It was published on June 2, 2010. Click it here.
Great directors, extravagant Oscar-awarded, highest-paid casting, super-duper avant-garde budgets, widespread critical acclaim across Cannes, Venice, Berlin, bla bla bla, 4-star labels by Roger Ebert, but the budgets still exceed the revenues? What the hell! Honestly, I haven’t watched these movies yet, but this is a full list of movies, hailed by critics, but bombed massively in box office:
1. Man on the Moon (film)
Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Jim Carrey
Genre: Comedy, Biographical Picture
Plot: life of a fabulous American entertainer, Andy Kaufman, portrayed by Carrey
Review: Milos Forman was awarded 2 Oscars for Best Director, together with Best Picture, one for his ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest’ in 1975, and the other one for his ambitious bio-pic portraying the clash of Mozart and Salieri in ‘Amadeus’ in 1984. Plus Jim Carrey, the man whom we believe could make us laugh all the time through most of his films. But that would not guarantee the success of this film. Despite critical acclaims and a Golden Bear (Best Picture) in Berlinale, it flopped. The movie, also, faced criticisms by some who considered it far more ‘fictional than factual’.
Budget: 82.000.000 US$
Gross Revenues: 47.000.000 US$ (worldwide)
Duration: 118 minutes
Director: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11, 12, 13)
Starring: Benicio Del Toro
Genre: Biographical Picture, War, Action
Plot: Controversial life of Che Guevara, from his revolutions together with his comrade, Fidel Castro, in the forming of a communist state in Cuba, and his leading upon a guerrila war to overthrow, oust a Western-backed government in Bolivia.
Review: Again, it ended poorly like what the film above had done before. The director was an Oscar winner, awarded through his drug-battling picture ‘Traffic’, and was once again nominated for his lovely ‘Erin Brockovich’ in the same year, a based-on-a-true-story drama about a woman (portrayed by Julia Roberts) in her struggle fighting against a gigantic oil & gas company which has contaminated the rivers on her village. Both were successful critically and commercially; Traffic & Erin Brockovich, budgeted at 50.000.000 US$ each, successfully grossed at both 200.000.000 US$ and 250.000.000 US$ worldwide. It starred Benicio Del Toro, who had previously co-opearted with Mr.Soderbergh together in ‘Traffic’, was awarded Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, as the main character, the centerpoint of the movie. The movie premiered in Cannes, and received standing ovation by most of the guests who were impressed with Del Toro’s ‘perfecto’ performance, and was instantly awarded ‘Best Actor’. Critics either praised or teased this film. Some praised Del Toro’s performance, while some considered ‘Che’ as a ‘propaganda machine to spread the ideology of communism’. Hell, that’s why it was released on a limited circulation across North America. Of course nobody there dreamt of having seen their children getting inspired by him.
Budget: 58.000.000 US$
Revenues: 41.000.000 US$ (worldwide)
Duration: 268 minutes (hell! that’s gonna burn my butt!)
3. The Insider
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Al Pacino, Russell Crowe
Plot: Based on a true story, ‘The Insider’ portrays the dark side of American tobacco industry in a CBS’ 60 Minutes television series, from the perspective of a tobacco executive, portrayed by Russell Crowe, and the perils that follow behind regarding to his confession.
Review: It was rated 96% ‘fresh’ at Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it three and a half out of four stars, stating ‘this movie has its power to absorb, entertain, and anger.’ Others might praise Mr.Crowe’s performance. But overall, all these objections still could not afford to make ‘The Insider’ a box office. There is no help for it. It was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Crowe), Best Adapted Screenplay, but winning none.
Budget: 70.000.000 US$
Revenues: 60.000.000 US$ (worldwide)
Duration: 157 minutes
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith
Plot: Life of the world’s greatest boxing champion of all time, Muhammad Ali
Review: Unfortunately, this is another ‘bomb’ for Mr.Michael Mann. Roger Ebert gave it two out of four stars, mentioning that ‘it lacks much of the flash, fire and humor of a Muhammad Ali and is shot more in the tone of eulogy than a celebration.’ However, most of the critics hailed Mr.Smith’s performance, and as a result, he was nominated Academy Award for Best Actor. However, ‘Ali’ was rated 68% at Rotten Tomatoes. At least, that was still great.
Budget: 110.000.000 US$
Revenues: 88.000.000 US$ (worldwide)
Duration: 157 minutes
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Fergie
Plot: A musical sensation, about a musical director (Daniel Day-Lewis) who is facing a midlife crisis, and is involved in a series of complicating relationships with multiple women, who are his wife, his mistress, a film star, his costume designer, a fashion journalist, and a prostitute.
Review: It is poorly rated 37% at Rotten Tomatoes, written down under the consensus ‘it has a game, great-looking cast, led by the always worthwhile Daniel Day-Lewis, but Rob Marshall’s Nine is curiously chaotic and distant.’ Despite poor criticism, it was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Penelope Cruz, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Song. It seems that Nine could not match Mr.Marshall’s previous masterpiece, a musical hit ‘Chicago’, which was successful both critically and commercially, and brought him 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but no Best Director for him.
Budget: 80.000.000 US$
Revenues: 53.000.000 US$ (worldwide)