Biggest Product Flops of the Year

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Source: Courtesy of Snap, Inc.

4. Spectacles V2
> Company: Snap

Snap’s spectacles — sunglasses with a Snapchat-enabled camera built in — were a huge flop when they were first released. The company sold a fraction of the 800,000 glasses it created, losing nearly $40 million. Yet Snap was undeterred and made a second version of the Spectacles in 2018, Spectacles V2, and it appears those flopped as well. Snap ordered 35,000 V2 units, then tweaked the design and ordered 52,000 more. Spectacles failed to catch on with consumers, possibly because of the hefty $150 price tag or simply because smartphones work just fine for photos. Still, Snap is planning on a third generation of Spectacles, only this time it ordered just 24,000 units.

Source: Courtesy of HTC

3. U12+
> Company: HTC

Sales of HTC’s new phone, the U12 Plus, were so poor in 2018 that the company ended up laying off about 25% of its global workforce. Poor reviews of the smartphone cited its non-moving (presumably pressure sensitive) volume buttons that often did not work properly as well as the low battery life as reasons to stay away from the phone. The U12+ launched in June 2018. HTC disclosed later that the month’s sales were down 67% compared to June 2017.

Source: Courtesy of NBC

2. Megyn Kelly Today
> Company: NBC

NBC was banking on former Fox News host Megyn Kelly to be a huge ratings draw, reportedly offering her a $69 million contract to host her own show “Megyn Kelly Today” — a spin-off of the “Today” show. But Kelly’s show had few viewers and lots of controversy. The last straw was when she questioned whether it was actually racist to wear blackface for a Halloween costume. Kelly’s show was canceled after about a year, and she will reportedly get a buyout worth about $30 million, according to Page Six.

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

1. Robin Hood
> Company: Lionsgate

Within a week of its release, several outlets had already dubbed “Robin Hood” as the “biggest box office bomb” of the year. The film debuted at seventh in the domestic box office in its opening weekend, pulling in just $9.1 million. To date, it has grossed $21.8 million, compared to its $100 million budget. It may have flopped for a number of reasons. For one, it faced stiff competition from films like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Creed II,” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” The biggest reason for the film’s failure to attract moviegoers, however, is likely that it simply is not very good. It has just a 16% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.