously stunning scene in which risk-addicted Stone was sexually-fingered to an orgasm by her barely-conscious star soccer player-passenger while she was driving her Ferrari Spider at high-speed, causing her sportscar to drive off a London bridge into the Thames River and drown her partner.

The unbelievably dull, truly awful film had a fabled, long-drawn-out development past - mostly due to star Sharon Stone's verbal "pay or play" deal contract that entitled her to $14 million advance against 15 percent of the grosses, citing lost revenue and work. She brought a $100+ million lawsuit against producers when its original release date of 2002 was delayed. Reasons for the delay were due to issues in casting the director (John McTiernan was slated, and David Cronenberg declined) and the male lead role (Harrison Ford, Kurt Russell, Robert Downey Jr., Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Greenwood, and Benjamin Bratt were all considered).

Basic Instinct 2 won the most Razzie Awards of 2007 including Worst Picture of the Year. Its seven nominations included Worst Director, Worst Screen Couple (Sharon Stone's lop-sided breasts!), and Worst Supporting Actor (David Thewlis), and it won four awards: Worst Actress (Sharon Stone), Worst Picture, Worst Prequel or Sequel, and Worst Screenplay. The film was criticized as degrading, and especially singled out was 48 year-old Stone's brazen and degrading participation, stiff and unsexy nakedness.

Poseidon (2006)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Studio/Distributor: Virtual Studios/Warner Bros.
Budget: $160 million
Domestic Gross: $60.7 million
Worldwide Gross: $181.7 million
Total Net Loss: $83 million
Total Estimated Loss (Inflation-Adjusted): $112 million

Director Wolfgang Petersen (perfectly suited for his previous work for Das Boot (1981) and The Perfect Storm (2000)) demanded realism in this fast-paced (less than 100 minutes) straight action film - a soul-less remake of The Poseidon Adventure (1972). To reduce the campiness, he spent lots on expensive props, neat CGI special effects, a 7-story grand lobby of the cruise ship, and he employed thousands of gallons of non-CGI water. Sometimes, the physically-demanding filming endangered the numerous characters.

The cliche-ridden film was completely retooled, with a new screenplay (although it retained the basic plot of a distressed ocean liner capsized by a rogue wave), and with all new stereotypical characters although they weren't very well developed or appealing: professional gambler Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas), single mother Maggie James with her 9 year-old 4th grade son Conor (Jacinda Barrett and child actor Jimmy Bennett), ex-NYC mayor Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell), the ex-mayor's headstrong daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her fiancé Christian (Mike Vogel), galley staff waiter Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez) and his stowaway girlfriend Elena (Mia Maestro), suicidal older gay architect Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss), and drunk Lucky Larry (Kevin Dillon). The preposterous disaster film followed how the group of super-knowledgeable survivors were able to navigate through the overturned cruise liner, with some suspenseful tension found in guessing who would make it.

The well-executed, paint-by-numbers film was basically an uninspiring retread of the original film, with a dash of Titanic (1997) - minus its romantic duo. It was nominated by the Razzie Awards as the Worst Remake or Ripoff, and lost to Little Man (2006), and more notably received an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, losing to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). Although the film was a major disaster (playing opposite the poorly-received Mission Impossible III (2006) and the popular The Da Vinci Code (2006)), it eventually recouped most of its early losses through worldwide sales.

Zoom (2006) (aka Zoom: Academy for Superheroes)
Director: Peter Hewitt
Studio/Distributor: Revolution Studios
Budget: $75.6 million
Domestic Gross: $35 million
Worldwide Gross: $12.5 million
Total Net Loss: $69 million
Total Estimated Loss (Inflation-Adjusted): $93 million

Zyzzyx Road (2006)
Director: John Penney
Distributor: Regent Releasing/Zyzzyx LLC
Budget: $2 million
Domestic Gross: $30, readjusted to $20

This independent film thriller, starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore, gained notoriety as the lowest grossing film of all time. It played in only one theatre (in Dallas, TX) for only six days, and took in only $20.

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