The Most Expensive and Most Spectacular Box-Office Flop
Carolco Pictures' 1995-pirate film called Cutthroat Island is the most expensive box-office flop in the history of cinema. This action romantic comedy movie got a permanent seat at Hollywood's hall of shame for incurring an astounding loss of $147.2 million (adjusted for 2012 inflation). It failed to recoup its huge budget of around $115 million on production, distribution, and marketing when it only grossed approximately $10 million in theaters worldwide.
What made this pirate flick regrettably unprofitable? Film reviewers easily pointed out unoriginal plot, predictable ending, and second-rate actors as main reasons for moviegoers’ cold reception. Some critics assumed the release date of the movie was a big factor as it had to compete with Jumanji, a heart racing fantasy-adventure film, and Heat, a superb action drama movie. Meanwhile, a few analysts asserted that the financial loss was due to the movie producers' unwise move to put all their resources on a single film.
It might be justifiable why producers pinned their hopes on Cutthroat Island's director, Renny Harlin. The man successfully made$240,031,094 out of the $70 million-worth Die Hard 2 movie in 1990 - undeniably a blockbuster. However, on this pirate movie, Renny made a few blunders. He sent far too many crew members in Malta and Thailand bringing along a script, with neither witty nor strong lines, which he desperately tried to fix by inserting scenes of explosions here and there, half hoping they would do the trick. Paradoxically, the director's attempt to blow things up turned the movie into film history's most expensive box-office bomb.