1. The Lone Ranger
Disney badly miscalculated the appeal of Johnny Depp with a dead bird on his head. The studio hinged the $215 million Western’s marketing on his character Tonto, leaving the actual Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) a mystery to moviegoers unfamiliar with the ’50s TV show. Bruckheimer bombast didn’t attract crowds, and the film earned only $89.3 million. Disney reportedly took a $190 million write-down.
2. Jack the Giant Slayer
Not every fairy tale performed as well as Oz the Great and Powerful, which conjured $234.9 million this past spring. Bryan Singer’s action-adventure riff on Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Nicholas Hoult, fee-fi-fo-failed, grossing just $65.2 million against a $195 million budget.
Audiences wrote off the Jeff Bridges/Ryan Reynolds tentpole about undead police officers as a lame rip-off of Men in Black. Add in a confusingly initialed title — which meant “Rest in Peace Department” — and this was doomed to a box office grave from the start. The film cost $130 million but arrested only $33.6 million total.