How To Lose $812-Million In The Movie Business! 2016’s Tough Tough Year!

film cans

What a year so far at the movies…hundreds of films released in theaters all across the US…with many becoming smash hits…so how has it added up for Hollywood?

Caucasian woman watching move in empty theater

Caucasian woman watching move in empty theater

The Answer: A Ghost Town!

2016 has been brutal to some very highly anticipated films – moviegoers said “NO THANKS” in a very loud voice…I rounded up some of the year’s biggest disappointments and here is how it adds up:

2016 movie box office

$812-million In The Hole….Ouch!

I added up the production costs for some of Hollywood’s biggest 2016 releases so far – and then looked at the US box office. The difference in box office gross and the film’s production costs adds up to a loss of more than $800-million dollars!

movie box office

For many movie studios, the international market is where these films will make their money back – but the fact is, the financial hole dug by a poor theatrical release in the US makes it very tough to get back to break even…let’s take a look at some of the films that struggled in the US this year:


We begin in the with a “prequel” that nobody wanted:

The Huntsman: Winters War
Cost: $115-mil, US gross: $48-mil

Offering up images that looked like a live-action “Frozen” didn’t help…we are being inundated with superhero films, and this is the result….another genre failing badly:


Moviegoers have clearly said they are NOT interested in “sword and dragon” epics any more – they can see it on TV – “Gods Of Egypt” was one of the year’s biggest flops – look at these numbers:

Gods of Egypt
Cost: $140-mil, US gross $31-mil

Even one of Hollywood’s legendary Directors made a rare mis-step:


Disney was unable to convince moviegoers that Steven Spielberg’s latest film was worth seeking out – even with stellar reviews:

Cost: $140-mil, US gross $54-mil

But one of the biggest mistakes made in 2016 was taking a Hollywood classic and trying to remake it for a modern audience:

ben_hur_box office bomb

This was probably the biggest bomb of the summer – even with an attempt to tell the story through a religious lens – look at these numbers:

Cost: $100-mil, US gross $20-mil

Films with “swords, sandals and sand” have under-performed for several years now.

Even animated sequels had a difficult time bringing back their loyal audience:

Ice Age sequel

Ice cold box office greeted these animated characters this time out:

Ice Age: Collision Course
Cost: $105-mil, US gross $62-mil

Which leads to the question: what if you bring back a movie franchise – that no one asked for?


Here was the sequel that NOBODY wanted:

Independence Day: Resurgence
Cost: $165-mil, US gross $103-mil

The original is iconic, and without Will Smith, it was the kiss of death – or maybe it was the horrible reviews.

And turning popular video games into big screen entertainment failed again big time:


The worlds of video game and film have rarely meshed, and here is another example. Talk about a battle lost quickly!

Cost: $150-mil, US gross $47-mil

Legend of Tarzan

This next film will no doubt make up its deficit overseas, but it was another “summer blockbuster” that failed to excite moviegoers:

The Legend of Tarzan
Cost: $180-mil, US gross $126-mil

The reviews were strong for “Tarzan”, and as I said, it has been well-received overseas, but in the US, it failed to ignite enough interest to justify the price.

Sometimes, the personal life of a star can wreck havoc on their films:

alice through the looking glass bomb

What was behind this bomb of a sequel? Was it the bad press over Johnny Depp’s split with Amber Heard, or could it have been that no one really seemed to like the first film much!

Alice Through The Looking Glass
Cost: $170-mil, US gross $77-mil

Another sequel couldn’t get moviegoers to come out of their shells:

TMNT sequel

This came and went with a shrug – it felt like a movie no one asked for.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
Cost: $135-mil, US gross $82-mil

Another film tried to take viewers back in time to a heroic rescue effort:


Unfortunately, nobody cared: this period action adventure didn’t resonate at all.

The Finest Hours
Cost: $80-mil, US gross $27-mil

Finally, the comedian behind “Borat” and “Bruno” tried to create a new character:

the brothers grimsby review

This had one of the lowest box office grosses of any film released widely in theaters:

The Brothers Grimsby
Cost: $35-mil, US gross $7-mil

Add this all up, and these films were more than $800-million in the red after their US release! Yes, like pouring money down a black hole!

moneyhole movie box office

Actual box office for 2016 is holding up, thanks to smash hits like “Finding Dory”, “Captain America: Civil War” and “Zootopia”, and if you want to see how much international box office helps a movie, check out this great list on “Box Office Mojo”:

The film business is always “hit or miss”, but some of the bombs this year have been brutal! We have also seen some big names star struggling at the box office in the last few years as well:

The Last_Stand_2013 poster

Here is a look at the box office fall of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone – two of the world’s biggest movie stars now finding it more difficult:

I also took a look at Tom Cruise – one of his most recent films actually changed its title when it came out on home video to try and get people to watch!

Live Die Repeat

This is actually the movie “Edge Of Tomorrow!” Read about this unique marketing effort here:

Let me know what you think!

2016 movie box office

Categories: Action Films, Books / Media, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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6 replies

  1. I am not at all surprised, John. In fact, I am rather pleased. If this industry gets the wake-up call it so badly needs, then so be it. Endless pointless remakes, lame sequels and prequels, and total dependence on glaringly obvious CGI. Is it any wonder we have had enough?
    Let’s hope they get the message, and return to making original films with good actors. Films that actually entertain an audience, and leave you thinking about what you have watched.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Pete, you are absolutely right. Look at these movies – why would we want to see a single one of them? No storytelling, no suspense, just pointless CGI that becomes boring within minutes…thanks for your comment as always!


  1. The Death Of “Classic Hollywood”: Ladies Men, Streaming Stars And Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply”… – johnrieber
  2. Legendary Producer Jon Peters! Making A Fortune For NOT Producing “Superman” Movies! The Amazing Hollywood Reporter Interview! – johnrieber
  3. “Monster Trucks” Meltdown! $115-Million Write-Off Before It Even Opened! Disastrous Movie Performances! – johnrieber
  4. Bombs Away! “The Mummy” Unwraps Another 2017 Summer Movie $$$ Disaster! Tom Cruse Fires Box Office Blanks! – johnrieber

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