ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

Continuing the misery and woe of 2016, let's look at the biggest commercial failure films of the year to cheer ourselves up this festive season. While the likes of and flew off with the big bucks, some films took a hit from kryptonite and languished in modest monetary returns. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Forbes has posted the list of "Hollywood's Biggest Turkeys of 2016."

Sticking with the theme of this year, it looks like there isn't much to laugh at. Comedy films make up a shocking 7/10 of the entries, while it also bad news for actors Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis, who both make the list twice.

Image 20th Century Fox
Image 20th Century Fox

Fisher starred alongside hubby Sacha Baron Cohen in The Brothers Grimsby, while Galifianakis led the much-delayed Masterminds; the pair then took on Keeping Up with the Joneses together. The list ranks films based on the percentage of their budgets earned back up until November 21st, and only included movies that opened to more than 2,000 theaters. Here is the list in full.

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10. 'Masterminds'

Budget: $25m

Box office: $22m

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon

Synopsis: A middle-aged David Ghantt (Galifianakis) is sick of his life driving other people's money around, until one day his flirtatious co-worker convinces him to become involved in the scheme to end all schemes. Double crossed by a group of slick criminals, all roads point to Ghantt.

Galifianakis sports his best Donny Osmond haircut in another slapstick comedy. The cast was solid and there were the usual laughs you would expect from having Galifianakis and Wiig on our screens, but something didn't quite click. By the time Masterminds eventually came out, we had all forgotten it existed. Studio Relativity faced financial crisis, so Masterminds was pushed back by over a year to its (eventual) September 2016 release. Director Jared Hess couldn't replicate his success of Napoleon Dynamite and was stuck back in Nacho Libre territory.

9. 'Snowden'

Budget: $40m

Box office: $34.3m

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo

Synopsis: The true story of Edward Snowden, revealing NSA secrets to become one of the most wanted men in the world.

Academy award-winning Oliver Stone brought Gordon-Levitt at his most serious to the politically-charged thriller. Sadly, opening alongside Blair Witch and Bridget Jones's Baby won't have helped Snowden's box office. The film garnered critical praise for its lead, but it is basically a prelude to when someone eventually makes a WikiLeaks film.

8. 'The Brothers Grimsby'

Budget: $35m

Box office: $28.7m

Starring: Mark Strong, Sasha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher

Synopsis: An English football hooligan reunites with his estranged brother to discover he is a deadly MI6 agent. The brothers rekindle their childhood fun while trying to stop an international terrorist plot.

Oh whatever happened to the days of Ali G and Borat? Sacha Baron Cohen has seemingly lost his spark and slipped from comedy greatness. Mark Strong plays yet another hard man as a Jason Bourne parody, and the Spy/Johnny English plot never gets off the ground. Teaming up with other half Isla Fisher did nothing to help the grim reality of Grimsby.

7. 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot'

Budget: $35m

Box office: $24.9m

Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman

Synopsis: An adaptation of journalist Kim Barker's memoirs, Tina Fey steps into the titular role of an entrenched reporter with a light-hearted approach.

After being titled The Taliban Shuffle, and Fun House, the film eventually settled on the not so subtle WTF, which won't have helped people keep track of where it actually was. A breezy look at the brighter side of war reporting (if there is one), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot wasn't actually that bad, it just flew under the radar in a year of superheroes taking over.

6. 'Keeping Up With The Joneses'

Budget: $40m

Box office: $26.9m

Starring: Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot

Synopsis: A bored suburban couple find out that their perfect neighbors are actually government spies.

Like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but with couples, and without the Desperate Housewives decorating skills. It was a wonder that Wonder Woman signed up to the rehashed comedy alongside the galaxy of stars that lead this misfired film.

5. 'Ratchet & Clank'

Budget: $20m

Box office: $11.8m

Starring: Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone

Synopsis: Two unlikely heroes are recruited to stop a nefarious space captain from taking over the galaxy. A mechanic and his new-found robot friend must join the space rebellion to save everything they know.

Yet more proof that some video games just shouldn't be made into films. Failing to win over the players of the game's franchise, or an audience of children, Ratchet & Clank was a disappointing outer space adventure. Even Goodman and Sly couldn't save this one and you can still hear it "clanking" down the box office as we speak.

4. 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies'

Budget: $28m

Box office: $16.4m

Starring: Lily James, Lena Headey, Matt Smith

Synopsis: Jane Austen's classic tale finds itself caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The Bennett sisters must juggle their love lives alongside saving lives.

While shows that the zombie apocalypse has never been more alive, fans didn't quite take to the Jane Austen version of the end of the world. The Bennett sisters are tooled up for this crazy reimagining of 19th Century dating, based off Seth Grahame-Smith's book of the same. The film wasn't actually that bad, but the ass-kicking sisters still couldn't win over fans. It seems that we would much rather play Plants vs. Zombies.

3. 'Popstar: Never Stop Stopping'

Budget: $20m

Box office: $9.5m

Starring: Andy Samberg , Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone

Synopsis: A mockumentary comedy about rapper Conner4Real who tries to repair his image after an album flop.

The Lonely Island crew can't replicate their previous success in the parody of the already done popstar biopic, while Samberg channels his best Justin Bieber in a clever take down of the likes of Beebz and Kanye. Crammed with the who's who of of celebrity and comedy cameos, Popstar wasn't the worst received film of the year, but it just felt like it had been done before.

2. 'Free State Of Jones'

Budget: $50m

Box office: $23.2m

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell

Synopsis: Defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight finds himself fighting in the Civil War against the Confederates. With local farmers and an army of banded together slaves, Knight attempts to create his own free state in the heart of Mississippi.

Where did it all go wrong? The sprawling war epic from four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross was set to shoot down the competition. Going up against Finding Dory, Central Intelligence, and Independence Day: Resurgence, Free State finished just sixth on its opening weekend. Praised for its fascinating look at this chapter of history and McConaughey's part, the film was criticized for being too stilted in its portrayal.

1. 'Max Steel'

Budget: $10m

Box office: $4.4m


Synopsis: 16-year-old Max is new to town and desperate to fit in. His life changes when his body can generate the most powerful energy in the universe. Extraterrestrial superhero Steel has been keeping an eye on Max, and together they form Max Steel.

However, the worst offender on the list is undoubtedly Stewart Hendler's atrociously named Max Steel. Sounding like the real-life version of Joey Tribbiani's Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E., in a year of superhero blockbusters, Max Steel was not the supe film we were looking for. The film went from bad to worse, and rightly deserves its place as a commercial failure. Based off Mattel's toy line, this film bombing hard doesn't look good for upcoming toy films like Furby — I mean, really?!?

Image: STX Entertainment
Image: STX Entertainment

There were some dead cert films on the list, but some surprise entrants too. It was especially bad news for the likes of McConaughey and Free State of Jones, which had been tipped to be an early Oscar contender. That being said, Forbes reminds us:

Not all movies flopped because they were bad films... movies underperform for a number of reasons, be it marketing, release date timing, poor reviews or a combination of several factors.

While cinema is winding down for the year, let's not forget that there are still five weeks of the year left, plus the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Anything could happen — cue Vader heavy breathing!

One film that won't be making the flop list is Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, check out the trailer, and don't forget our poll below.

If you want more Movie Pilot video, click here.


Were you surprised by the "Biggest Turkeys" list?

[Source: Forbes]


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