The 12 Biggest Movie Bombs Of 2018

You deserve an award if you've seen them all
IMAGE Disney

It's been an incredible year for movies with the likes of Avengers: Infinity War, Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible – Fallout all bringing in the big bucks at the box office.

Not every movie was quite as successful, mind, with some movies just not connecting with the audience, more often than not after they got savaged by the critics. So we thought we'd scroll through 2018's releases and pick out the biggest flops.

How have we judged this, you ask? Well, we've taken into account the reported production budget (which doesn't include marketing spend) and compared that against what it took at the box office, as well as making judgment calls on what movies were largely expected to make.

We're not including low-budget indies or movies that only received limited releases, so even though the likes of Gotti and London Fields were notorious for how terrible they were, they were never expected to bring in big money.

Also, just because something is a flop at the US box office, that doesn't make them an overall flop as international grosses can save them. This means that Red Sparrow, Skyscraper, Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim: Uprising aren't included here because their international hauls saved them... just.

1| The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Reported budget: $132,900,000

Worldwide gross: $140,357,413

An all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Morgan Freeman couldn't save this big-budget Disney retelling of The Nutcracker. Released in early November, it was expected to sustain until Christmas as a family festive offering, but big box-office drops everywhere have put an end to that.


2| Robin Hood

Reported budget: $99,000,000

Worldwide gross: $65,789,193

If you're worried that we've put this in too early since it only came out on November 21, we haven't. Robin Hood suffered on its US box office debut with a $14.3 million five-day bow, dropping 48% in its second weekend. It hasn't really connected in the UK either, so this latest reboot has definitely missed the target.

3| A Wrinkle in Time

Reported budget: $103,000,000

Worldwide gross: $132,675,864

We really wanted A Wrinkle in Time to connect as it marked the first time a woman of colour had directed a movie with a budget of over $100 million. Sadly, Ava DuVernay's adaptation of the 1962 sci-fi novel of the same name didn't wow critics or audiences, especially not internationally.

4| Hotel Artemis

Reported budget: $15,000,000

Worldwide gross: $12,767,787

People are always bemoaning the lack of original offerings at the cinema, but when a stylish action effort is right there for them to discover, they don't give it a shot. Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce's directorial debut Hotel Artemis was like a futuristic John Wick and marked the big-screen return of Jodie Foster, yet that wasn't enough.

5| The Happytime Murders

Reported budget: $40,000,000

Worldwide gross: $27,506,452

Hoping to deliver the same sort of success as the likes of Ted, The Happytime Murders made a splash for getting sued by Sesame Street during its marketing campaign. However, that was about as notable as the movie got as a weak box office followed a critical mauling, marking one of Melissa McCarthy's worst-ever box-office performances.

6| The Darkest Minds

Reported budget: $34,000,000

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Worldwide gross: $41,142,379

If you needed any further proof that the Young Adult boom kickstarted by Twilightwas over, just look at the reception for The Darkest Minds. At this point, it seems unlikely that it'll even get a sequel as book fans didn't turn out for the movie and barely anyone else did either.

7| Death Wish

Reported budget: $30,000,000

Worldwide gross: $48,576,379

Death Wish was arguably fighting a losing battle from the moment its first trailer saw the remake accused of being "alt-right" and "racist". The more immediate problem for Eli Roth's take on the cult 1974 original, starring Bruce Willis in the Charles Bronson role, was that (like the original) it just wasn't very good.

8| Action Point

Reported budget: $19,000,000

Worldwide gross: $5,103,675

There's a strong chance you won't have even heard of Action Point, a comedy starring Johnny Knoxville about a daredevil who builds his own theme park. We promise you that it definitely got released around the world, but perhaps its woeful US box office take meant it was never going to get a big push elsewhere.

9| Solo: A Star Wars Story

Reported budget: $250,000,000

Worldwide gross: $392,924,807

Solo: A Star Wars Story might have made more money than any other movie on this list, but it sure cost a lot more too and can only be considered a disappointment. Reviews were solid, yet it seems Star Wars fans just weren't interested in the spin-off prequel, however good the cast were. Maybe if it had been saved until Christmas (like all the other new Star Wars films), things might have been different.


10| Early Man

Reported budget: $50,000,000

Worldwide gross: $54,622,814

The latest effort from Aardman Animations did well in the UK, but perhaps centring Early Man around football hurt its chances elsewhere, especially in the US where it grossed only $8.3 million. Even the presence of Eddie Redmayne and Maisie Williams on the voice cast wasn't enough for people to turn up to this charming and inventive animation.

11| The Hurricane Heist

Reported budget: $40,000,000

Worldwide gross: $30,964,184

In terms of doing what it said on the tin (or in the title, in this case), The Hurricane Heist didn't flop. It did deliver a heist that was set during a hurricane, but it didn't quite whip up good reviews or a bumper haul at the box office. In the UK it was a Sky Cinema premiere, so you can forgive a soft UK gross. The same can't be said in the US where it got a full cinema release...

12| Life Itself

Reported budget: N/A

Worldwide gross: $5,155,763

While we can't track down the budget for Life Itself (which starred Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde, no less), it was reported that Amazon Studios paid $10 million for the rights to release it.

It seemed like a sure thing, given it was another family drama from Dan Fogelman, the creator of This Is Us. The problem was that the movie is a total disaster that got some of the worst reviews of the year, leading to the second-worst US opening for a saturated (more than 2,500 cinemas) release.

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This story originally appeared on edits have been made by the editors.

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Ian Sandwell
Ian Sandwell is Digital Spy’s Movies Editor. Shortlisted for PPA New Talent of the Year 2018, he’s a horror-movie obsessive and box-office expert, often fuelled by tea.
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