Hollywood is a fickle place. Even if you're seemingly on top of your game, one bad movie, or "flop" as they like to call them, can ruin your entire career. It's very much a business where the most important thing isn't "what you've done," but "what have you done lately?"
And I guess that pressure is a good thing. For, without it, why would there be any reason to do better as an artist? The immense pressure to succeed is just the market at work. We get the best movies, TV, music, etc if the artists providing us with that feel they need to constantly out-do themselves.
These seven are some of the biggest flops that have ever occurred in Hollywood by some of its biggest stars. They all came out relatively unscathed, but I'm sure it was a little scary there for a minute.
1. Ben Affleck dropped the atrocious Gigli (2003) and was no worse for the wear
Rotten Tomatoes score: 6%
The flop: At the time, Gigli featured real-life couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. It was, simply put, cringe-worthy. Not to say romantic comedies can't sometimes be a little cheesy, but this movie also lacked structure, had nonsensical dialogue, and was trash by almost all standards.
Career trajectory since: It's safe to say that Ben Affleck wasn't even close to being affected by the painfully bad flop, Gigli. An Oscar, the role of Batman and plenty of successful films since have landed him safely very, very away from this potential disaster.
2. Brendan Fraser's Monkeybone (2001) was garbage, but he was all right
Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%
The flop: The movie getting a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes is actually somewhat surprising. It was one of those experimental movies with a lot bizarre visuals and strange early-2000s weirdness. Brendan Fraser, while likable, couldn't save this thing.
Career trajectory since: He's doing okay. Probably his biggest disappointment since then was turning down Walter White on Breaking Bad, which he was originally courted for. Otherwise, he's stayed busy and on the right track. Don't worry about Brendan, he's worth $25 mill.
3. John Travolta nearly lost it all with Battlefield Earth (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 3%
The flop: Wow. This movie is so bad. Like, there are some movies that are bad to the point where they're good... because they're fun to sarcastically and ironically watch. But this? This was pure garbage. 3% seems high to me, to be honest.
Career trajectory since: John Travolta has been fine since then. He came back with Swordfish a year later... a film that didn't get much love but that I actually kind of enjoyed, frankly. He's still a big star, even if he had pronunciation issues at the Oscars.
4. Sandra Bullock had a huge flop in All About Steve (2009) but owned it and bounced back amazingly
Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%
The flop: Bullock is a great actress, but she blew it with this one. She went to accept her Razzie from the Golden Raspberry Awards for 'Worst Actress' in All About Steve, proving she was able to take ownership of how bad the flick was in a solid PR move.
Career trajectory since: She came out with The Blind Side the same year, believe it or not. It was a huge hit, and she had a stellar performance. Talk about an immediate bounce-back! She also starred in Gravity four years later, proving she's going to be all right career wise.
5. Billy Bob Thornton made a movie called The Alamo (2004) that, on paper, should've been a hit but was far from it
Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%
The flop: I think everyone in America probably thought a movie about the Alamo would work. After all, there's that saying, "Remember the Alamo." The problem is, nobody cared enough to remember it and this $100 million budget film yielded ~$20 million in one massive flopsicle.
Career trajectory since: Billy Bob is fine. Don't worry about the man. He made Friday Night Lights (the movie) in that same year. He survived the brutality of The Alamo and probably emerged stronger and better for it.
6. Jamie Foxx probably wishes he had never made Stealth (2005)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%
The flop: I remember seeing Stealth and expecting a decent flick out of it. At the time, Jamie Foxx was pretty much killing it. I mean, this was only a year after his performance as Ray Charles in Ray, and he was one of the main leading men in the biz. The film was weak, though, and it showed in reviews and box office numbers.
Career trajectory since: Jamie Foxx came out of Stealth with a few bumps and bruises, but nothing too significant. He's still on the short-list for a lot of big roles and has done good work since.
7. Henry Cavill may be Clark Kent, but first he flopped with The Cold Light of Day (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 5%
The flop: Even Cavill's rugged good looks couldn't save this movie that seemed to be doomed from the get-go. I think the first problem with the film is that clunky title. Who's going to say to a friend, "Hey want to go see The Cold Light of Day?" The answer for that was probably mostly "I'll pass" and/or "no chance."
Career trajectory since: Cavill probably doesn't care one bit about this flop since he's freakin' Superman. If you're Superman, you win all arguments about whether your career is successful. He did well in Man of Steel and he's squaring off with Ben Affleck (another from this list... hmmm... maybe flops aren't so bad) in [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870). So, yeah, his career is fine.
So, if you're having a bad day at school or work... maybe you got some bad feedback or a bad grade... just know everybody gets knocked down. The true measure of character is how you do when you get back up.