Special Report

25 Biggest Product Flops of the Last 10 Years

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

21. The Many Saints of Newark
> Company: Warner Bros.
> Year introduced: 2021
> What it was: Film

“The Many Saints of Newark” is the full-length prequel film to the runaway success of the cable television mob series “The Sopranos,” set in the boiling racial cauldron of Newark, New Jersey, in 1967. Warner Bros. believed bringing back younger versions of the characters that were made famous in the series would make the film a hit. It turned out to be a miss, grossing $8.2 million on a budget of $50 million.

Critic James Luxford said the movie was “by no means a bad film, it’s just an unnecessary addition to the legacy.”

Source: Mike Powell / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

22. Air Jordan 2 Collabs
> Company: Jordan Brand
> Year introduced: 2022
> What it was: Sneakers

Jordan Brand’s marketing of original 14 sneakers worn by NBA superstar Michael Jordan have been among the best-sellers with sneakerheads. But not all have been successes. Exhibit A is the Air Jordan 2. Its appeal was hindered by the fact that His Airness barely wore the sneaker on the court in his second year in the NBA because he was hurt. Also, it was rumored that the mold from the sneaker was destroyed.

There have been a series of collaborations from companies like Union LA and Nina Chanel Abney, with both high- and low-top versions. Even so, collectors have generally shied away from the model.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

23. CNN+
> Company: CNN
> Year introduced: 2022
> What it was: CNN’s streaming service

Jeff Zucker, former head of CNN; Andrew Morse, CNN’s head of global digital business; and other leaders of the cable news network envisioned a platform similar to that of the New York Times – a subscription news product that would eventually include video, podcasts, and CNN’s interview and entertainment programming. They believed CNN had a global brand image superior to that of the Times.

After an encouraging opening, the viewership numbers began declining right after launch. Company executives expected CNN+ to reach 2 million subscribers after a year, but the new leadership saw the service’s early numbers as weak. The platform only lasted several weeks.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

24. The Get Down
> Company: Netflix
> Year introduced: 2022
> What it was: TV series

This Netflix period series, set in New York City during the late 1970s, tracked the origins of rap and hip-hop. It had a lot going for it: Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge!,” “The Great Gatsby”) helmed the project. A pilot was co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. Justice Smith played a young rapper and “Hamilton” Tony-winner Daveed Diggs portrayed the rapper’s older self. Hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash consulted on the series. It added up to failure. Netflix canceled it after 11 episodes and a cost of $120 million. “The Get Down” was Netflix’s first show to be canceled after just one season.

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

25. Turning Red
> Company: Pixar Animation Studios
> Year introduced: 2022
> What it was: Film

Meilin is a teenage girl torn between being a dutiful daughter and participating in the exuberance of her adolescent years. There’s a complication; whenever she gets too excited, she turns into a giant red panda. Despite a 95% Freshness score from Rotten Tomatoes critics, who called it “heartwarming, humorous, beautifully animated, and culturally expansive,” the film cost about $175 million and only brought in $20 million worldwide, a rare misfire for Pixar.

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