For this list, we didn’t just want book adaptations that were a critical/audience failure or a box office failure–we wanted both. That’s why the films you see below might not be the biggest money losers or the most panned; instead, they’re a combination of the most hated and most wasteful uses of celluloid out there. If none of these movies were made, over $913,000,000 would have been saved and approximately 4 billion viewing hours would have been saved.
(The following films were either critical or money failures, but not both, so they couldn’t make the list: The Great Gatsby [the Redford one], Lolita , Treasure Planet, Beloved, The House of the Spirits, many more)
10. John Carter (2012)
Net Losses (inflation adjusted to 2012): $67,221,900
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
Representative Review Quote: “There’s nothing to see, nothing to think about, nothing to care about, and nothing to feel, just emptiness. The emptiness is never filled over the course of 132 long, barren minutes.” -San Francisco Chronicle
Everyone was excited to call John Carter a flop before it even came out in 2012, and though it did tank, it lost less money than some of the other films on this list and it actually received so-so reviews. It’s hard to justify the $250 million dollar budget, and while it was trying to capture the same adventure feel of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it ended up being compared to the worst aspects of Prince of Persia, The Phantom Menace, and Cowboys & Aliens. Yeah, I forgot about Cowboys & Aliens, too.
9. Atlas Shrugged: Part I, II (and probably) III (2011-2014)
Net Losses (first two parts combined, not adjusted): $22,036,572
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11% (Part I); 5% (Part II)
Representative Review Quote: “A disaster as a film, Atlas also is laughable in its presentation of Rand’s ideology.” -Philadelphia Inquirer