Add 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods, to the growing list of disappointments at the box office. Warner Bros.' latest DC blockbuster only managed to earn $30 million in its opening weekend, a drop from the $53 million that the original 'Shazam!' made back in 2019. This is quite a blow considering that 'Fury of the Gods' had a production cost exceeding $110 million with a $100 million spent on marketing. The film now joins high profile movies like Paramounts 'Babylon,' Universals 'Bros' and Disney/Foxs 'Amsterdam' on the list of major Hollywood studio flops. However it's important to note that not all these films deserved such a fate at the box office. Throughout film history there have been great movies that unfortunately suffered from poor box office performance.
It's no surprise that Martin Scorsese gained attention this year for criticizing the industry's obsession with box office numbers and how films are judged based on their opening weekend grosses. Since the 1980s there has been a focus on numbers' ' Scorsese remarked during his appearance at the 2022 New York Film Festival.
Scorsese and Wright make points as many acclaimed films in this century initially struggled at the box office. Whether it's Children of Men , The Master, or Under the Skin it's evident that a movie's success cannot be solely determined by its box office numbers. Here we've gathered a collection of films that unfortunately did not fare well commercially.
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Todd Fields psychological drama Tar featured Cate Blanchett in what many consider to be her role, to date. The film received six Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Actress. Despite its success the Focus Features backed release struggled at the box office earning just over $6 million. However it fared better internationally with a total of $24 million. Unfortunately these numbers fell short of recouping the reported production budget of over $30 million. Notably film critic Owen Gleiberman hailed Tar as the movie of 2022 describing it as an exploration of celebrity and power within the classical music world—a captivating thriller that delves into an artist's addiction to beauty and their eventual downfall due to their own desires.
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Steven Spielberg's autobiographical family drama The Fabelmans received acclaim from critics. Garnered seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. However, similar to Spielberg's adaptation of West Side Story the Universal backed film struggled to translate industry respect into box office success. With a reported production budget of $40 million it only managed to earn $17 million
It made a total of $42 million globally. Simply matching your production budget isn't really considered a success especially considering the significant amount spent on marketing and the additional millions spent on a lengthy awards season press tour, by Universal.
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Damian Chazelles film Babylon sparked reactions in 2022 leaving audiences either loving it or hating it. The movie delves into the lives of film actors during Hollywood's era of the 1920s and 1930s as they grapple with the transition to sound pictures. Although it garnered hype for its debauchery this didn't translate into box office earnings. With over $15 million and a worldwide total of $63 million Babylon fell short financially considering Paramounts reported expenditure of at least $80 million on production and additional millions on marketing. Despite having its critics no one can deny the energy that Babylon brings.
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Sarah Polley triumphed at the Oscars by winning Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on Women Talking. The film revolves around a group of women, within a Mennonite community who come together to vote on whether they should stay or seek a new home elsewhere. Reviews were exceptionally generating awards buzz; however Women Talking struggled to surpass $5 million at the domestic box office and failed to reach $10 million worldwide. The budget reportedly reached eight figures.
Peter Debruge, a film critic known for his tastes enthusiastically praised Women Talking as a display of nonviolent resistance and an unyielding drama that doesn't shy away from difficult themes.
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Universal Pictures reportedly invested $30 million in the production of She Said, featuring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as The New York Times journalists who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's abuse. However the movie failed to garner attention from audiences earning $5.8 million domestically and a total of $13 million worldwide. Film critic Owen Gleiberman, from Variety praised She Said for its compelling nature highlighting how it captures the essence of the Weinstein saga by portraying the unimaginable fear experienced by his victims.
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Armageddon Time an autobiographical drama directed by James Gray received reviews at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Despite featuring actors like Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway the film didn't fare well at the box office. With an estimated production budget, around $15 million it only managed to accumulate $1.8 million. A total global gross of just $6 million.
Gray recounts his own experiences growing up as an American boy in 1980s Queens. Owen Gleiberman, a film critic, for Variety commended Gray's storytelling abilities describing the movie as skillful, precise and captivating.
Watch Video: Armageddon Time