Ah, August. The temperatures are soaring, the kids are heading back to school, and the movie theaters are empty.
Every August, your local multiplex turns into a dumping ground for mediocre sequels, repulsive remakes, and the occasional hidden gem that just completely failed to connect with audiences. Summer blockbuster season may kick off with a bang, but by the time Labor Day rolls around, the lackluster theatrical offerings are looking a little more like a whimper.
Sure, there are always a few hits (Suicide Squad, Straight Outta Compton, Guardians of the Galaxy), but they’re in the minority. The late-summer box office slump is real, and this year, Ben-Hur is the latest big-budget bomb to join the not-so-exclusive club of August flops. With a budget just under $100 million, the swords-and-sandals epic only opened to an estimated $11.4 million domestically.
In honor of Ben-Hur’s lackluster debut, we’ve rounded up some of the most notorious box office flops from Augusts past — from the overlooked gems that are now cult classics (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) to the bombs that should probably stay forgotten (Conan the Barbarian).