Even the omnipresent pics of Demi Moore in a bikini couldn't save this movie. The much-hyped McG flick, the second in what Sony Pictures hoped would be a long-term franchise, stumbled right out of the gate. Reviews were scathing. Though forecasts had pegged it for a $50 million opening, it brought in only $38 million, less than the first movie's opening. Its second weekend drop-63%-dug its early grave. The grrrl-power action movie eventually cracked $100 million, but just barely. No talk of a "Charlie's Angels 3."
2 The Hulk
A ton of special effects, a revered director, a raft of blue chip marketing partners, an everywhere-at-once ad campaign-all undone by bad word of mouth. The Universal Studios movie was at the top of the box office in its opening weekend, and then, as quickly as people could spread the bad news, they did. Ang Lee's cerebral approach to comic book pop just didn't connect with audiences. Hulk dropped a precipitous 70% in its second weekend. It went on to pull in about $132 million in the U.S., which barely pays its production and doesn't cover its marketing.
3 Bad Boys II
Back in 1995, when the original movie hit screens, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were budding stars (read: cost efficient). The goofy-but-slick car-chase-shoot-em-up buddy cop movie set in Miami was a big hit. It later became a cable TV staple and a home video monster. But in the summer that became known as sequel hell, Bad Boys II suffered a huge second weekend drop-53%. Though it brought in $138 million in the U.S., Sony Pictures paid more than double that for its stars, its budget and its marketing.
4 Hollywood Homicide
Harrison Ford used to be bankable. In fact, Mr. Indiana Jones was one of Hollywood's most reliable draws, but apparently not anymore. Maybe it was the ill-advised buzz cut Ford sported in this Sony Pictures movie. Or maybe, it was putting him in an unfunny buddy cop story with Josh Hartnett playing a sweet young actor-cum-rookie-cop. Whatever it was, audiences weren't buying it. The movie made a sickly $30 million, a disaster by just about any major studio standard.
5 2 Fast 2 Furious
No one knew what "The Fast and The Furious" was, but they sure turned out in droves to see it. Vin Diesel became a household name overnight. For the second foray into tuner culture, there was no Diesel. Only lead. Paul Walker and Tyrese took their shirts off, drove fast, ogled girls. But Universal's sequel was hollow at the core, and audiences figured it out. It brought in $127 million in the U.S., but it cost $75 million just to produce, making it a lot less profitable than hoped. The original cost a mere $35 million and rung up $144 million.
6 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
Sure, Reese Witherspoon is adorable. But when is enough too much? This dopey sequel, that's when. The original Legally Blonde was a surprise hit made before Witherspoon hit the big time (again, read: inexpensive talent). In fact, it helped put her on the Hollywood leading lady map. The MGM Studio sequel, though hugely marketed, never hit $100 million. (The original made $96.5 million as an unknown entity). Negative word of mouth and bad reviews helped sink its prospects with anyone over 15.
7 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Before Ahhnold was Gov. Ahhnold, he was a movie star. And before 2003, he was movie star whose films brought in a ton more money than they cost to produce and market. T3, with a reported $200 million budget, made $150 million in the U.S. Its $72 million opening fell short of most of Sony Pictures pre-release projections, and it didn't get much better from there. T2, for comparison's sake, made $205 million in the U.S., with significantly lower overhead. In fairness, T3 did well overseas, where Schwarzenegger is still a masterful draw.
8 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Even the star and Paramount studio honchos confessed that the first movie was long on action and short on story. They promised to do better with the sequel. They lied, and audiences saw through the hype. Cradle of Life opened with less than half the original's take, and eventually pulled in only $65.6 million, again, less than half the flagship. As far as video-games-turned-feature-film, this one went further than most. But the future is not sunny.
Will this DOA piece of junk convince Bennifer never, ever, to make another movie together? Gigli, in which hootchie mama Jennifer Lopez played a lesbian and smarmy Ben Affleck tried to act tough, brought in a measly $6 million. The movie did make a huge impact in one place-its studio producer, Revolution. Because of Gigli, Revolution head Joe Roth brought the hammer down. New rules are as follows: film budgets capped at $40 million, limits set on star profit participation, and directors not given final cut. So there.
10 Looney Tunes: Back in Action
This was supposed to be the next Space Jam. Oops. The mix of live action and classic animated characters fell flatter than the Road Runner under an Acme anvil, bringing in just $19 million at the box office. Warner Bros. has stumbled mightily over the years on family entertainment, but has regained its footing with the Harry Potter franchise. The latest Looney Tunes feature might have been lost in the fourth quarter barrage of family fare, or maybe it just seems like old hat to the Matrix generation.