Box Office flops are not determined by the quality of the movie. Technically, “flop” is a financial term which can be associated with “loss”. If the investment made in the film is not recovered, the movie is considered a flop. Often, big-budget films have a risk of incurring huge losses if it falls short on the content or the marketing doesn’t reach the mark. 2018 has seen several examples for this subject. In fact, probably all these movies are big-budget movies. Now like I said in my article on 20 top grossing movies of 2018, whether the box office performance is an accurate measure of a movie’s success is subjected to debate. So, like we at The Cinemaholic always do, suggest you watch these movies and then come to an opinion on them. So let’s begin, here is the list of biggest movie flops of 2018.
20. Adrift (2018)
Budget: $35,000,000 | Gross USA: $31,445,012
‘Adrift’ is a beautiful little tale about a young couple who fall foul of a severe storm while out boating. Starring the underrated Shailene Woodley and Hunger Games star Sam Claflin it at its core is a love story but like all love stories, it’s also a tragedy. Based on a true story it plays out on two fronts, what is presently happening and the flashbacks that explain how it all came to be. The movie is rather devoid of originality and we have seen it all before, but the film does have a strong cast and excellent cinematography to fall back on and that certainly raises it above the average. But the film didn’t manage to fill the pockets of its investors.
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19. Gotti (2018)
Budget: $10,000,000 | Gross USA: $4,343,227
A rather pedestrian stroll through the well-documented life of John Gotti. Travolta saddles himself with the task of making a multiple murderers a likable character, an uphill task for a great actor, let alone a poor one. The story and the script show that real life can be boring, even if you are a mob boss, the Sopranos and Goodfellas have set the gangster wise guy genre a very high bar and this film doesn’t even come close. I felt like I was watching a series of unconnected scenes, some of the scenes were good, but they failed to make a movie. This film is certainly less than its component parts.
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18. The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
Budget: $40,000,000 | Gross USA: $33,562,069
This is just another unfunny spy spoof movie. The saddest thing is that I actually like the two main leads and the chemistry between them, but they were just given a terrible and unoriginal script. Not even Kate McKinnon could save this movie. Also, the movie overstays its welcome. It is way too long and definitely should have been at least half hour shorter. It just gets more boring and in the end, you don’t even care about the main characters and what is gonna happen to them. Although, you kinda know at the very beginning the end of this because this is the kind of movie that doesn’t have the courage to shake things up.
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17. Annihilation (2018)
Budget: $40,000,000 | Gross USA: $32,732,301
Directed by and “based on a dream of his about the book”, Alex Garland (who made ‘Ex Machina’) brings us something so intensely beautiful, haunting and mesmerizing that it makes one question the decision to not release it in theaters worldwide. Featuring an almost entirely female cast, starring Nicole Portman as Lena, a cellular-biology professor, and former soldier and an ensemble piece really, with quality acting from all fronts, including Jennifer Jason Leigh in a great role. More than a few scenes here are particularly tense, bone-chilling and memorable, and the story is ambiguous enough to make you want to see it a second time. From the direction to the screenplay, from the cinematography to the acting this is a perfect, completely solid science-fiction film. However, the numbers don’t agree.
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16. Hotel Artemis (2018)
Budget: $15,000,000 | Gross USA: $6,708,147
‘Hotel Artemis’ is an absurd base under siege thriller. None of the characters are fleshed out and all are skin deep. The character depth barely goes beyond the introduction. The story I thought would be great, but the characters really don’t interact with each other much throughout the movie, not to mention there are not enough characters for the environment they created. Even the twist with the “Nurse” feels lackluster and could have been done better. Dave Bautista was easily the best part of this movie. I expected more with this cast and what the story looked to be but was severely let down
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15. Action Point (2018)
Budget: $19,000,000 | Gross USA: $5,059,608
I am sad to say that I did not enjoy this movie, it is just so uninteresting. It’s sad because I was excited because Bad Grandpa was such a unique play n the Jackass formula, putting some story in with the laughs and stunts. But unfortunately, the trailer showed just about every notable moment in the film. I was waiting for something interesting that I hadn’t yet seen, but it never came. Also, the attempts at a heartfelt start were absolutely pathetic. Normally I more than this, but there is no point, not much to say about this, except that it’s disappointing.
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14. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
Budget: $32,000,000 | Gross USA: $17,811,900
This film has a pretty big a list cast in it so I gave this film a watch and there is a lot of good things about this film though it falls short of being a truly great film. The premise of the film sees seven people converge on the El Royale Hotel with their own secrets and agendas. Jeff Bridges is the main character in this film and is also probably the most interesting character in this film, he delivers a quality performance as you would expect from him. The script has some decent heartfelt moments in it that helps build the characters in this film, but the humor is attempted and just doesn’t really work at all. ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ is a decent film that deserves a watch but probably won’t be a particularly remembered film.
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13. First Man (2018)
Budget: $60,000,000 | Gross USA: $44,587,810
The story of ‘First Man’, of course, covers the Apollo landing and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. While comparisons with other space movies like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Interstellar’ are inevitable, the truth is ‘First Man’ is a human drama first and a space movie second. The best aspect of the film is easily the film’s presentation of the many failures and losses that led to the Apollo landing. You really get a feel for just how difficult it was for the early astronauts and their families. Chazelle gave his best, but the audiences didn’t seem to be ready for a dramatic sci-fi film.. While the shots of space and moon are jaw-dropping, it is the intimate moments of the film that will leave you in tears.
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12. Alpha (2018)
Budget: $51,000,000 | Gross USA: $35,851,379
‘Alpha’ by Albert Hughes, his solo feature directorial debut, got moviegoers’ hopes up with the flood of marketing pledges, after seeing it, it’s no more than a futile epic survival ride that relies heavily on a committed direction and a great performance by Kodi Smit-McPhee, a few visual shocks and the hook any film with a snout in its poster gets for free. The core idea of this film is great. Especially if you’re into history and like animals (dogs). That said, one is let down many times in the film. It is a film that gradually gets stuck with fast-and-hollow entertainment, one that fails to break the spell flying over dog-centric drama films, one with no pedigree.
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11. Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
Budget: $59,000,000 | Gross USA: $43,242,871
The movie’s intention might be good by having Sherlock Holmes’ famous character adapted into the Gnomes universe. But sadly the execution and story writing was not done properly which resulted in an uneventful and unmemorable movie. It might be difficult for the movie maker to have a profit from this movie as the ratings by critics and audience were not great. Now if you just want to see gnomes acting cute, you could opt to see this movie but it’s advisable to see the first one so you could better understand it. However, if you are not a fan of such animated movie, or you are a super fan of Sherlock Holmes, better avoid watching this one as you might not like what you see. The choice is yours.
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10. The Happytime Murders (2018)
Budget: $40,000,000 | Gross USA: $20,706,452
Melissa McCarthy’s role decent enough for me, but the script she had to work with was where the issues came along. The humor is vulgar and normally I can see the comedy behind it and enjoy it, but when it’s constantly throwing gross dialogue and slapstick acting around, it’s harder to take. Having said that, this is a dark comedy about puppets so that sort of content is to be expected. This comedy is probably not going to be one I watch again, but I came out feeling happy enough and didn’t think it was a huge waste of time, so it can’t all be bad. I appreciate the idea behind it, but I don’t think it is pulled off as well as it could’ve been. It wouldn’t be the first thing I recommend watching it right now.
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9. Red Sparrow (2018)
Budget: $69,000,000 | Gross USA: $46,874,505
The story concerns a ballerina who is forced to join the Russian intelligence by her uncle following her career-ending injury and is tasked to make contact with a CIA agent in order to weed out the mole in their own outfit who’s been passing them confidential information. Jennifer Lawrence does well with what she’s given, chipping in with a strong input but the remaining cast is pretty much forgettable.
The fault lies with the scripted characters, not providing enough material for actors to work with. Even Lawrence fails in establishing a chemistry with Joel Edgerton who plays the CIA operative. Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film exhibits a certain style but it is missing the necessary substance. The twists and turns are expected, however, the characters are so thinly sketched that the interplay between them isn’t engaging at all. And the films also fails to pack a strong punch is its R-rated violence.
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8. Tomb Raider (2018)
Budget: $94,000,000 | Gross USA: $57,421,715
‘Tomb Raider’ is vaguely like a female Indiana Jones. While it has some genuinely interesting moments and Vikander epitomizes the Lara Croft character supremely, its weighed down by poor cheesy cliches and honestly a very dull plot ultimately. As far as it adapting to the video game, there are several homages and spot on sequences that represent Tomb Raider quite well. The villain is one of the weakest I’ve ever seen and shows barely any significance. The CGI is pitiful, which is unusual for a near 100 million budget flick. The acting is just downright mediocre and unconvincing. The Himiko storyline could’ve been expanded upon and is a missed opportunity that had major potential.
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7. The Predator (2018)
Budget: $88,000,000 | Gross USA: $51,023,244
The movie isn’t as bad as some other movies in the franchise but it doesn’t get close to the best of the series the kills aren’t interesting for the most part and it’s not just Predators killing people but people killing people for the most part until about the last twenty minutes the predator barely does anything and there are a lot of plot holes that happen during the movie and the one-liners aren’t as remarkable as the first ‘Predator’ movie but there are some good one-liners and there are some good things like the predators fighting and some of the characters have interesting backstories. But overall the movie makes you feel underwhelmed by the experience and wanting more.
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6. The Hurricane Heist (2018)
Budget: $45,000,000 | Gross USA: $6,115,825
‘The Hurricane Heist’ did pretty poor business when it was released to theaters. While a number of factors probably doomed it, ranging from poor marketing to no big stars in the cast, I think the ultimate reason that did it in was that for the most part, it’s very generic and unoriginal. Oh, there are a few new things here and there, but they are throwaway moments, and the screenplay apart from those moments goes down a very familiar road.
You’ll be able to predict most of what happens long before it actually unfolds on the screen. The movie might still have been saved with some skillful directorial touches, such as good action and suspense. But the movie feels surprisingly boring, even when the title weather activity is at its most fierce. The dull direction probably explains why none of the cast manages to perform in a way that catches our interest or sympathy.
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5. Early Man (2018)
Budget: $50,000,000 | Gross USA: $8,267,544
‘Early Man’ comes off as one of Aardman’s weaker films, the sharp-witted humor, highly creative set-pieces, and the likable cast does make the film an enjoyable feature to watch. It’s always great to see director Nick Park and his crew bring plasticine figures to life and give them such cute and charming features, all through the power of slapstick, personality, and imagination. Unless you’re simply tired of the underdog story at this point, I’d say give this film a watch, as its simple charm can make kids and adults happy from the wittiness of England.
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4. Skyscraper (2018)
Budget: $125,000,000 | Gross USA: $67,796,355
It was only a matter of time before a big Dwayne Johnson movie ended up draining out the pockets of the investors. I’m sorry, but star power can get you so far. ‘Skyscraper’ is abysmal. T The plot is so routine that you’re left with no surprises throughout the movie. You literally will know everything within the first ten minutes. I think the main problem of this is that it rests on a middle ground. They should’ve either made it so bad that it’s good to go further over the top, or made it more grounded making it easier to root for the main character and actually get invested. I generally don’t bash too hard on movies because I have the utmost respect for the hard work that is put into making it, but that’s got nothing to do with the writers’ underwhelming job.
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3. Robin Hood (2018)
Budget: $100,000,000 | Gross USA: $15,896,401*
If you want to see a historical action movie, don’t go see this one, because it’s not. This movie mixes fantasy with a classic tale and adds some historical factors to it. ‘Robin Hood’ tries to add historical events, even though it doesn’t need to. It should either go for historical accuracy or go fantasy, but whatever it does, it should fully commit to it, which it doesn’t. The story is not very good, but I’ve seen worse. The acting is alright, but with no outstanding performances. The action scenes are quite enjoyable. Overall, not a good movie, although it’s not as bad as some critics make it out to be. If you wan’t to just get a good big-screen spectacle, you could go and catch it now since it wouldn’t be as good on TV.
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2. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
Budget: $120,000,000 | Gross USA: $49,510,370*
While adults will find story thin in places, kids will like it, especially if they love fantasy. Adults that enjoy lavish scenery, intriguing architecture, and great costumes will also be satisfied. Additionally, keep in mind that this is a re-telling influenced by current trends in Fairy Tales. Although there are nods to the ballet and an appearance by Misty Copeland, don’t expect “The Nutcracker”. As long as you go into the film with the right expectations, it’s a good way to kill some time with the kids between bouts of holiday shopping. If you’re looking for a serious movie, you shouldn’t find yourself anywhere near the theatres which are screening it unless you’re lost.
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1. Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
Budget: $150,000,000 | Gross USA: $59,185,715*
‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ has some cliché plot elements, some badly delivered dialogue, and some jokes that fall flat, but none of that stopped me from having a decent time the whole way through. The action is visually appealing and easy to watch. The characters are relatable, and nothing is jarring enough to take me out of the movie. This film also does a good job creating actual danger for the protagonists, which keeps things fresh and interesting. I saw ‘Uprising’ expecting it to be absolutely awful, and it was far better than that. That allowed me to experience the fun, which this film consistently delivers. Not that the whole thing is perfect, or that there aren’t improvements to be made, but I’m more than pleased with what I got. But like many big-budget films, the investment makes this decent film the biggest flop of 2018.
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