Kellan Lutz starred in the first of this year's two movies starring the Greek hero, "The Legend of Hercules." The $8.8 million January opening weekend for the $70 million sword-and-sandals epic was no toga party. It finished with $61 million worldwide, well under the $243 million that Paramount's "Hercules," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, managed months later for Paramount.
Even Aaron Eckhart's world-class abs couldn't bring the action horror film "I, Frankenstein" to life. It cost $65 million to make but opened to $8.6 million in January and couldn't crack $20 million domestically for Lionsgate.
Colin Farrell and his horse never got out of the gate in the Akiva Goldsmith romance "Winter's Tale." Its production budget was $60 million and it opened to less than $10 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend for Warner Bros. and mustered just $30 million domestically.
The Weinstein Company
"They Suck at School" was the tagline for "Vampire Academy," the Mark Winters-directed adaptation of Richelle Mead's young adult fantasy novel. Ditto the box office: Its $3.9 million February debut for the Weinstein Company was the 11th-worst ever for a release on more than 2,500 screens, and it ended with $15.3 million worldwide.
Paul W.S. Anderson's volcano saga "Pompeii" blew in February, and Kiefer Sutherland, Kit Harrington and Emily Browning couldn't save it. It had a $100 million production budget and opened to just $10 million on its way to a tepid $23 million domestic haul for Sony's TriStar.
Maybe Madea would have helped? “Tyler Perry‘s The Single Moms Club,” the mogul's swan song with distributor Lionsgate, opened in March with $8.3 million, the worst debut of the prolific directing career of Perry, who is getting out of the movie biz for now to focus on his TV work at the OWN Network.
The $5.2 million March debut of Open Road's action thriller "Sabotage" was star Arnold Schwarzenegger's worst opening in nearly three decades.
"Haunted House 2" opened in April to $8.8 million and topped out at $17.3 million domestically -- less than the original film made in its first weekend for Open Road.
The British horror film "The Quiet Ones" scared up just $8.5 million in its April opening for Lionsgate, on its way to a feeble $17.8 million global total.
"Mom's Night Out," a faith-based comedy starring Patricia Heaton, couldn't cash in on the boom for Christian movies and topped out with $10 million in May for Sony TriStar.
The James Brown biopic "Get On Up" had good reviews and a strong lead performance from Chadwick Boseman, but couldn't hit the high notes at the box office and finished with just $31 million for Universal.
A leaked version of a hacked copy of "Expendables 3" hitting the Internet weeks before its opening didn't help, but Sly Stallone's over-the-hill gang may have been hurt as much by franchise fatigue. The $190 million action sequel shot blanks in its $15.8 million August opening, and couldn't crack $40 million domestically.
Seth MacFarlane's comedy Western "A Million Ways to Die in the West" got bucked at the box office, debuting with $16.7 million in May and topping out with $86 million worldwide for Universal. "Ted 2" anyone?
"The Giver" brought in an $45 million domestically in August for the Weinstein Company and another $22 million abroad, but those numbers were disappointing given the popularity of Lois Lowry's young adult bestseller.
Liam Neeson's "A Walk Among Tombstones" came out in one week before Denzel Washington's "The Equalizer," another R-rated action tale, and it was no contest at the box office. "Tombstones" topped out with $53 million worldwide in September, while Sony's "The Equalizer" is headed for $200 million.
After a heavenly start to the year, the market for faith-based movies went to hell. Freestyle Releasing's "The Identical," which starred Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd, delivered a dismal $1.5 million in its September debut and was out of theaters two weeks later.
The Nicholas Sparks adaptation "The Best of Me" has brought in just $25 million since opening in October for Relativity Media, making it by far the lowest-grossing film adaptation of the famed romance novelist's books.
Audiences failed to connect with Paramount's "Men, Women & Children," writer-director Jason Reitman's take on technology affecting our lives. It opened to an embarrassing $306,367 from 617 theaters in October and grossed just $705,908 before being yanked from theaters.
The sci-fi tale "Transcendence" marked the fourth box-office bomb in a row for Johnny Depp, on the heels of "The Lone Ranger," "Dark Shadows" and "Rum Diaries." "Transcendence" opened to $10.8 million in April and topped out at $23 million domestically for Warner Bros., not enough given its $100 million production budget.