This year we got to see a lot of major projects experience a box office low. This wasn’t because they were poorly received by the audience or that they were critical failures. This failure was only because of the pandemic and the fewer amount of people heading to the cinema hall to watch these projects. The Suicide Squad was a critical gem and even got high praise from the fans but it failed at the box office only because of the streaming option the movies’ online release provided. But this is not the case for movies that are released during the pandemic only, as a similar fate is followed by other such projects for various other reasons. These reasons may vary from odd timing to poor marketing for the project. Let’s take a look at a few of these box office bombs of the 2010s that were good but failed to make money.
The Good Dinosaur
Even though this Pixar production wasn’t as good as some of the other projects by the critically lauded animated production house. The movie had its moments with an interesting pairing of characters. It didn’t even get a very poor rating either with 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. But at the same time, the critics also made sure to let us know that the movie was too simple of a story and hence the movie ended up in the list of underrated Pixar movies. This animated picture about the friendship between a human boy Spot and an Apatosaurus named Arlo earned $333.2 million against a budget of $175-200 million.
Fans had high hopes for this project as the books on which it is based are considered some of the best literature pieces in the steampunk genre. The movie was even produced by the director of The Lords of the Rings, Peter Jackson. This could have ended up being the next big fantasy franchise and it was also out at the right time as fans had just experienced the post-apocalyptic setting of Mad Max: Fury Road, and it was quite similar to this movie. The critical response was very poor with 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. With poor ratings and a bad response from the fans of the movies, the movie only ended up making $83.7 million off of its $100-150 million budget.
Rise Of The Guardians
This is another major animated feature that suffered the wrath of poor box office numbers. This movie had one of the most exciting casts of characters like Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman. This was no ordinary movie and it even made sure of a fairly good critical response with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 75%. This was also a different tone from the usual DreamWorks Animation tone of light-themed as this was more action-oriented. It only gathered $306.9 million worldwide on a budget of $145 million. But the movie has gathered quite a fanbase in recent years.
The Lone Ranger
This movie had high expectations as this could have been the duo adventure equivalent of the likes of Shanghai Noon-like movies. The movie had a major controversy right after its first look with the portrayal of Tonto being the topic of the debate. It didn’t even get a good critical response with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 30%. All these things apart the movie is still worth a watch for the action-packed scenes. One has to agree that the way director Gore Verbinski executed the awesome action sequences makes them worth a viewing. The movie was only able to gross an amount of $260.5 million against a budget of $225-250 million.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Solo was the next major spin-off that we were gonna get from the Star Wars universe considering the previous spin-off was a major success amongst fans. The movie didn’t get to achieve much success amongst the longtime fans of the franchise. Some even considered it to be an unnecessary addition to the franchise. It went through a lot of production issues too as the first directing duo backed out from the project. The movie didn’t fare well with the audience, as it made an earning of $393.2 million against a budget of $275-300 million. Fans still end up appreciating the efforts made by the cast in pulling off a younger representation of the iconic characters and overall it is quite an enjoyable movie.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E
Guy Ritchie is a director who can genuinely surprise the audience with the way his movies appeal to them. His Aladdin remake became a major box office hit even though the critics didn’t enjoy it as much. At the same time, another one of his ambitious projects King Arthur: Legend of the Sword flat out bombed at the box office. While both these movies didn’t get a great response from the critics The Man From U.N.C.L.E actually got decent reviews and yet wasn’t able to earn enough with only $107 million at the box office with a budget of $75-84 million. This movie hits every spy movie trope, from the Cold War tone to the gadgets.
John Carter was a chance from Disney to launch another original franchise but it failed to do so. The movie was supposed to be an opener for the trilogy that would be based upon the iconic Edgar Rice Burrough novels. The entire plan for the franchise was dropped right after this movie bombed at the box office terribly by only gathering $284.1 million worldwide with a budget that was pulled up to $300 million and above. This has to be one of the biggest failures Disney has experiences considering the movies under its banner might have a poor critical response but makes up for it with the box office earnings.
Blade Runner 2049
Denis Villeneuve is one of the greatest directors we have been able to watch at work. His work has proven to gather the critical response that it deserves due to his unique vision. Blade Runner 2049 was one such movie that received rave reviews and broke the challenge of being such a late sequel. The only complaint certain people had with the movie was with the length of the film which was understandable. And yet the movie only grossed $260.5 million worldwide against a $150-185 million budget. The movie is an absolute masterpiece and will continue to be one of the best sequels in cinema history.
The Wachowskis had long established their efforts in storytelling with their past work being of notable recognition amongst the fans. The Matrix films have impacted the way actions films were shot ever since they came out. So when fans heard that they were gonna have a heavy cast of actors to make another sci-fi epic, they were already hooked. But it seems the mixed response from the critics made people change their minds. The movie was only able to gross $130.5 million on a $100-150 million budget.
Martin Scorcese is known for the wide variety of stories that he puts on the screen. Often between his gangster epics, he puts in a few movies that give us a glance into his world with a beautifully constructed project. Hugo was one such project that could be considered his audacious adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The movie followed a child-centric narrative while at the same time exploring the beauty of cinema and how it was made at a time when it lacked popularity. But it seems audiences were not really into the concept as the film only grossed $185.8 million against a budget of $150-170 million.