Despite record-breaking highs, the 2016 box office also will be remembered for devastating lows that left top filmmakers (Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee) and A-list stars (Brad Pitt, Will Smith) badly bruised.
Below are some of the movies — from big-budget players to more reasonably priced fare — that lost Hollywood studios and independent distributors major bucks in 2016. Not even Disney, which set a new industry record with more than $7 billion in worldwide ticket sales, was immune.
The Hollywood Reporter consulted with several box-office experts in calculating losses, factoring in production budgets and marketing spends, which can vary wildly, and ancillary revenue, including home entertainment. In some cases, losses are given as a range. THR also calculated how much of a film’s production budget was covered by worldwide box-office returns. Studios get back only about 50 percent of the box office total, known as “rentals.”
‘Ben-Hur’ – Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov’s Biblical-themed epic grossed only $26.4 million at the domestic box office following its August release. It fared somewhat better at the international box office, bringing in $67.7 million for a global total of $94.1 million. But the movie cost at least $110 million to make and required a major marketing spend, meaning it lost as much as $120 million, making it the biggest loser of 2016, according to box office analysts. MGM and other partners financed more than 80 percent of the budget, taking the biggest hit. Paramount, which distributed the film, lost about $13 million. Portion of budget covered by box-office rentals: 43 percent.
Other duds that didn’t make the list include Sacha Baron’s Cohen’s The Brother’s Grimsby, which grossed $25.3 million on a $35 million budget, making the film the worst in Cohen’s career; Andy Samberg’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which grossed $9.4 million on a $20 million budget; sequel Zoolander 2, which grossed $55 million on a $50 million budget; and the Matthew McConaughey-starring Free State of Jones, which grossed $25 million on a $50 million budget.
via Hollywood Reporter