Top Box Office Turkeys of 2010

By Lauren Mahomes

Oy, see this is where things get awkward. No one likes to see a studio put a lot of effort into a film that just utterly fails on opening weekend. We can talk all we want about “cult classics” or going big virally, but deep down, we all know that these films just did not have what it takes. Fortunately, their misery is your gain, my friends! If you can study and learn from what they did wrong, you can make that much better of a film. I guess there’s something to be thankful for here after all!

1.Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim Versus the World

This film was adorable with its on screen text-graphics and cotton candy colored hair. It used to seem like every set Michael Cera mumbled his way onto turned into box office gold – appealing to hipsters across the world, but it appears that this year, Scott Pilgrim was in fact defeated by The World.  The film failed to return its production costs, despite a seemingly supportive fan base and a semi-guaranteed following from the graphic novel. I’m not sure if this is more a case of the lazy 21st century filmgoer or if when the time came to shine, fans realized the story isn’t actually that compelling.

2.Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy

Some of you may remember the John Lennon biopic starring Kick-Ass star, Aaron Johnson and British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actress, Anne-Marie Duff. The film was received very well by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and many other award organizations, but film consumers didn’t appear to care less this past year. Given the giants that were screening at the same time (namely, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes), the film couldn’t hold a candle to their success. It opened limited release in Canada in October and screened at Sundance Film Festival last January in the United States.



With an opening weekend in take of just £88, this film definitely marks this list as one of the lowest return ratios of the year.  But why? The movie seemed to have all its bases covered. Hot, A-list actress? Check. Kids? Check. Manhattan? Check. Mindless shenanigans? Check. What went wrong? Complete reliance on all the above. The film opened in the UK in a single theater to promote the idea of exclusivity to drive the film’s success. However, word of mouth marketing doesn’t work if the film’s not that great and no one knows. It’s a tricky thing to rely on word of mouth, sometimes it works wonders and sometimes…well, have you seen Motherhood?

4.Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex

Yet another example of another graphic novel adaptation that flopped like a fish out of water at the box office this year. And maybe that’s just it; maybe it was a fish out of water. The film opened in the US just in time to join the summer blockbuster party. The cast appeared solid, but maybe people are just tired of staring at Megan Fox’s body or her southern drawl was too painful even for that. One of its biggest flaws may have been that it wasn’t over the top enough. The tone wasn’t consistent at all and nothing appeared to flow just as it should. Of course, this wouldn’t make the film excellent, but it would’ve given it consistency and an edge that would make it memorable. Hex is just proof that explosions and eye candy aren’t the hidden secrets to box office success.

5.Extraordinary Measures

Extraordinary Measures

2010 was a hard year for one Brendan Fraser. Starring in both this film and Furry Vengeance  this year, he was not met with much adoration by filmgoers though he flexed his chops in both a kiddie fare and this sap drama with Harrison Ford. Though the film had this sense of urgency, most audiences decided that the film could wait until DVD status. The trailer had the look and feel of a made for TV film, which makes it difficult for rousing enthusiasm to pay to see it on the big screen. Emotion is great in a film and easily one of the hardest things to construct on screen, but there is a notable difference between pained expressions and a look of constipation (though I’m sure comparably painful).

So maybe these films didn’t do quite as well, that’s still no reason to get you down. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with the following films that release this weekend:

Tangled – Disney’s new spin on the classic Rapunzel Story
Burlesque – Small town girl goes to the big city to sing and dance
Love and Other Drugs – Classic rom-com with pharmaceutical drugs
The King's Speech – King George VI overcoming his speech impediment
Faster – Ex-con out for vengeance…quickly

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About The Author

Lauren MahomesLauren is a 21 year old Communication student from Wake Forest University studying abroad and interning at Raindance.

She aspires to manage public relations and marketing for a film distributor or become an entertainment lawyer or those failing, avenge Caesar's death..

In her spare time she enjoys watching films, reading, dancing and most recently, cooking and globetrotting.


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