The planets didn’t align for ‘John Carter’
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The costliest box office flops of all time

The planets didn’t align for ‘John Carter’
“John Carter,” the $250-million fantasy adventure film set on Mars, flopped with the critics and at the box office where it caused the studio to claim an $84 million operating loss during its second quarter. Will it join “Gigli,” “Speed Racer” and the rest on our list of the costliest flops of all time? (Disney)
‘Heaven’s Gate’ (United Artists, 1980)
Director Michael Cimino‘s infamously bloated western nearly sunk the studio that made and released it, United Artists, when the $44-million production earned less than $3 million in U.S. ticket sales. (United Artists)
‘Battlefield Earth’ (Warner Bros., 2000)
The sci-fi epic directed by Roger Christian cost $73 million and grossed $29.7 million worldwide. (Pierre Vinet / Warner Bros.)
‘Howard the Duck’ (Universal, 1986)
The sci-fi comedy, produced by George Lucas, was a colossal bust. With an estimated cost of $37 million, the film grossed $37.9 million worldwide. (Peter Sorel / Universal)
‘Speed Racer’ (Warner Bros., 2008)
Andy and Lana Wachowski’s colorful racing movie cost $120 million and grossed $94 million worldwide. (Warner Bros.)
‘Ishtar’ (Columbia Pictures, 1987)
A comedy directed by Elaine May and pairing Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as an untalented lounge singing duo was one of Hollywood’s most notorious flops. It cost an estimated $55 million and took in a mere $14.3 million domestically. (Columbia Pictures)
‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’ (Warner Bros., 2002)
This misguided Eddie Murphy headlined sci-fi comedy, which cost about $100 million to produce, took in just $7.1 million worldwide. (Bruce McBroom / Castle Rock Entertainment)
‘Treasure Planet’ (Disney, 2002)
Disney’s animated movie cost an estimated $140 million to make and grossed $109.5 million worldwide. Disney took a write-off of about $70 million. (Disney)
‘Cutthroat Island’ (MGM, 1995)
Director Renny Harlan’s pirate flick cost about $100 million to make and took in $18 million worldwide. (David James / Carolco)
‘The Alamo’ (Disney, 2004)
Director John Lee Hancock’s western cost $107 million and grossed $25.8 million worldwide. (Deana Newcomb / Touchstone Pictures)
‘Land of the Lost’ (Universal Pictures, 2009)
This ill-fated Will Ferrell fantasy comedy cost $100 million to make and it took in just $68.7 million worldwide. (Ralph Nelson / Universal Pictures)
‘Rollerball’ (MGM, 2002 )
The remake cost an estimated $70 million and grossed just $25.8 million worldwide. (Attila Dory / MGM)
‘Cowboys & Aliens’ (Universal, 2011)
Produced by DreamWorks, the $163-million-budgeted movie brought in $175 million worldwide but still lost tens of millions. (Zade Rosenthal / Universal Studios and Dreamworks)
‘Mars Needs Moms’ (Disney, 2011)
The studio’s animated movie, produced by Robert Zemeckis at an estimated cost of $150 million, brought in $39 million worldwide. (ImageMovers Digital)
‘Town & Country’ (New Line Cinema, 2001)
The romantic comedy, starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, cost $90 million to produce and grossed an embarrassing $10.3 million at the global box office. (David James / New Line Cinema)
‘Gigli’ ( Columbia Pictures, 2003).
This mobster comedy starring then real-life lovebirds Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez -- who were nicknamed “Bennifer” -- cost about $75 million and grossed $7.2 million globally. (Ralph Nelson / Columbia Pictures)
‘How Do You Know’ (Sony Pictures, 2010)
Veteran director James L. Brooks’ comedy/drama flop cost $120 million to produce, and it grossed $48.6 million worldwide. (David James / Columbia TriStar)
‘The Wolfman’ (Universal Pictures, 2010)
Joe Johnston‘s horror flick was estimated to cost $150 million, but grossed only $139.7 million worldwide. (Universal Pictures / MCT)
‘Around the World in 80 Days’ (Disney, 2004 remake)
Financed by billionaire Philip Anschutz‘s production company to the tune of $110 million, the film missed badly with a worldwide take of $72 million. (David Appleby / Balloon Productions)
‘Sahara’ (Paramount, 2005)

Also bankrolled by Anschutz’s production company, at the cost of $160 million, this film directed by Breck Eisner (son of former Disney chief Michael Eisner) grossed $119 million worldwide.

 (Keith Hamshere / Paramount Pictures)