Five of This Year’s Biggest Hollywood Box Office Bombs

Even at the halfway point, 2018 has seen many duds, including a Han Solo 'Star Wars' film and Oprah Winfrey's 'A Wrinkle in Time'

There’s a lot of risk in the film industry.

Not every high-budget film is guaranteed to make massive sums of money, even when it features an A-list star (or two or three).

It’s up to consumers, of course, to decide what’s good and what’s bad — and sometimes, the reactions surprise both Hollywood insiders and film critics. With liberal stars turning off more people these days with their constant politicking, and with studios churning out far less original content than they once did, these surprises to industry insiders seem to come more and more often.

Here is a look at five of Hollywood’s biggest flops thus far in 2018.

1.) “Pacific Rim: Uprising.” The sequel to 2013’s “Pacific Rim,” which performed only modestly well at the box office, raked in over $28 million domestically in its first weekend in March and landed at the top spot at the box office; but it only managed $59.2 million at the American box office. By comparison, its worldwide total was $290.1 million.

For a movie that had a $150 million budget and a predecessor that earned over $400 million at the worldwide box office, it’s fair to say this one has not gone as well as expected — and we’ll likely never see a third “Pacific Rim” movie. Watch the trailer below if you want a glimpse of the giant robots vs. space monsters mayhem most of the country skipped the first time around.

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2.) “A Wrinkle in Time.” Disney had already made a television movie based on the 1962 Newbery Medal-winning science fantasy novel back in 2003. One might think its experience with such a unique concept would help it turn it into a smashing box office hit — but not so.

Even with A-listers such as Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon in the 2018 film, it has not had the type of commercial success that was expected.

The children’s fantasy film received poor reviews; its audience was also narrow and the novel’s Christian themes were missing. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 40 approval rating, while the audience score was an abysmal 29 percent. The film reportedly cost $100 million but was not well-received worldwide; it’s earned $132.6 million at the box office ($100.4 million domestically, $32.2 million foreign earnings).

Ultimately, Disney is predicted to lose up to $100 million on the film.

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3.) “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Perhaps people were not interested in this “Star Wars” spinoff, since it has little to do with the current “Star Wars” series, takes place 10 years prior to the original “Star Wars” film from 1977 — and does not feature Harrison Ford as the popular character Han Solo. It received generally positive views (70 percent from critics and 65 percent from fans on Rotten Tomatoes), but none of the hype one would expect from something in this franchise.

It was one of the most expensive films of all time to produce, too, with a $275 million budget. So far, it has amassed $369.4 million ($207.7 million domestically, $161.7 million worldwide) in box office sales. That said, this Ron Howard-directed film will likely lose a lot of money: Screen Rant says it would only break even if it reaches $500 million, thanks to additional prints and advertising costs. Right now, the chances of that happening are slim.

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4.) “Tomb Raider.” Although it was a profitable film, most likely — earning $273.5 million worldwide ($57.4 million in the U.S., $216.1 million outside) on a $94 million budget — this Warner Bros. video game adaptation simply did not live up to its hype.

Its poor reception should not be a shock. “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” a 2001 film starring Angelina Jolie, was not well received either, receiving just a 20 percent rating from critics and a 47 percent rating from the general public. Jolie’s film’s, however, performed much better at the box office.

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5.) “Red Sparrow.” Jennifer Lawrence’s box office slump has continued with this attempted thriller.

Perhaps her strange political takes hurt the market for her films; regardless, the film greatly underperformed. It was projected by some to earn over $25 million on its opening weekend, but it instead hauled in only $16.9 million against a $69 million budget. It’s earned $151.3 million at the box office ($46.9 million domestically, $104.4 million foreign), according to Box Office Mojo.

Although it’s hard to pin the movie’s struggles on just one person, it’s worth noting that Lawrence’s previous two films in which she played a lead role, “Mother!” and “Passengers,” both were box office flops.

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

(photo credit, homepage image: Universal; photo credit, article image: Lucasfilm)

Tom Joyce
meet the author

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.

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