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Big Star, Bigger Flop

April 25, 2018

Movie stars are movie stars because millions of people want to go see their movies…well, almost all of their movies. Here are some stars and their movie that flopped the hardest.

Sandra Bullock

In 1994, Sandra Bullock became a star thanks to her role in the action classic Speed. The sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control, released three years later, almost killed her career. In the first movie, Bullock played a regular person who has to save the day by driving an explosives-rigged bus that would explode if it slowed down. In the second, she inexplicably has to fight terrorists on a cruise ship. Speed 2 grossed $48 million, which isn’t good considering that the movie cost a staggering $160 million.

Ben Affleck

Affleck somehow came back from this bomb to play Batman and direct the Oscar-winning Argo. In 2003, he was a tabloid fixture for his high-profile relationship with Jennifer Lopez, his co-star in Gigli, a bizarre crime comedy. Affleck plays a mobster who tries to seduce a gay female gangster (Lopez) while watching over a developmentally disabled man he kidnapped. Somehow it cost $72 million to make Gigli, and it made a paltry $7 million at the box office.

Hugh Jackman

The 2015 movie Pan wasn’t the first time Hollywood made a Peter Pan movie, but it’s the first time Hollywood made a gritty prequel to Peter Pan. Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, plays the fearless and fearsome pirate Blackbeard…but maybe if he wasn’t buried under a ton of makeup and prosthetics (and playing the bad guy), more people would have seen the movie. Pan grossed $35 million…but cost $150 million to make.

Reese Witherspoon

Witherspoon starred in hits like Legally Blonde, won an Oscar for Walk the Line, and produced the multiple-Emmy-winning miniseries Big Little Lies, but she couldn’t make How Do You Know? work. This 2010 low-key romantic drama directed by James L. Brooks cost $120 million to produce, mostly to pay its cast: Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. It made only $30 million at the box office.

Jennifer Lawrence

This odd movie about a middle-aged man who talks to his family via a beaver puppet was supposed to a comeback for Mel Gibson after numerous scandals derailed his career. It was also supposed to spotlight Jennifer Lawrence, just after her Oscar-nominated turn in Winter’s Bone, and right before The Hunger Games. Neither Gibson nor Lawrence benefited much. It made less than $1 million in theaters.

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