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Top 10 movie flops of the decade
Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:45pm EST
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By Gregg Kilday, Jay Fernandez and Borys Kit
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Movie flops aren't just about losing money. Yes, big budgets that go bust are one consideration. But flops are also about lofty expectations dashed and high profiles brought low. They trigger embarrassing catcalls from the peanut gallery and a general whoever-thought-that-was-a-good-idea-in-the-first-place bewilderment.
Any judgments of flopitude are necessarily subjective, but here are 10 movies from the past decade that made those few moviegoers who saw them cringe. Disagree? Talk among yourselves.
10. THE SPIRIT
* Release date: December 25, 2008
* Estimated cost: $60 million
* Domestic gross: $19.8 million
Frank Miller, the man who created the comics "300" and "Sin City," and who redefined Batman and Daredevil for the modern age, directed this adaptation of Will Eisner's comic-strip hero. Starring Samuel L. Jackson and a bevy of beauties, it may have looked good on the page. But onscreen, the heavily stylized, nearly black-and-white results were disastrous. The expensive movie was killed by comic fans, who wanted Miller to go back to comics, and critics, who trashed the movie's over-the-top tones and aesthetics. Consequently, the partners at the company behind the production, Odd Lot Entertainment, parted ways after 23 years together. It even killed plans for a Miller-directed version of "Buck Rogers."
* Release date: April 6, 2007
* Estimated cost: $67 million
* Domestic gross: $25 million
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez managed to turn twice the filmmaking firepower into half the box office (and a third of the critical praise). With "Grindhouse," what began as an explicit exercise in joyous B-movie cinema homage -- a double bill of '70s-style schlock, one film from each director -- ended up aping its scuzzy genre ancestors a little too closely in the receipts department. After the three-hour-plus "Grindhouse" opened to a mere $11.6 million, Harvey Weinstein split the film's two parts -- "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" -- and shuttled them to international markets individually. While that recouped a little of the Weinstein Co.'s money, it incurred the wrath of purists who were angry that the original film had been corrupted. Tarantino and Weinstein are famously loyal to each other, and while the writer-director eventually made good on the losses with the $120 million-grossing "Inglourious Basterds" this year, "Grindhouse" was one instance where loyalty nearly brought down the house.
* Release date: February 8, 2002
* Estimated cost: $70 million Continued...
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