Expectations have a lot of power when it comes to movies and their success at the box office, and nowadays, Hollywood has capitalized on that power with the universal tool that is the internet. But that doesn’t stop certain projects from being a victim of their own hype online. Certain movies that have created a major sense of excitement with audiences ended up being major disappointments, and these flops always seem to hurt more. Here are 10 major movie flops people thought would be great:
10 Entourage (2015)
After 8 seasons on the air, Entourage finally ended its run on HBO in 2011. The show about young actor Vincent Chase and his group of friends and business partners was super popular during its time on air, despite the later seasons often being criticized for their decline in quality. Fans were sad to see it end, but there was a real sense of excitement when it was announced around the time of the finale that an “Entourage” movie was planned to be released in theatres, as a final chapter for the characters of the show.
Unfortunately, it seemed like the “Entourage” movie simply came too little too late. Despite being a true sensation during its early seasons, the show failed to retain its relevancy in pop culture, and, by the time the movie finally arrived in theatres (4 years after the show ended), people were already over it and nobody was really interested in watching more Entourage. Furthermore, the few who actually saw the movie were left quite underwhelmed by it, and word of mouth quickly killed any chances it had to do well at the box office… so it flopped.
9 Sucker Punch (2011)
Zack Snyder is largely known for being a fairly divisive director. From “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” and his extremely polarizing adaptation of “Watchmen”, Snyder has no shortage of debates surrounding his work. But if one of his movies has made unanimity over the years, it is his 2006 hit “300”, which is considered to be his the best film of his career. And that is why the hype for his next project after “Watchmen”, “Sucker Punch”, was at an all time high in 2011. The trailers promised a true visual spectacle of action, and an epic return to form for Snyder in his first original screenplay. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned…
While “Sucker Punch” was praised for its inventive action sequences, the rest of the film was absolutely blasted for its awful performances and incoherent storytelling. The movie crashed and burned at the box office, losing millions of dollars in the process, and it has since been widely named as Zack Snyder’s worst movie to date. Since then, it seems like people can never agree on any of his films, and they always become controversial topics of debates amongst movie fans.
8 Glass (2019)
2016’s “Split” marked the triumphant comeback of director M. Night Syamalan. The story of three kidnapped teenage girls being held captive by a man whose mind is split in 24 different personalities caught audiences off guard, and the movie became a sleeper hit that gave Shyamalan his status of legendary director, following a series of flops. The real punch of the movie, though, came with the final revelation of it being an indirect sequel to Shyamalan’s 2000 cult classic “Unbreakable”, and the subsequent announcement of a third movie titled “Glass” bringing both “Split” and “Unbreakable” together in an epic finale, the hype went through the roof. And then… the movie came out.
“Glass” turned out to be a massive disappointment for audiences and critics alike. Some were surprised by the movie being such a let down, and others weren’t, due to Shyamalan’s reputation of being a hit or miss director. Despite the absolute star power present in the film (Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, James McAvoy, Bruce Willis), “Glass” simply could not stick the landing, and its box office, while decent, was still considered to be highly disappointing by the studio. Shyamalan eventually admitted to crying because of the reception the movie got. Yikes.
7 Only God Forgives (2013)
Nicolas Winding Refn is easily one of the most polarizing directors Hollywood has ever known. Some see him as a repressed genius, while others perceive him as more of a pretentious artist who favours style over substance in most of his movies. That said, his 2011 film “Drive” is widely considered to be a masterpiece and, as a result, there was a gigantic sense of excitement around his following project “Only God Forgives”, especially when it was announced that Refn would be teaming up with Ryan Gosling one more time. People were expecting it to be even crazier than “Drive”, and the anticipation built for 2 years.
“Only God Forgives” was notoriously booed when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. The movie was panned and highly criticized for its excessive and gratuitous violence, which some claimed was only used to mask a boring plot with no depth to offer. Gosling was praised for his performance as main character Julian Thompson, but every other aspect of the film was shunned. “Only God Forgives” eventually bombed at the box office and disappeared from theatres as quickly as it arrived.
6 The Dark Tower (2017)
Stephen King has indirectly created an absolute empire of cinema and television in the past decades, and that empire has been at the top of its game in the last ten years. With “IT”, “Doctor Sleep”, “11.22.63” and other projects taking the world by storm, and with King inspired projects like “Stranger Things” becoming as popular as ever, audiences get excited as soon as the author’s name is attached to a new movie, even if they have never heard of the source material. And when a “Dark Tower” adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConnaughey came on the horizon, people were ecstatic.
The trailer teased an ambitious movie that was actually a prequel of the original novel by Stephen King, which was quickly followed by the announcement of a TV show that was going to continue the story of the film into the book. The project was definitely thinking out of the box, and people were excited to see what was coming… and then it came.
“The Dark Tower” was an absolute disaster. From the movie, the financial repercussions of its gigantic failure, and the reputation of the film’s director Nikolaj Arcel, who has yet to direct a movie again. Stephen King himself admitted to hating the film and criticized producer Ron Howard for his choice to make the movie R-rated. Every plant for potential sequels were cancelled, and the TV show that was meant to continue the story of the film died in its development stage, leaving audiences with a colossal sense of disappointment.
5 After Earth (2013)
When a trailer for a science-fiction movie gave the world Will Smith and his young son Jaden Smith teaming up on an alien planet to survive in an environment that isn’t theirs, people quickly got very, very excited. But when the trailer revealed the alien planet to actually be a distant future version of Earth, all hell broke loose. Not only did the idea of Will Smith and his kid going on a sci-fi adventure seem extremely appealing, but the mystery behind the story of the film had people hooked. That is why the disappointment that ensued was so brutal.
It turns out that M. Night Shyamalan was the director of “After Earth”, a detail the marketing campaign made a point not to mention, due to audiences having lost interest in his movies after movies like “Lady In The Water”, “The Village”, “The Happening” and the notoriously dreaded “The Last Airbender” buried his reputation six feet under.
“After Earth” was described by many as horrible, and many were disappointed to find out that Will Smith (who was the big draw) was barely in the movie, and the story was actually all about his son, who gave a terrible performance that is still being mocked a full decade later. Will Smith even apologized for the film’s very existence in an interview, citing it as being the most painful failure of his career.
4 The Tourist (2011)
2010 saw the announcement of “The Tourist”, a remake of the critically acclaimed 2005 French thriller “Anthony Zimmer”. While the news of that remake initially failed to generate any buzz, it all shifted when Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie joined the project, confirming they were going to appear the screen together for the very first time. The involvement of these two legendary actors became subject to a lot of anticipation, and the hype for “The Tourist” began to rise… but that hype came to a screeching halt when the movie came out.
Despite performing decently at the box office (mainly due to international audiences), “The Tourist” was absolutely destroyed by critics and audiences. Many criticized it for being boring and putting all of its focus on pretty visuals, while others panned the writing of the film and saw it as lazy and uninspired. Both Angelina Jolie’s and Johnny Depp’s performances were met with massive disappointment, and the movie’s popularity overseas quickly faded as it disappeared from audiences’ memories.
3 The Last Airbender (2010)
Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is widely considered to be one of the greatest animated shows of all time. It has one of the largest and most devoted fandoms out there, and when the announcement of a movie adaptation directed by M. Night Shyamalan (yes, him again) came in 2009, there was a lot of noise. But, in addition to the hope behind the project, the very first teaser for the movie was so pitch perfect that even the most skeptical of fans joined the hype, and “The Last Airbender” became one of the most anticipated movies of the 2010’s.
Now considered to be one of the worst movies of all time, the adaptation of Avatar was a highly publicized disaster on almost every level imaginable. Not only was the movie panned for its awful acting, mediocre writing and subpar visual affects, it also crashed and burned at the box office and failed to generate a profit, which led to Paramount Pictures cancelling the sequels. “The Last Airbender” currently sits on an abysmal 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and, to this day, M. Night Shyamalan still finds himself addressing the movie’s existence during interviews.
2 Suicide Squad (2016)
When the disappointing reception of “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” in March 2016 hit, DC’s next film “Suicide Squad” was right around the corner. The trailers promised a fun action extravaganza with a large cast of amazing actors and, of course, the introduction of Jared Leto’s Joker, the first live action iteration of the character since Heath Leadger’s legendary portrayal in 2008’s “The Dark Knight”. People were excited for the spectacle to come, and given how good the movie appeared to be, DC fans hoped “Suicide Squad” would be the saving grace to fix the problems of “Batman V Superman”. Needless to say, it wasn’t.
“Suicide Squad” ended up being criticized for making very little sense and for overall being a weirdly messy movie with a terrible villain. Just like its predecessor, it underperformed at the box office, but nothing compares to the insurmountable amount of backlash Jared Leto faced for his portrayal of the Joker. The response was so bad that it eventually led to Leto’s Joker being written out of the franchise in favour of Joaquin Phoenix getting his own movie, and the planned sequel to “Suicide Squad” has been turned into a loosely connected movie that will serve as a blueprint to reboot the series.
Director David Ayer later revealed that he deeply regrets making certain choices with the movie, and also blamed the final cut on the studio, who rushed the production and decided to exclude him from the editing process at the very last minute, instead opting to hire a trailer editing team to finish the movie, which could explain why the entire movie has gotten the reputation of being a glorified 2-hour music video.
1 Jupiter Ascending (2015)
The Wachowskis will always hold a special place in Hollywood as the creators of “The Matrix”. Despite having mostly been involved in divisive projects (including the Matrix sequels), the siblings sisters still manage to get an extreme amount of hype every time they announce a new movie. Some simply expect them to finally have an epic comeback as powerful as “The Matrix”, and when the first trailer for their highly secretive project “Jupiter Ascending”, it looked like this project might just be the one to reclaim the Wachowskis legendary status. It was probably their most hyped movie since the end of the Matrix trilogy 12 years prior. Things did not go as expected.
For what it’s worth, “Jupiter Ascending” deserves praise for its inventive visuals. But, unfortunately, aside from an excessive showcase of CGI and explosions, the movie did not have much to offer. Many found the story cliché and boring, and every single performance in the film was panned, including Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne, who played one of the most monotonous villains of modern cinema. The movie simply did not land, and it bombed at the box office in spectacular fashion, losing up to $100 million, and becoming known as the Wachowskis most disappointing project since “The Matrix” Revolutions”.