There’s a statement made by screenwriter William Goldman about the movie business: ‘Nobody knows nothing.’
Bearing this in mind, here’s a list of ten films in 2012 whose box office returns left a studio decision-makers scratching their heads on their miserable year in order of domestic gross totals.
10. John Carter, $73 million
The big-budget movie had a disappointing opening weekend, and none of its elements clicked with the public. Despite making a global gross of nearly $283 million, it didn’t even come close to earning $100 milion in the US alone after a four-month run.
9. Battleship, $65.2 million
Battleship was no John Carter at the weekend box office, but opened with a miserable $25 million. Starring the same actor, Taylor Kitsch, perhaps one of these movies needed a bigger name. However, it’s best not to rely on Rihanna.
8. The Three Stooges, $44.3 million
The Three Stooges should be doing better business at the box office as the years progressed for this never-say-die pet project of the Farrelly Brothers. The Three Stooges had a disappointing start, grossing just $6.2 million and landed on a handful more theaters than Hotel Transylvania, but made less than 1/3 the money.
7. Rock of Ages, $38.5 million
Warner Bros. / New Line
The Three Stooges was a disappointment, Rock of Ages was a hair-metal and 80s-nostalgia filled disaster. Running in U.S. theaters only nine weeks, this big-budget musical comedy film directed by Adam Shankman and starring Tom Cruise it had plenty of promotional exposure, yet it practically stopped from the first note. Snow White and the Huntsman topped the box office with a stronger first weekend than Rock of Ages total global box office, $56.3 million
6. The Pirates! Band of Misfits, $31 million
Sony / Columbia
British/American 3D stop-motion animated adventure is a painstaking process that opened poorly averaging just $3300 per theater and earned less than $100,000 during four of its theatrical weeks.
5. The Words, $11.5 million
The Words, a romantic thriller starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana was undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience and didn’t break $12 million worldwide. Cooper could lock up an audience, but obviously not the older crowd to which The Words was marketed.
4. Fun Size, $9.4 million
Playing on more than 3,000 screens, Fun Size has the unenviable honor of being the lowest-grossing film and proved that high schoolers wanna see horror movies on Halloween weekend, not comedies.
3. Won’t Back Down, $5.2 million
With its all-star cast (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter) and classic underdog story loosely based on true events, Won’t Back Down didn’t have much fight and was one of the worst debuts ever for a movie. In more than 2,500 theaters, previously titled Still I Rise, Learning To Fly and Steel Town barely made the top 10.
2. Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, $1 million
Kenn Viselman Presents
The Oogieloves’ release was an absolute catastrophe, making a per-theater average of just $206 in its opening weekend. That’s $206, as in roughly 30-40 tickets sold per location. Nearly 90% of all theaters yanked Oogieloves after its first week, and the film disappeared after just three weeks.
1. High School, $139 thousand
This limited-release stoner comedy featuring Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis and Colin Hanks became a little too limited. High School opened in just 200 theaters and was gone a week later, when it earned just about $3000 across four measly screens.
Source: Meet In the Lobby