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Top 10 Biggest Fantasy Movie Box Office Flops

VO: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco

Script written by George Pacheco

They can't all be Lord of the Rings. From Krull, to R.I.P.D., to Jack the Giant Slayer, these fantasy flicks failed to put butts in seats. WatchMojo ranks the top fantasy movie box office flops.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Biggest+Fantasy+Movie+Flops Special thanks to our user Moral Free for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by George Pacheco

Top 10 Biggest Fantasy Movie Box Office Flops

They may have had big intentions, but these epic tales fell upon largely deaf ears. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Fantasy Movie Box Office Flops.

For this list, we'll be ranking films from the fantasy movie genre that failed to make their money back, a decent amount of profit at the box office, and/or were also negatively reviewed. Some of these movies may have eventually earned cult status amongst fans, but their initial theatrical run needs to have been considered a financial failure.

#10: "Krull" (1983)

This film exemplifies what we mentioned about achieving cult status. "Krull" hit theaters back in 1983, during a time when swords, sorcery, and fantasy were big box office business. Director Peter Yates and company were allowed an $47 million budget with which to work their magic, but "Krull" only took in $16 and a half million when all was said and done. In short, it missed its chance to connect with audiences of the time. Opinions regarding the film have softened today, with some looking back on "Krull" with a smiling sense of nostalgia, but this doesn’t change the fact that it was a certified 80s dud.

#9: "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1988)

Sometimes, critical acclaim and audience interest just don’t come together. This was definitely the case with "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," from acclaimed filmmaker Terry Gilliam. Critics praised the fantastic visuals and effects, and the film was even nominated for a number of Academy Awards back in 1988. Unfortunately, Gilliam's work bombed HARD at the box office, bringing in a paltry $8 million against a $46+ million budget. Maybe audiences didn't know what to make of Gilliam's unique cinematic vision, but whatever the reason, "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" definitely deserved better.

#8: "City of Ember" (2008)

One might think that a film based upon a fantastic young adult fiction series should be a slam-dunk at the box office, right? Perhaps, unless we're talking about 2008's "City of Ember." The movie adaptation hit theaters five years after Jeanne DuPrau's book, but struggled to find acceptance with both critics and audiences. What's worse was that "City of Ember" only managed to see a $17.9 million return against an estimated $55 million budget, effectively dashing any hopes that further books in DuPrau's series might receive the big screen treatment.

#7: "Jack Frost" (1998)

So, d'ya think that everything from Jim Henson's Creature Shop is cute, cuddly and lovable? Well, think again. "Jack Frost" was far removed from both the charm of "The Muppet Show," as well as the cool mysticism of "The Dark Crystal." Instead it follows a man who returns as an anthropomorphic snowman after a tragic car accident. You know, a family picture! Families didn't exactly flock to see "Jack Frost," which was, by all accounts, a critical and commercial failure. The film eventually brought in approximately $34 and a half million at the box office, which doesn't sound all that bad, until one realizes that "Jack Frost" cost $85 million to make. Ouch.

#6: "R.I.P.D." (2013)

On the surface, "R.I.P.D." seemed to have all the tools required to succeed: an interesting plot, great actors, and plenty of money in the budget to secure a smash hit. So, what went wrong? Well, critics hated it, for starters, with many pointing out the script's similarities to "supernatural government operative" flicks, such as the "Men in Black" franchise. Fans didn't seem too interested in what "R.I.P.D" was laying down, either, perhaps resilient to what director Robert Schwentke and crew had in mind for this Dark Horse Comics adaptation. The film only garnered $78 million against a $130 million budget, leaving just about everyone disappointed.

#5: "47 Ronin" (2013)

It was a bold move for American filmmakers to try and adapt the Japanese tale of the 47 Ronin, a real life group of samurai who became legends for their mission of vengeance, death, and ritual suicide. 2013's "47 Ronin" wasn't the first fictional adaptation of this tale, a genre known as Chūshingura, but it's perhaps one of the most notable when it comes to financial failure. The film didn't perform to expectations in either Japan or the U.S., especially when taking into account "47 Ronin's" $175 million price tag. When all was said and done, the worldwide take totaled just over $150 million, making this one a certified, sword-swinging flop.

#4: "Dungeons & Dragons" (2000)

It all sounds too simple on paper: adapt one of the world's most popular role playing games with a big budget fantasy treatment. This was easier said than done, however, as "Dungeons & Dragons" was a complete disaster for both D&D fans and fantasy buffs alike. The film suffered from poor, hammy performances, cheap effects, and a bad script, with none of this going unnoticed by both fans and critics. Indeed, "Dungeons & Dragons" tends to come up a lot when bad movie discussions get going, and this reputation is well earned, as the flick only managed to make $33.8 million against its $45 million budget... which is still too much, if you ask us.

#3: "Pan" (2015)

"How many Peter Pan movies do we need?" This question was likely running through the heads of audiences in 2015 when this film was released. “Pan” was a box office bomb that attempted to update the classic children's tale for a new audience. Unfortunately, "Pan" didn't even come close to capturing the magical vibe of "Hook," never mind Disney's "Peter Pan.” The film flopped on a number of levels, from clunky CGI to the decision to make the film an "origin story" for the relationship between Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Ultimately, "Pan" came close to breaking even against its $150 million budget with a total of about $128 million: close, but no cigar.

#2: "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" (2017)

It was one of 2017's most epic flops, and one shameful example of Hollywood financial excess. "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" cost an astonishing $175 million dollars to make and went through multiple stages of production hell before finally reaching screens. Once it was there, fans were left cold by its choppy editing, uneven performances, and below average writing. Initial projections of a $25 million opening weekend consistently dropped, as word of mouth began to spread about the film's quality. "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" eventually limped up to about an $148 million dollar take, but this wasn't enough for director Guy Ritchie and crew to even be considered for a sequel.

Before we name our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions!

"Jack the Giant Slayer" (2013)

"Inkheart" (2008)

"Ella Enchanted" (2004)

#1: "Conan the Barbarian" (2011)

Jason Momoa may be enjoying a sexy rep today for playing Aquaman, but his career hit a roadblock back in 2011 when he starred in this disastrous reboot of "Conan the Barbarian." The film spent years in development hell before finally seeing the light of day, but it was hard to accept anybody other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in the titular role. Perhaps this turned fans away from exploring Momoa's take on the character, despite director Marcus Nispel and crew delivering tons of violent action to the screen. When all was said and done, "Conan the Barbarian" only mustered up a little more than half of its $90 million budget.

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