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The 10 Biggest Action Movie Box Office Bombs Of 2019 (According To Box Office Mojo)
January 9, 2020
From the latest Rambo movie to the latest Charlie Angels movie, 2019 was not as good a year for the action movie genre as you may have thought.
It certainly wasn’t a great year for action movies. Some movies like Avengers: Endgame and John Wick 3 proved enormously successful, but for the most part, the year wasn’t kind to the explosive genre.
Today, the action genre has effortlessly blended with the superhero genre, and most mainstream action movies are superhero films of some kind. And then there are sequels. Unfortunately, the genre isn’t doing quite well. At least, not outside of the superhero subgenre and even, sometimes, inside it. These are the ten biggest action movie bombs of the decade, according to Box Office Mojo.
10. Dark Phoenix
Very few of the army of comic book movie fans went to see Dark Phoenix. It proved one of the years’ biggest flops, grossing $252.4 million worldwide.
Its domestic cume was an abysmal and somewhat-humbling $65.8 million, with its budget coming in at a walloping $200 million. All told, Dark Phoenix is estimated to lose Fox up to $120 million. Goodbye, X-Men. This isn’t the send-off you deserved.
9. Rambo: Last Blood
Even though it came out in September, most have already forgotten about Rambo: Last Blood. This movie served as the fifth installment in the iconic Rambo series, and it stars a now 73-year-old Sylvester Stallone.
Unfortunately, the movie generated horrible reviews and grossed $91 million on a $50 million budget. Certainly not terrible, but when you take into account marketing, theater take, and a disappointing $44.8 domestic cume, it’s safe to say that Rambo: Last Blood could have performed a lot better than it did.
8. Gemini Man
Gemini Man came equipped with a ridiculous $138 million budget thanks to its use of high frame rate cameras and extensive use of de-aging technology for Will Smith.
Maybe now we can finally put this whole “de-aging” fad behind us because Gemini Man did not warrant its budget. It grossed just $48.5 million in the domestic market and $173 million worldwide, while estimates place the movie’s break-even point around $275 million. In the end, Gemini Man is projected to lose Paramount upwards of $75 million.
7. Terminator: Dark Fate
Terminator: Dark Fate actually showed some promise – it was rated R, Linda Hamilton was returning, and James Cameron was producing.
But, in the end, the movie failed to live up to high expectations, grossing just $260 million ($62.3 million domestic) on a budget of $196 million. Paramount took another major loss with Dark Fate, as they were forced to eat upwards of $130 million. It’s easy to see that the studio did not have a good year.
6. Charlie’s Angels
Released to very little fanfare in the difficult mid-November timeslot, Elizabeth Banks’ take on Charlie’s Angels became more famous as a box office bomb. This remake/reboot/sequel seems unlikely to kickstart the franchise back to life.
It ended up grossing less than $20 million domestically and roughly $65 million worldwide, on a budget of $55 million. This movie came equipped with an extensive marketing campaign, so you can safely double that budget. All told, no one wanted or asked for a new Charlie’s Angels, and this one will be lucky to get into heaven.
It wasn’t just angels who couldn’t break even at the box office. The minions of Hell had a lot of trouble, too. Hellboy is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of the year by both critics and audiences and, even with a relatively-measly budget of $50 million, it couldn’t break even.
It ended up grossing just $44 million worldwide ($21.9 million domestically), coming in just below its base budget. However, when you take marketing into account (and this movie was marketed quite heavily), you can see that Hellboy is currently rotting away where his name suggests.
4. Cold Pursuit
Even the most avid of action movie fans can have trouble remembering Cold Pursuit. To refresh your memory, Cold Pursuit came out back in February and starred Liam Neeson as a snowplow driver who seeks revenge against a drug cartel. It was a moderate success at the box office, grossing a somewhat respectable $76.2 million.
However, it also came with a $60 million budget, and with marketing and theater takes are included, Cold Pursuit was considered a disappointment.
The war movie genre has continued to fail in its quest to ignite the box office as it once did. In 2019, one of the most noticeable failures was Roland Emmerich’s Midway. This could have been a brilliant war film if a bit more time and effort went into its creation. But its achievements in effects were not matched by any convincing emotion or drama.
These failures are mirrored in its box office take, as the movie grossed just north of $120 million on a $100 million budget. With an inflated budget of $100 million, a movie needs to do much better than a meager $120 million to be successful.
2. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
Godzilla had a lot going for it. Spectacular special effects, a wonderful sense of scale and all-star cast led by the likes of Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, and Millie Bobby Brown. And it did rather respectably, grossing $385 million at the worldwide box office.
However, this was significantly less than 2014’s Godzilla, which grossed $524 million. Its budget is also estimated to be between $170-200 million, and various experts estimate its break-even point to be around $600 million. All things considered, King of the Monsters looked more like a peasant.
1. Alita: Battle Angel
Alita: Battle Angel was a significant success outside of North America. However, the domestic take all but ruined Alita‘s chances of breaking even. With a budget of $170 million, Alita grossed just $85.7 million in the domestic market and $404.9 million worldwide.
Various outside publications place the movie’s break-even point around $500 million, and some estimate that it could have lost Fox upwards of $50 million. Even if they do make a sequel, James Cameron’s other action movie franchise vehicle of 2019 looks to have an uphill struggle at the modern box office. Only time will tell.