Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #89 -- The New Millennium's Biggest Bombs


If you’re thinking of investing money somewhere safer than the stock market, forget the movie business. While there is always a lot of publicity about the movies that break records for making money (Titanic, The Dark Knight), there are even more movies that lose a staggering, embarrassing amount of money.

Here are some of the bigger bombs in recent film history. What makes this list interesting is that many have big stars and rather sound premises. With so many Oscar nominees/Oscar winners on this list, I bet on paper many of these projects looked like solid bets. Yet as a moviegoer, you may not have heard of some of these films, because they were so unsuccessful they didn’t play very long at the local cineplex.

Who keeps track of the industry’s big losers? That would be Tim Dirks of

1. Sahara (2003) Starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz searching for treasure. Budget: $145 to $160 million. Total gross: $103.2 million.

2. Catwoman (2004) Starring Halle Berry and Benjamin Bratt as the feline supermenace and the cop on her tail. Budget: $85 million. Total gross: $82 million.

3. Around the World in 80 Days (2004) This remake starred Jackie Chan, with appearances by Luke and Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates and Rob Schneider. Budget: $110 million. Total gross: $72.2 million.

4. The Alamo (2004) Remake starring Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett and Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston. Budget: $95 million. Total gross: $22.4 million.

5. Gods and Generals (2003) Civil War saga starring Jeff Daniels and Robert Duval. Budget: $56 to $70 million. Total gross: $12.9 million.

6. Gigli (2003) Remember Bennifer? This is the movie that starred Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Budget: $54 million. Total gross: $6.1 million.

7. From Justin to Kelly (2003) Starring American Idols Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. Budget: $12 million. Total gross: $4.9 million.

8. Windtalkers (2002) Starring Nicholas Cage as a WWII general who guards the Native Americans who coded transmissions. Budget: $115 million. Total gross: $77.6 million.

9. Disney’s Treasure Planet (2002) Animated and futuristic treatment of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Budget: $140 million. Total gross: $91.8

10. Swept Away (2002) Madonna as a rich-bitch socialite who finds herself shipwrecked with only an employee she’s treated very badly for help and company. Budget: $10 million. Total gross: $599,000

11. Glitter (2001) Mariah Carey plays a rising pop star. Budget: $22 million. Total gross: $4.3 million.

12. Town & Country (2001) Starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Gary Shandling and Goldie Hawn as a pair of married couples with fidelity issues. I actually saw this one! I’m sorry I did. Budget: $90 to $105 million. Total gross: $10.4 million.

13. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) A sci-fi comedy starring Eddie Murphy as the title character. Budget: $100 million. Total gross: $7.1 million.

Please note: Thursday is going to be a jam-packed workday for me,
so forgive me if I don't visit your TT as quickly as I normally would.

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Me and her

There's a woman I work with who I have lovingly dubbed "The Freakazoid Bitch." She's responsible for either canning my best friend or at the very least not coming to his aid. That's not the only reason she bugs me. She is also loud, she wields her power too zealously and is very immersed in office politics. I neither like nor trust her. She neither likes nor trusts me.

So why is it that when things go badly for her, she actually seeks me out?

First it was when her boss was let go. She told me about it in advance as we went to the announcement meeting together (she came looking for me) and confessed she was scared that she would be next. Today she made a point of telling me how scared she was about a letter she got from the IRS.

This is very weird. I like us better when we're busy not liking nor trusting each other.