A successful film can make a lot of money. For example, this year’s “Beauty and the Beast” grossed over half a billion dollars in the United States on a $160 million budget. Unfortunately for investors, a movie’s success is never guaranteed, and a film can lose millions just as easily as it can make them.
A film can fail at the box office due to poor distribution and marketing. It can also fail due to poor audience reception – either because it was poorly executed or because it is of interest to relatively few moviegoers. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 156 films that were wide released in 2017 to identify the 50 movies that grossed the least amount of money at the domestic box office.
Many of these box office flops lost significant amounts of money. For example, historical drama “The Promise” grossed less than a tenth of its $90 million production budget in the US. Similarly, animated film “Rock Dog” failed to gain back even one-sixth of its $60 million budget at the domestic box office.
Yet some of this year’s lowest grossing films still managed to turn a profit. Christian drama “All Saints” grossed $5.8 million in the United States against its $2 million budget. Horror film “The Belko Experiment” also did well, bringing in over $10 million, while costing only $5 million to make.
Some of the films that performed relatively poorly are loved by those who saw them. Money-losing “The Promise” currently has a 92% audience score on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. On the other end of the spectrum is box office failure “The Snowman,” which scores a mere 21% by the same metric.
To identify the 50 biggest box office losers of the year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the domestic gross for 156 films that were wide released in 2017. Movies are considered wide releases if they are played in at least 600 theaters nationwide. Each film’s 2017 domestic gross came from online box office database Box Office Mojo. Production budgets came from film industry research service The Numbers. The percentage of the audience that enjoyed the movie is based on online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score.