Sometimes movies are so bad that the only thing left to do is pull them from theaters and pretend they never happened. That's what the people responsible for these fifteen movies learned the hard way. Terrible movies are actually quite common, but rarely is a film so unwatchable that it has to be hidden away from the public eye, never to see the light of day again. Film is art, and good artists know that the only way to succeed is by taking risks. So no one can really blame the people who made these movies for the complete failure they experienced... It's just part of the business. And I personally would way rather see film studios take a chance with a film that they're not sure about rather than be bombarded with more remakes and sequels.
But you can't deny the embarrassment films like these cause. Not just for the directors who made them, but to the actors and pretty much everyone else who was involved with them. Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that the entertainment industry is incredibly harsh, and it takes some pretty thick skin to be able to shrug off setbacks like a box office bomb. And that's pretty much the main reason these films are pulled from theaters - to save those associated with them from suffering even more embarrassment than they already have.
15 Man Down
Shia LaBeouf is not having a good time right now. His most recent film, Man Down, received some of the worst reviews of any project he's worked on, and it made only $26 in the UK. No, that wasn't a typo, I really mean that it only made less than thirty dollars. Even though the movie was only shown in one theater, that is still very poor. And the movie didn't do much better in the US, either, making just over $450,000. So it comes as no surprise that the film was pulled from the UK market entirely.
There are theories about Brits not being interested in a story about a US Marine with PTSD, but the main reason is that the film just wasn't that good. And this is really a shame because Shia LaBeouf gives everything in this performance, and as we know from experience, when Shia goes all out it's a pleasure to watch. The only problem was that the screenplay was strange and incoherent, which meant even an actor of Shia's caliber couldn't save the film.
Another huge name who couldn't save his film was Johnny Depp in Mortdecai. This seriously unfunny film didn't hide the fact that it was relying heavily on Johnny Depp's star power to sell tickets. The promotional side of things seemed to consist solely of Depp making wacky faces with a mustache. When the day of the release came, it was universally panned by critics, earning an average rating of just 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many people believe it was the worst movie of 2015.
It was just one of those films that tried way too hard to be bizarre and strange, and despite having some huge names attached to it, it grossed just $7 million dollars domestically, and was pulled from theaters after only 4 weeks. They did manage to pull in more revenue internationally, with about $40 million earned. But that still fell short of the film's $60 million budget, making this film a box office bomb that just had to be pulled from theaters.
Many people had high hopes for Glitter. It had been given tons of publicity, and was set to be a chance for Mariah Carey to show that she could act as well as sing. But nothing could save this film from complete and utter crucifixion, not only in the box office but critically as well. The film was pulled from theaters after 4 weeks, after pulling in just 5.3 million dollars. This was a major box office bomb considering its budget of $22 million, and it's definitely something that Mariah Carey wants to forget. This was probably a big reason why it was pulled from theaters - Mariah Carey didn't want this embarrassment to damage her singing career.
And unfortunately for her, critics complained loudly about her role in the movie, perhaps more that anything else. Many thought her acting was terrible, saying that she couldn't play different emotions and her performance was thoroughly boring. The film was actually designed to break Carey into the film industry, but this obviously completely backfired, and Carey was the brunt of many jokes as a result. The film scored an average rating of just 7% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Considered by many to be the worst movie of all time, it only makes sense that Gigli was pulled from theaters before too many people tried to pull their eyes out of their skulls. According to the contract, theaters were only obliged to keep Gigli running for three weeks, and they got that film out of there as soon as that three weeks was up. And in the third week alone, the movie made less than $20,000. So I don't think too many people were complaining about this movie being locked away, never to see the light of day again. And it seems to have left a scar on the director, Martin Brest, as he hasn't directed a film since Gigli. That was 14 years ago.
Along with being pulled from theaters in record time, Gigli also holds the record of being one of the most expensive box office bombs in history. With an over-inflated budget of over $75 million, it brought in just over $7 million during its run. It was also dropped by almost every theater in the UK after just days. It has an average rating of 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, and most critics admit that Gigli is one of the worst movies they have ever seen.
11 From Justin To Kelly
For some reason, 20th Century Fox thought From Justin To Kelly would be a good idea. This movie was designed to promote the careers of American Idol finalists Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, but someone seems to have forgotten that movies need to be somewhat entertaining as well. From Justin To Kelly ranks up there with the worst movies ever made, according to virtually every critic that reviewed it. There's also the fact that this is a musical, which serves to further alienate a lot of people. But the main downfall is its terrible story, which centers around a bland romance between Kelly and Justin.
The film had a relatively small budget of $12 million, but it was clear from the beginning of its release that it would not be able to make a profit. After 3 weeks, only about 100 theaters were still running From Justin To Kelly, and it made just over $20,000 in that third week. By the fifth week, it was dropped entirely. At the end of its run, it had failed to make even $5 million.
10 All Eyez On Me
This is kind of cheating, because this film is actually still going. But all signs point to the fact that it will soon be pulled from theaters. All Eyez On Me is a biopic about the life of Tupac Shakur, in the same vein as similar pictures like Straight Outta Compton. But critics almost universally agree that fans of this legendary rapper deserved better, and the film is proving to be a massive flop. It currently has an average rating of just 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic Emily Yoshida of Vulture probably said it best: "Tupac deserved a storyteller as good as himself. It's a shame he didn't get one."
Along with bad reviews, All Eyez On Me has been hit with some pretty serious legal problems, leading many to believe it will soon be pulled from theaters entirely. It's doing quite well in terms of earnings, currently falling just short of its budget. But a huge percentage of those profits could be paid out to journalist Kevin Powell, who is suing the film for $31 million of the profits so far. He says that information was taken from his articles without his permission and then used in the film.
His official statement reads: “After a great deal of thought and consultation with many, including my attorneys, I have filed a federal lawsuit against the producers and writers of ALL EYEZ ON ME, the new Tupac Shakur biopic, for copyright infringement. After viewing the movie twice in the past few days, it is clear that my exclusive Vibe cover stories on Tupac Shakur (when he was alive), were lifted, without proper credit or compensation of any kind to me, and used in ALL EYEZ ON ME. As the owner of the copyright to these articles, ALL EYEZ ON ME infringed on my rights by using content and narrative that was exclusive to my writings. I am seeking justice and a resolution in this matter that is fully fair to me and all the work I’ve done throughout the years, as an author and protector of the Tupac Shakur narrative.”
Jada-Pinkett Smith and countless others have also taken to social media to publicly ridicule the film, claiming that it's full of inaccuracies about Tupac's relationships and actions.
9 The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
The vast majority of people will agree that The Birth of A Nation (1915) was a very, very bad movie. This movie is famous for being released by the Ku Klux Klan, and contains all kinds of racism and strangeness you might expect from such an infamous group. The film contained white actors playing black people while in blackface, portraying African Americans as dim-witted people that were dangerous for white women to be around. Understandably, there were massive riots over this film, and for this reason many theaters refused to show it, pulling it from their lineup entirely. Riots were especially fierce in places like Boston and other areas where large populations of African Americans resided.
Despite the controversial nature of this film, it was one of the biggest box office success stories in history. It's estimated that the movie pulled in over $100 million in ticket sales, an exorbitant amount of money for that time. And that was on a budget of $100,000. And again, $100,000 was a lot of money for that time, and in fact this film was one of the most ambitious films ever made. In a way, it's a historical achievement, influencing what we now know as "Blockbusters." It's just a shame it was so racist.
8 Jem And The Holograms
Jem And The Holograms is probably the best example of a movie so bad that it was pulled from theaters. This film may have started on a meager budget of just $5 million, but grossed only $2.3 million after a mere 2 weeks in theaters before it was pulled altogether. The film holds the record for having the fourth worst opening weekend of any film in history that was screened in over 2,000 theaters. Critics universally panned this film, and it has an average rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you weren't aware, this movie is actually based on a children's animated series of the same name. Because of this, the people who made this film were probably counting on a guaranteed audience comprised of fans of the cartoons. But the low quality of this film only served to alienate fans of the cartoon, and word spread fast that this movie didn't do the original series justice. This was made worse by the fact that fans and celebrities were interviewed about the cartoon, and those interviews were later edited to make it seem like they were talking about the film. This led to further controversy.
Director Mark Adler had big plans for Delgo. He envisioned a film that would rival Disney's animated movies, and he poured everything he had into this film. The ambitious animated film cost about $40 million to make, a sum of money that would be lost to the winds. In the end, the movie failed to even make $1 million, making it the lowest-grossing animated movie of all time. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that it was pulled from most theaters after just one week. It has an average score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, and many critics lamented its poor quality of animation when compared to other films in the genre.
Part of what made this movie fail in such an epic manner was probably due to its complete lack of marketing. No one really knew that Delgo existed leading up to its release, and with only a week in theaters, many people still don't know about this movie to this day. Prior to writing this article, I didn't either. Yahoo calculated that less than 2 people went to each of the movie's screenings. Ouch.
It might seem strange that a movie like Blackhat appears on a list like this. This movie had it all - a great director, Michael Mann, trusted star power in Chris Hemsworth, and an interesting, relevant plot about computer hacking. For some reason, this movie fell well short of the mark, and was dropped from theaters after just two weeks. The movie had a budget of $70 million, but failed to gross even $20 million when it was all said and done. But this film is of markedly higher quality than most of the other films on this list, with an average rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 34%.
So what exactly went wrong? Some say it was too complex and deep for most simple-minded movie goers. Others say that it was simply blown out of the water by American Sniper, a movie that enjoyed massive success at the same time Blackhat was released. Some say it was because of a poor marketing campaign, which tried to market the film as an action flick instead of what it really was, a nuanced cyber-thriller.
5 Max Steel
Max Steel was another huge commercial and critical failure that was intended to promote a line of Chinese toys. It's basically one long advertisement for Max Steel toys, and fails to actually bring anything resembling a movie to the table. One of the fatal flaws of this movie was the fact that they did not have an advance screening for critics. Either they didn't want to hear what they knew would be bad reviews, or didn't want to accept that their film was terrible. Or both.
The official budget was never released, but it was an estimated $20 million. On that budget, they only managed to gross just over $8 million. As a result, the film was pulled from theaters a meager three weeks into its run. It has a rare but well-earned 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
4 Silent Night, Deadly Night
I might actually offend some of you out there reading this by adding this film in, because Silent Night, Deadly Night has something of a cult following these days. But back in 1984 when it was released, the film was met with immense controversy, censorship, and criticism. This was mostly due to its insanely shocking content (for the time) which featured a killer Santa Clause. This caused widespread outrage, and as one well-known critic asked, "What's next, the Easter Bunny as a child molester?" The film also sparked controversy even before the release, with shocking promotional images.
This film was pulled from theaters just one week after its release after a dedicated smear campaign by the media. Despite only a week in theaters, it was a commercial success, earning about $2.5 million on a budget of just over $1 million. Clearly, people wanted to see it, and it's the classic case of people wanting the "forbidden fruit." But all in all, it wasn't that great of a movie, and has a rating of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes.
3 Rise: Blood Hunter
Rise: Blood Hunter was a vampire movie released back in 2007. It followed in the vein of the vampire craze that was raging back then, which is still going strong today. Director Sebastian Gutierrez, who worked on Snakes On A Plane, was responsible for this film, and it fell well short of the mark when it reached theaters. Critics were well aware that this film was trying to cash in on previously successful vampire films like Blade, and they were not entertained. They specifically criticized Lucy Liu's bland acting style and the meaningless violence.
After just two weeks of its limited run, it was pulled from theaters. At the end of the day, it made a little over $2 million dollars. While many criticized Liu's acting, others praised it, and it has one of the stronger average reviews of movies on this list, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 33%.
Inchon was a Korean War epic that only lasted a few days in theaters when it was released in the early 80s. So it should come as no surprise that it was also one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history, something that was helped by the fact that the film had a massive, over-inflated budget of $46 million. This was big bucks in the 80s. When it was all said and done, this film only managed to make just over $5 million. Many critics say that this is the worst film of all time. Others say that it is forgettable and boring, yet undeserving of its reputation as one of the worst ever. But any way you slice it, this was a really bad movie.
This film was funded largely by the unification church, and was spearheaded by Japanese and South Korean producers. The movie had strong religious themes, especially at the end of the film. These religious ideas were also echoed in the film's press releases.
1 Swept Away
2002's Swept Away was one of Madonna's few forays into the world of Hollywood, and because of the embarrassment it caused, it might well be her last. This movie was such a major bomb that it was pulled from theaters after just two weeks. And by the time it was pulled, almost no theaters were even showing it anymore. Those that were still screening it were showing to empty houses, once a day. The film holds an average rating of 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics lamenting Madonna's acting. This is yet another example of a singer making the questionable decision to try her hand in acting (although it wasn't the first time for Madonna), a decision that is commonly a poor one. Maybe, just maybe, people should stick to what they're good at.
With a budget of $10 million dollars, Swept Away only managed to gross a paltry $1,036,520 worldwide. The film is actually a remake from a classic 1970s Italian film directed by Lina Wertmüller. It is alleged that when Lina Wertmüller was shown the movie, she left the theater in a rage, shouting "What did they do to my movie? Why [did] they do this?"