2015: The year of the Box Office flop?

2015 has been a big year for the box office flop. Mega budget films have appeared in our cinemas and disappeared faster than you can say ‘Johnny Depp’s moustache in Mortdecai is creepy.’ The usual formula of award-winning director, Hollywood cast and great writers isn’t enough anymore – take Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs as a case in point. The film boasts the likes of Fassbender and Kate Winslet, has received mostly glowing reviews, yet was removed from over 2000 US cinemas after attracting dwindling audiences. Why then are films missing out so much on those tasty box office bucks this year? We explore the biggest flops of the year and ask why each one failed to rake in the figures and what more it could have done to win favour with the cinematic gods.


Image: Buena Vista Pictures


Directed by: Brad Bird
Budget: $330 million
Box office takings: $202.9 million

This one is a real shame, based on a ride at Disneyworld this was an attempt by Disney to create a truly original film for all ages that was different from the sequel mill they are used to running. The film was ambitious and well executed but failed to resonate with audiences who ‘didn’t seem sure if the film was meant for children or adults’, according to the Independent. To succeed the film needed to communicate clearer objectives and intentions to its would-be audience about the nature of this sci-fi spectacular.


Image: Warner Bros. Pictures


Directed by: Joe Wright
Budget: $150 million
Box office takings: $123.1 million

Highly anticipated, Hugh Jackman starring, kick-ass-trailer-bearing Pan was massively let down by the initial reviews which drove away its audience. Dubbed ‘joyously uncool’ by The Telegraph and described by The Guardian as ‘a return to Neverland that never should have been made’, the flick was never going to get far. Controversy plagued the run up to release with Joe Wright accused of white washing after casting Rooney Mara as the “native” Tiger Lily. The prequel has also been described in the media as unoriginal and bland, leaving family audiences more inclined to spend their money on a McDonald’s Happy Meal than sit for three hours through a much slated movie.


Image: Universal Studios

Steve Jobs

Directed by: Danny Boyle
Budget: $30 million
Box office takings: $23.8 million

It’s hard to underpin the real reasons why this film failed so spectacularly at the box office. A great cast, a visionary director and a real story about an American icon. The film even received great reviews with a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 84%.  Variety said ‘the film suffered from fierce competition at the box office and possible public weariness with Jobs’ which lead to its ultimate failure with audiences worldwide. Boyle himself expressed that the failure lies with the studio releasing the movie ‘too wide and too soon’. Whatever the reason, despite glowing reviews, Steve Jobs has not proved popular with audiences who maybe just used their Apple products to torrent the movie online instead.

Hope is not all lost, however, with Jurassic World settling in as one of the highest grossing movies of all time and Star Wars: The Force Awakens set to blow up cinemas across the world with its release later this month. With the price of cinema tickets ever increasing and with easier access from the comfort of our homes, it’s hard to see the pros of setting out into the dark and cold night to pay to sit in a room full of popcorn-munchers who cough and whisper their way through a showing. Maybe we’ll just wait until it comes out on DVD.

Hayley Reid

Featured Image: Universal Studios

Leave a Reply