We're only halfway through 2018, but we've already seen a fair number of box office bombs. For some films, failing to make a dent in the market can still deliver a cult-classic, but for Hollywood’s overblown film fiascos, home media distribution may not always lead to profits. It’s not only the expanding production costs that threaten a film with the fearsome "box office bomb" moniker, but the gambler’s attitude towards promotional spending. Films can be expensive to make (often too expensive), but with an excitable marketing team spending millions to try to fill seats, the production budget and the domestic take only tell part of the story.

While some items on this list do seem target-painted from first blush, a few may come as a surprise. With a mixture of questionable quality, noble intentions, bankable franchises, and excellent source material, the following list represents 2018's biggest flops...so far.

Note that the total amount of money lost on the following film ventures combined is in the estimated range of $200 million. In other words, another Gnomeo & Juliet box office success would mostly cover everyone's losses. Also note that the production budgets listed do not factor in marketing and distribution costs, which is why even movies that surpassed their budget at the box office are considered bombs.

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story

  • Box Office: $344,306,523  ($197,203,695 Domestic)
  • Budget: $250 million

It's true, Star Wars films have seen better opening weekends. That doesn’t quite save Solo: A Star Wars Story from inclusion on this list — and, bear in mind, merely budget-matching does not a successful Star Wars wide release make.

With a $250 million budget — comparable to Rogue One, which hit that magic billion dollar gross at the box office — Solo’s lackluster domestic theater take is an alarming development to investors. Technically, with its total worldwide sales, the movie is currently doing better than breaking even, but Lucasfilm don't go into the business of making Star Wars movies to simply break even, they do it to break records, and Solo: A Star Wars Story currently stands as the worst-performing film in the franchise.

Critically above-average, Solo may very well see good numbers in the DVD/digital media market, but the ramifications of its opening weekends may possibly affect further Star Wars Story films to come.

7. Early Man

  • Box Office: $53,431,158  ($8,267,544 domestic)
  • Budget: $50 million

Speaking of breaking even, Aardman Studio’s latest offering Early Man recently reached that milestone, effectively matching its $50 million budget. The stop-motion film is the latest release from Aardman Studios, the people who brought you the Wallace & Gromit films and Chicken Run, with their usual roundup of strong voice talent pulled from the zeitgeist, like Tom Hiddleston and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams.

With higher ratings than most any other movies on this list, the ramifications of Early Man’s stumble in theaters might be a distressing klaxon for this style of animation, where visual (and expensive) knockouts like Kubo and the Two Strings also struggle in theaters — note, though, that Kubo did manage to outperform Aardman’s film. For a dying art-form immediately distinct from the computer-animated cartoons du jour, this is hopefully not the case.

Next Page: Gotti, Annihilation, and Death Wish

6. Gotti

  • Box Office: $2,308,467 (so far)
  • Budget: $10 million

John Travolta heads this biopic about crime boss John Gotti, in a production history which might have more twists and turns than the actual finished film. Shifting actors, directors, and focus since development kicked off in September of 2010, Gotti finally released last weekend under peculiar circumstances, a Rotten Tomatoes zero-score, and a paltry $1.9 million opening, a distant reach from a $10 million budget.

That budget — or that box office take — leaves out a lot of details, though. For instance, Joe Pesci sued Fiore Films after being recast and handed a pay-cut, and the mysterious sum they settled for out of court can probably be functionally added to the final Gotti cost. Lionsgate famously dropped the film late last year and sold back its rights, a mere two weeks prior to its originally intended release date. And then you factor in MoviePass, who has an equity stake in Gotti, and apparently accounted for 40% of movie tickets “sold.”

All in all, a documentary about the making of Gotti might possibly see a better opening weekend.

5. Annihilation

  • Box Office: $32,732,301
  • Budget: $40 million

Adapted from writer Jeff VanderMeer’s resplendent, unnerving science fiction novel (the first entry in a trilogy) and helmed by fan-favorite filmmaker Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Dredd), Annihilation did not end up a successful collaboration of talents. The film was very possibly doomed from the start with its documented on-set frustrations, the total lack of overseas theater distribution, and some heady subject matter which eventually took significant script detours from its source material.

Prior to coming out in the U.S., Annihilation rights were sold to Netflix for overseas streaming, completely dodging an international theater release. Rumors described a testy relationship between Garland and Paramount, and the film drew a few “white-washing” critics when Natalie Portman was cast as the lead (VanderMeer’s trilogy describes the main character as Asian-American, though this is not articulated in the first novel).

Failing to match its $40 million budget with a $32 million domestic gross, a speedy transition to digital home media may eventually float Annihilation into a reasonable profit point. Critics loved it, CinemaScore gave it a C, but time will tell if Garland’s relative financial dud will result in an eventual cult classic.

4. Death Wish

  • Box Office: $48 million
  • Budget: $30 million

Eli Roth’s Death Wish might’ve been the remake nobody wanted, at a time when firearm-toting vigilantes were losing more and more value as cinematic heroes in the public eye. With a script penned by Narc’s Joe Carnahan and a lean $30 million budget, it was the perfect storm for a dud with a firm 18% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Death Wish’s box office may have eventually landed on a respectable-sounding $48 million, but after factoring in marketing costs, things look a lot less rosy. It’s all a far cry from Roth’s Hostel in 2006, an early torture-porn film which grossed $80.6 million to its $5 million budget, riding a number one opening weekend.

While Death Wish’s release date was jockeyed around due to the increase in U.S. school shootings, it was possibly never going to find the right time to launch in 2018. Whether the film would’ve been better received in a different year, or era, remains a mystery.

Next Page: Sherlock Gnomes, The Hurricane Heist, and a Wrinkle in Time

3. Sherlock Gnomes

  • Box Office:$86,845,294 ($43,242,871 domestic)
  • Budget: $59 million

Speaking of MGM losses, there's another apparent cash-grab - the animated Sherlock Gnomes. Featuring a star-studded lineup of voice actors like Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, and Mary J. Blige, a litany of gnome-worthy (or groan-worthy) puns, and a $59 million budget, it’s a sequel that audiences probably never asked for.

After the previous film, Gnomeo & Juliet, collected an impressive $194 million against a $36 million budget, which will at some point be registered as evidence in the event that film ever truly dies. Sherlock Gnomes failed to reach anywhere near those heights with its doubled budget, and that's before advertising is even accounted for. While the film remains in theaters overseas and tickets are still being tallied at time of writing, it will be lucky to match the magic budget x 2 point with a domestic box office of $43 million.

2. The Hurricane Heist

  • Box Office: $6,115,825
  • Budget: $35 million

Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and The Furious) may have thought he had another franchise hit on his hands with The Hurricane Heist, a disaster film / criminal heist mashup, but that's not how it turned out. Beyond how distasteful that idea first sounds, the film has been labeled as a potential novelty-watch by some critics, with a pack of criminals setting their eyes on a U.S. Treasury Mint location during a Cat 5 hurricane. This outlook is further helped on by a cast out of a made-for-TV movie and the deluge of hurricane puns twisted into most critic’s finished review.

The Hurricane Heist was not screened for those critics, of course, and might possibly be one of the most notorious entries on this list in terms of quality. Its modest budget of $35 million proved a yet-impossible height to aspire to, with the domestic take under $7 million, we don't even need to discuss the promotional budget. If it does ever manage to hit streaming services, critics have at least described it as a good time, if your expectations are low enough.

1. A Wrinkle In Time

  • Box Office: $132,339,208  ($100,190,199)
  • Budget: $130 million

Madeleine L’Engle’s "Time Quintet" series began with A Wrinkle In Time, an award-winning young-adult science-fiction/fantasy novel. Disney produced the 2018 film and hired Ava DuVernay, making history as the first 9-digit budget for a movie directed by an African-American woman. In addition, DuVernay managed to nab top-notch talent like Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey, but did not deliver top-notch ticket sales.

While A Wrinkle In Time easily trumped 2003's panned TV film adaptation in quality, that wasn’t enough to earn a significant return on Disney’s investment. At the end of the day, Wrinkle can be chalked up as a loss. While it was far from a goose egg in terms of revenue or critical reception, there has been little word of a potential sequel being put into production, so expectations are low.

Numbers from Box Office Mojo

More: Movies That Bombed At The Box Office (But Deserve A Second Chance)

Source:gamerant.com
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