We discuss the Top 10 Box Office Flops of 2022. Facts are facts. When a movie flops, it really shows. Let’s dive in.
It has been a funny old year for the film industry, and with the effects of the pandemic still hovering over the production schedules of some major movies, it seems that 2022 has still been feeling the hangover from the shutdowns. There have been some truly staggering box office results, so we thought we might quickly look at The Top 10 Box Office Flops of 2022.
Top 10 Box Office Flops of 2022
1. Three Thousand Years of Longing
Starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, this fantasy feature showcased some nice special effects in a grown-up fairy tale from Fury Road director George Miller. However, the film couldn’t find an audience and it seemed that the self-indulgent production sank without a trace. With a budget of $60 million, and that is without the marketing budget, the film barely managed to make $20 million back. Let’s hope his Mad Max sequel will do a little better.
Once again, there was an A-list cast in this Disney and 20th Century Fox production, with director David O Russell at the helm, and starring Christian Bale, Margo Robbie, and John David Washington, it should have been a hit. But it wasn’t. Perhaps the dense story and character-driven narrative just didn’t appeal to the general public, as the film scraped its way to a $31.1 million box office, against a $90 million budget, and yes, you need to add the marketing to that too. It fell flat leaving a lot of shaking heads in the board room.
The story of the first Black fighter pilot in the navy also hit the $90 million budget and promised a war movie with plenty of excitement and heart. J.D. Dillard did everything right, but the film, which is still on the tail end of its run, just stalled after takeoff. A US box office of $17 million is just not enough, and it looks like the international release won’t fare much better. Even Glen Powell, fresh from Top Gun: Maverick, couldn’t bring an audience in for this — perhaps we had enough fighter pilot excitement from Top Gun leaving Devotion on the tarmac.
4. The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Let’s be honest, it has been a while since an animated movie version of a TV series made it to the big screen, so perhaps it was ambitious to expect Bob’s Burgers to transfer successfully. Unfortunately, the $38 million cartoon, with another $20 million for marketing, flopped quite spectacularly at the box office, Perhaps the pandemic and pushing back the release date contributed to the paltry $32 million take, and the film would be quickly available on streaming services. On the plus side, it seems the film was a hit for fans of the show, so it wasn’t all bad for The Bob’s Burgers Movie.
5. The 355
This spy thriller with a strong female cast was directed by Simon Kinberg and followed a group of spies foiling an international terror plot. With big names like Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain, this action-adventure should have had lines outside theatres, but for some reason, nobody was interested, and the film flopped. Negative reviews and the film playing against Spider-Man: No Way Home and Sing 2 doomed this production, and with a box office take of only $27.8 worldwide, it seems that the film cost Universal a staggering loss of nearly $100 million.
The sci-fi disaster movie Moonfall starring the ever-available Patrick Wilson had a massive budget that would be spent on the visual effects and spectacular set pieces, but it never even made a dent in the ticket box. A worldwide take of $67.3 million was a drop in the ocean compared to the $150 million production, and with a critics score of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, it does not look good for a sequel in the near future.
Liam Neeson just can’t get a break these days, and I wonder if you were even aware of his thriller Blacklight released earlier in 2022. Neeson plays Travis Block, a government agent with a dark past, investigating a conspiracy. The movie had a small budget of $43 million, but still couldn’t find its way to an audience, and it earned a paltry $15.9 million globally. Critics panned the film, and it turned up a month later on streaming services.
Sony have a plan to create a Spider-Man extended universe using the characters it owns the rights to, predominantly Spidey’s rogue gallery. We have already had two Venom films, so they turned to living vampire Morbius in the hope they could strike gold. Trouble is, without actually having Spidey involved, it all feels a bit hollow, and even Jared Leto and ex-Doctor Who Matt Smith couldn’t help this film.
The source of a million memes, Morbius had a modest budget of $75 million, and a marketing budget that was probably around the same, so just to break even the movie needed to score a cool $150 mill. To be a success, Sony would be looking at double that. Despite being released twice — that’s another article — Morbius made a global haul of around $160 million, so despite what you may have heard, this was not a real flop, so don’t be surprised if you see more from the character in the future.
9. She Said
Based on the book of the same name, She Said was a biographical drama focused on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, the film was well received critically, but it seems that there was no cinema-bound audience for the production. With a US opening of only $2.2 million, and a total global take of only $10.6 million, the film just didn’t grab the attention of cinemagoers, so despite its production costing only $32 million and perhaps a similar marketing strategy, the film financially bombed.
It is hard to imagine that a film based on Buzz Lightyear with Pixar at the helm would actually lose money, yet it seems to have happened. You could probably argue about the reasons for the poor reception all night, but the numbers are as follows. The budget comes in at $200 million, the marketing may have been around the same, and the global take was $226 million, so although the exact figure is speculative, it would seem that what should have been a surefire hit somehow managed to lose a small fortune.
Some other films that deserve a mention for underperforming include the comedy dud Bros, Michael Bay’s Ambulance, and, disappointingly Nicholas Cage’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. I guess there is just no accounting for taste.
And that’s the Top 10 Box Office Flops of 2022 list. What were your biggest box office duds this year? Let us know your nominations below.