A movie’s performance at the box office gets plenty of attention. Some people were very impressed when “Avatar” became the most profitable movie in Hollywood history (and still is). Others gasped when the “Cats” big screen adaptation bombed in domestic theaters despite a star-studded cast featuring Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson.
But what’s the biggest box-office bomb of all time? Here we’ve tried to answer this question. Using data on worldwide box office and production costs from film industry data site The Numbers, 24/7 Tempo compiled a list of 40 movies that lost the most money when comparing their box office gross to their production budgets.
It seems there is never a guarantee a movie is going to do great at the box office. Some directors count on recognizable names in Hollywood to attract moviegoers. But the list of the biggest film flops includes A-listers Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Rock, and Angelina Jolie.
Similarly, no genre appears to be a safer bet for turning a profit. The list of the movies that lost the most money is very diverse. It includes everything from science fiction thrillers about time travel to romantic comedies and historical dramas based on true events.
The film production industry is certainly very lucrative but also very risky. Sometimes some movies just get lucky — here is a list of the highest-grossing movie every year since 1930.
To determine the biggest movie flops ever, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on worldwide box office and production costs from film industry data site The Numbers. Films were ranked on the difference between total worldwide box office gross and production budget, with the films with the largest losses ranking at the top of the list. Data on the domestic box office also came from The Numbers. Supplemental data includes the number of reviews and overall rating of each film on the Internet Movie Database as well as audience score and Tomatometer ranking from Rotten Tomatoes. Data was collected in April 2021.