For the past 15 years, every studio has been chasing (and trying to replicate Marvel’s success): A forever franchise that continues in perpetuity, continually spinning off new sub-series and TV shows and new merchandising opportunities. It’s like Hollywood’s ultimate dream come true.
But you know dreams; one minute you’re playing your favorite video game or swinging through the air like Spider-Man, the next your late for school and you’re not wearing any pants, and everyone is laughing at you oh god where did I put my pants?!? Just because the Marvel Cinematic Universe is popular does not mean it’s infallible. (Just ask Eternals.) And even before the MCU began, superheroes — even some of the most enduringly popular ones — have not always delivered big numbers at the box office. (In fact, before the MCU, they very often didn’t.)
READ MORE: The Worst Marvel Movie Villains
Just like any other genre, comic book and superhero movies are no guarantee of success; they’ve produced massive hits and they’ve produced massive flops. The list below tries to quantify the biggest superhero flops ever, which isn’t always easy to do. Hollywood budgets are not always readily available, and the money studios spend marketing and promoting their movies never is. A superhero film might seemingly break even in theaters, but when you factor in all those additional costs, a studio is suddenly on the hook for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
A few of the movies below might fall into that category; others are pretty obvious and undisputed bombs. They cost X amount to make, then they grossed waaaaay less than X in theaters. These titles feature iconic characters from Marvel and DC Comics, and recognizable brands from other big comic book companies. There’s also a couple original superheroes on there who don’t come from comics, because sometimes that really does make all the difference.
(Also, please let me know if you find where I put my pants.)
The Biggest Superhero Movie Bombs at the Box Office
These superhero movies had none-too-heroic runs in theaters.
The Worst Movies of the 21st Century
Almost 25 years, 25 really terrible movies.