5 biggest box-office bombs of 2016

Posted January 4
Updated January 5

Casey Affleck and Josh Stewart in "The Finest Hours" (2016) (Deseret Photo)

THE BOX OFFICE — There were some massive money makers at the box office in 2016. In fact, the domestic total last year was over $11.3 billion dollars with Disney’s “Finding Dory” taking the top spot, earning over $486 million in the U.S.

While these box office juggernauts are fun, that’s not what we’re focusing on today. Instead, here is a list of the box-office bombs— the films that cost studios millions of dollars as they failed to bring in audiences.

Here are the five biggest box office disasters of 2016 (ranked from No. 5 to No. 1):

The Finest Hours” — $75 million loss

The Disney historical drama “The Finest Hours” wasn’t a great film, but it really wasn’t that bad either. Regardless, not many people went to see it.

With a production budget of $80 million plus a hefty marketing price tag, the film only pulled in $52 million worldwide, resulting in a $75 million loss, according to Disney chairman Bob Iger.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War” — $75 million+ loss

“Snow White and the Huntsman” faired well at the box office in 2012 with a worldwide gross of nearly $400 million. But fastforward to 2016, and things didn’t go so well for the sequel, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.”

The film had a budget of $115 million, not including a huge marketing spend in hopes of drumming up interest. The marketing push didn’t work and “The Huntsman” made $164 million at the box office, resulting in a $75 million-plus loss.

Gods of Egypt” — $90 million loss

Lionsgate took a swing with the big budget “Gods of Egypt,” and unfortuantely they whiffed, hard.

The production budget carried a price tag of $140 million, not including marketing. With that kind of cash, Lionsgate was hoping the film would pull in more than its weak $31 million at the domestic box office. The film faired better overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $150 million.

Even with the uptick in foreign money, the film cost Lionsgate about $90 million.

The BFG” — $100 million loss

When you have Steven Spielberg directing a film, it usually means audiences will come out to see it, but that was not the case for the Roald Dahl adaptation, “The BFG.” It’s really too bad people didn’t make it to the theater for this family film because it was quite magical and my 3-year-old and 6-year-old had a great time.

It only made $178 million worldwide on a production budget of $140 million. Add in a marketing budget of millions, and Spielberg released likely the biggest box-office bomb of his career and cost the studios $90-$100 million.

Ben-Hur” — $120 million loss

This August saw the release of the remake of a remake with “Ben-Hur.” It’s a tall order to try and redo what some consider one of the best movies ever made, but Paramount Pictures and MGM decided to take that gamble, and they lost — big.

“Ben-Hur” had a sizable budget of $100 million, plus a huge marketing spend. The movie only pulled in $26.4 million at the domestic box office and another $67 million overseas. Add that together and you don’t even cover the production budget.

“Ben-Hur” was the biggest box-office flop of 2016 with an estimated loss at around $120 million.

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. John also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome and it just so happens that these are the three things he writes about.


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