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Movies That Were Supposed To Be Blockbusters But Flopped

Movies That Were Supposed To Be Blockbusters But Flopped

Just because a movie is hyped up by the media doesn’t mean it going to be good. The feeling of being let down by a movie you have been waiting to see for months is absolutely horrible. Here are a few overhyped movies that turned about to be complete flops.

1. Ishtar

Ishtar is a 1987 comedy starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. The film was made by an up and coming director named Elaine May who had previously worked on hit movies such as Reds and Tootsie. Ishtar was supposed to be May’s claim to fame. She was given a huge budget and was working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. The film was even shot in Morocco which costs tons of cash at that time. Unfortunately for May, nothing could save this dumpster fire of a film.

The film was doomed right from the start. Ishtar was basically a remake of the Road movies Bing Crosby and Bob Hope made back in the 1940s. These movies were hits back in the 40s but grew cheesy and dated by the late 1980s. Not only that, filming Ishtar was a nightmare. The climate was rugged, the crew had to deal with guerilla fighters, and much time was wasted due to May’s arrogant perfectionism. On top of all this, the script was downright terrible.


When Ishtar was finally finished, its budget was a whopping $55 million dollars. The film was supposed to be the next 80s comedy hit so many people believed it would have no problem making back the money. They were dead wrong. The film was torn apart by critics and audiences alike. Ishtar turned out to be a complete unfunny movie that just relied on A-list actors to bring in revenue. Audiences realized this and the film only earned back $14.37 million of its $55 million dollar budget.

2. Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck is another 80s comedy that was supposed to be the next big thing but ended up being hot garbage. The movie is based on the Marvel comic book of the same name. It was actually produced by the legendary Star Wars director, George Lucas.


The movie is about a duck named Howard that comes to earth to stop an alien invasion. He meets some friends along the way and they all must stop the aliens from destroying all of humanity. This terrible plot is made even worse when Howard sparks a love interest with a human female rock singer. The special effects were just as bad as the movie’s storyline. Howard looks like one of those robots you see at chuck-e-cheese that sings songs for children’s birthday parties.

Pretty much everything about this movie is bad. The acting, story, special effects, and even the music were terrible. Critics hated the movie and gave it a 2-3 out of 10 on average. Moviegoers didn’t listen for the first week or so but soon turned their back to this unfunny, immature superhero comedy. The film only made back $1 million of its budget and won many Golden Raspberry Awards (awards given to the worst films of the year) such as worst supporting actor, worst director, and worst original song.


3. Waterworld

This 1995 post-apocalyptic action-adventure film might not be as bad as some of the other movies on this list but still deserves to be mentioned. Kevin Costner directed and starred in this box office bomb. The movie also featured iconic actors Dennis Hopper. The film was supposed to be one of the biggest movies of the year but turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the year.

Waterworld is about a world flooded by water after the polar ice-caps have melted. The people who survived this natural disaster now sail the seas in search of dry land. A young mariner finds a woman with a tattoo of a map showing how to reach dry land. He must protect her and a young girl in order to find dry land before the evil Deacon can stop him.

Since the Waterworld was supposed to be a box office smash, it was given a 100 million dollar budget. The film actually went over budget and went up to $173-$175 million causing it to break the record for the most expensive movie during its time. After all the marketing and distribution costs, the film’s budget was a total of $235 million! This helped Kevin Costner earn the nickname Kevin Cost-a-lot.


The movie failed to live up to expectations and failed miserably in the box office compared to its extraordinary filming budget. The film only grossed $88 million at the North American box office but did $176 million overseas. Waterworld had very mediocre reviews with many people saying the movie did not live up to the hype. It was nominated for worst picture, worst actor, worst director and won worst supporting actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards. The film now has a small cult following but is nowhere near as popular as everyone believed back in 1995.

4. R.I.P.D

R.I.P.D, or Rest in Peace Department, is a 2013 sci-fi action comedy staring many famed actors such as Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, and Kevin Bacon. The movie is a mix between Men In Black and a big-budget superhero movie. It is based on a comic book so many people thought it would be a success since it came out during the hight of the Marvel and D.C comics craze. The movie did the exact opposite of what was expected and is one of the biggest flops in the comic book film genre.


The movie is about a police officer named Nick who is killed by his partner after telling him he wants to turn in some gold they stole to the police. After Nick is killed, he is assigned to the Rest In Peace Department in order to prevent evil entities from entering the real world. Nick, along with his old school partner Roy, must protect the earth from evil while trying to stop Nick’s old partner from bringing these evil monsters to Earth.

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When R.I.P.D was released, it was hated by critics and moviegoers. Most of the reviews said the movie had a dumb plot and was too generic to keep anyone’s interest. People listened and the film tanked at the box office.  R.I.P.D had a pretty large budget of $154 million but only earned $78.3 million worldwide. The movie has horrible reviews as well with Rotten Tomatoes only giving it 13% out of 100% while Metacritic gave the film 25 out of 100.


5. John Carter

This Disney dumpster fire is one of the biggest box office flops of all time. John Carter was directed by Andrew Stanton who made great Disney classics such as Finding Nemo and Wall-E.  It was supposed to be a sci-fi action movie that would be another mainstream hit for Disney. The movie was going to be the first of many films based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series Barsoom. The movie did so bad that the sequels were all canceled, and the movie has been forgotten by most Disney fans.

John Carter is about a Civil War vet who is sent to a faraway planet after finding strange drawings and gold in a cave. He is then captured by the creatures inhabiting this planet that he finds out is Mars. He soon escapes and figures out Mars is in the middle of a war. He meets a princess that he grows feelings for so he decides to help fight for her cause. The plot of John Carter is VERY complex so this summary is pretty bland compared to the actual film.


Disney had high hopes for this film and threw a massive amount of cash into its budget. John Carter had a production cost of $263 million but ended up having a total cost of $350 million after the marketing campaigns. The movie was given mediocre reviews due to the confusing plotline and the overall cheesiness of it. It still made a fair amount of money-making almost $300 million worldwide but that was nothing compared to the amount of money Disney threw at it.

The president of, Paul Dergarabedian said, “John Carter’s bloated budget would have required it to generate worldwide tickets sales of more than $600 million to break even.” This means it lost around $250 million! Disney now refuses to acknowledge the movie and wishes we would all forget about this box office bomb even though the movie isn’t as bad as people might think.


There have been countless movies that have failed at the box office. These films are just some of the box office bombs many people have forgotten about. Fell free to tell us some of your favorite movie failures in the comments below.

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