Hollywood summer blockbusters are both enormously expensive and face stiff competition, resulting in the occasional box office bomb.
To compile this list of movies costing more to make than they received in revenue, Newsweek crunched data, compiled by film industry site The Numbers, of the most expensive movies released in the U.S between May and August.
Films that failed to recoup their budgets at the worldwide box office were then identified, while those released during the COVID-19 pandemic were ignored.
25.Land of the Lost
2009 ‧ Comedy/Adventure ‧ 1h 42m
A hapless dinosaur expert and two friends are accidentally transported back million of years in time.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Only loosely based on the original TV series, Land of the Lost is decidedly less kid-friendly and feels more like a series of inconsistent sketches than a cohesive adventure comedy.”
Stream Land of the Lost on Amazon
2009 ‧ Adventure/Drama ‧ 2h 21m
Greek philosopher and teacher Hypatia finds herself targeted in Ancient Rome.
Movie critic Roger Ebert wrote: “I went to see Agora expecting an epic with swords, sandals and sex. I found swords and sandals, some unexpected opinions about sex, and a great deal more.”
Stream Agora on Amazon
23. Event Horizon
1997 ‧ Sci-fi/Horror ‧ 1h 37m
Astronauts are sent to investigate a lost spaceship that suddenly reappears near Neptune.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Despite a strong opening that promises sci-fi thrills, Event Horizon quickly devolves into an exercise of style over substance whose flashy effects and gratuitous gore fail to mask its over-reliance on horror clichés.”
22. Home on the Range
2004 ‧ Family/Musical ‧ 1h 16m
$110,000,000 budget / $76,482,461 worldwide gross = $33,518,000 loss
Three cows decide to save their farm from a greedy outlaw who has staked his claim on it.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Though Home on the Range is likeable and may keep young children diverted, it’s one of Disney‘s more middling titles, with garish visuals and a dull plot”.
21. Exorcist: The Beginning
2004 ‧ Horror/Psychological thriller ‧ 1h 56m
$78,000,000 budget / $43,957,541 worldwide gross = $34,043,000 loss
A man haunted by his experiences in World War Two travels to a fifth-century Byzantine church.
William Peter Blatty, the screenwriter of The Exorcist, described watching Exorcist: The Beginning as his “most humiliating professional experience.”
20. Mystery Men
1999 ‧ Fantasy/Action ‧ 2h 2m
A group of superhero wannabes assemble and attempt to save the world.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Absurd characters and quirky gags are brought to life by a talented cast, providing this superhero spoof with lots of laughs.”
Stream Mystery Men on Amazon Prime
19. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
2017 ‧ Fantasy/Drama ‧ 2h 6m
Arthur discovers his royal lineage after he releases the magical sword Excalibur from a stone.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword piles mounds of modern action flash on an age-old tale – and wipes out much of what made it a classic story in the first place.”
Stream King Arthur: Legend of the Sword on Amazon
2002 ‧ War/Action ‧ 2h 15m
American soldiers recruited Navajos during World War Two in order to communicate in a code language.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “The action sequences are expertly staged. Windtalkers, however, sinks under too many clichés and only superficially touches upon the story of the code talkers.”
Stream Windtalkers on Amazon
17. Wyatt Earp
1994 ‧ Western/Action/Adventure ‧ 3h 32m
$63,000,000 budget / $25,052,000 worldwide gross = $37,948,000 loss
Wyatt Earp moves to Tombstone, Arizona, but fails in his desire to get rich in obscurity.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Easy to admire yet difficult to love, Wyatt Earp buries eye-catching direction and an impressive cast in an undisciplined and overlong story.
Stream Wyatt Earp on Amazon
16. Around the World in 80 Days
2004 ‧ Adventure/Comedy ‧ 2 hours
A Chinese thief joins an eccentric Englishman who plans to speedily circumnavigate the globe to win a wager.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Hit-and-miss family fare that bears only the slightest resemblance to Verne’s novel.”
15. Titan A.E.
2000 ‧ Sci-Fi ‧ 94 minutes
This animated post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure finds humans encountering aliens for the first time.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Great visuals, but the story feels like a cut-and-paste job of other sci-fi movies.”
14. The Invasion
2007 ‧ Sci-fi/Horror ‧ 1h 39m
A decorated Marine is on a rescue mission to save his two boys from an alien enemy.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “The Invasion is slickly made, but it lacks psychological insight and thrills.”
Stream The Invasion on Amazon
13. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
2000 ‧ Family/Comedy ‧ 1h 32m
Popular cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle make their cinematic debut in this adventure tale combining animation with live-action.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Though the film stays true to the nature of the original cartoon, the script is disappointing and not funny.”
12. The Last Legion
2007 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 1h 50m
A barbarian army storms Rome on the eve of the coronation of 12-year-old Romulus Augustus.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “With miscast leads and unoriginal, uninspired dialogue, The Last Legion pales in comparison to the recent cinematic epics it invokes.”
1991 ‧ Comedy/Action ‧ 1h 40m
Eddie, known as Hudson Hawk, is just out of prison and attempts to lead an honest life.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Hudson Hawk’s kitchen-sink approach to its blend of action and slapstick results in a surreal, baffling misfire.”
11. Father’s Day
1997 ‧ Comedy/Buddy ‧ 1h 39m
A woman contacts a pair of ex-partners and tells each he is her son’s father.
Film School Rejects praised Father’s Day, stating: “This is what Grindhouse films should aspire to be.”
10. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
2013 ‧ Family/Musical ‧ 1h 32m
Straight after returning to Kansas, Dorothy finds herself whisked back to Oz.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Faced with the choice between staying in or seeing Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, most filmgoers will be forced to conclude that there’s no place like home.”
2013 ‧ Comedy/Action ‧ 1h 36m
In the afterlife, a detective is hired by a director of a group of dead police officers to battle renegade ghosts.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “It has its moments — most of them courtesy of Jeff Bridges’ rootin’ tootin’ performance as an undead Wild West sheriff — but R.I.P.D. is ultimately too dim-witted and formulaic to satisfy.”
8. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
2001 ‧ Sci-fi/Adventure ‧ 1h 53m
A scientist readies herself on Earth in the year 2065 to successfully tackle an alien invasion.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “The movie raises the bar for computer-animated movies, but the story is dull and emotionally removed.”
Stream Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on Amazon
7. Osmosis Jones
2001 ‧ Family/Comedy ‧ 1h 35m
A maverick white blood cell cop named Osmosis Jones attempts to save the world
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic.”
Stream Osmosis Jones on Amazon
6. Playmobil: The Movie
2019 ‧ Family/Musical ‧ 1h 50m
Two brothers are magically transported to the fantastical world of Playmobil.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Much like the toys it advertises, Playmobil: The Movie seems sadly destined to be regarded as a superficially similar yet less desirable alternative to the competition.”
2005 ‧ Action/Thriller ‧ 2h 1m
A trio of fighter pilots are tasked with deactivating an artificial intelligence-enabled fighter bomber that develops develops sentience
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Loud, preposterous, and predictable, Stealth borrows heavily and unsuccessfully from Top Gun and 2001.”
4. The 13th Warrior
1999 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 1h 43m
A man joins a band of Viking warriors to fight a supernatural enemy.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.”
3. The Alamo
2004 ‧ War/Western ‧ 2h 17m
This historic epic is on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus states: “Too conventional and un-involving to be memorable”
2. The Adventures of Pluto Nash
2002 ‧ Sci-fi/Comedy ‧ 1h 35m
This outer-space comedy is widely regarded as one of Eddie Murphy’s worst movies.
Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 79th in the 100 worst 2000s decade movies list and its critical consensus states: “The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.”
Stream The Adventures of Pluto Nash on Amazon
1. Town & Country
2001 ‧ Comedy/Romance ‧ 1h 44m
$105,000,000 budget / $10,364,769 worldwide gross = $94,636,000 loss
A man in midlife finds himself at crossroads with his wife and two longtime friends.
Endless rewrites and a nearly two-year-long shoot led this star-studded farcical comedy to notoriously generate almost a $100 million loss.
Stream Town & Country on Amazon