Record year still littered with flops

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In a year which saw audiences shell out nearly $9 billion on tickets and two movies push their gross receipts above the billion-dollar mark, it may seem overly pessimistic to prematurely mourn the death of actress Megan Fox’s career.

But thanks to one of the year’s biggest flops, Jonah Hex, 2010 will hardly go down as the Year of the Fox.

Forbes has come out with their annual list of the most disappointing box office performances, and the film starring Fox and Josh Brolin based on the graphic novel failed even to attract the fanboy crowd, earning back less than roughly a quarter of its estimated $47 million budget.

The year’s second-worst offering comes from the newly-created CBS Films, which stumbled out of the gate with its first offering, Extraordinary Measures, starring a cranky Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser in what many critics said felt like a glorified TV movie-of-the-week. (CBS is the parent company of CBS LA.)

Washed-up actor? Check. Generic title? Check. $15 million earned on a $30 million budget? Check, please.

SLIDESHOW: Biggest Box Office Busts Of 2010

Remember the 1984 cult classic Repo Man starring Emilio Estevez? Well, that movie has absolutely nothing to do with the futuristic thriller Repo Men starring Jude Law as a repo man who recovers human organs. Too grisly? Audiences agreed: the latest flop for Universal Pictures earned only about $18 million back from its estimated $32 million budget.

What could be cooler than an offbeat comedy based on a popular comic book tale of a boy fighting his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes? Apparently everything: Universal sunk $60 million into Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, a comic-book-flavored flick that was supposed to be the darling of the Comic-Con crowd until it failed to draw fanboys to the theaters and netted just $46 million in a late-summer release.

Although four of the aforementioned movies managed to earn back 100 percent of its budget, studio execs don’t consider that any more of a victory. Rarely do studios collect more than half of box office receipts — not to mention that in this media-rich day and age, advertising costs end up amounting to roughly 50 percent of a film’s overall production budget.

Which means it’s time to dust off that screenplay in your closet about the young girl who befriends the flying robot for a 2011 rewrite — and hope studio executives don’t cast Megan Fox in the lead.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  1. JBG Past Prime says:

    Should not have remade “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

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