Every single movie that is made in the industry is a huge financial risk. Films can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, film and market around the world and there is always the possibility that it will simply not be popular and become a box office flop. In most cases, movie studios will try to manage this risk by only providing a motion picture with a budget that they think it will safely make back but sometimes they can get it wrong, with disastrous consequences. In fact, some films have been such financial failures that they have led to companies and individuals going bankrupt.
The Alamo is one of the biggest flops in the history of the industry. It went into production in 2003 under director John Lee Hancock and eventually hit cinemas in 2004, making total earning of just $30 million. This was despite the fact that it had cost $145 million to make, meaning it made a loss of $119.2 million. While Imagine and Touchstone were able to absorb these losses as part of their business, it effectively stalled Hancock’s career, meaning he would not release another picture for five years.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
After having immense success with a series of video games, the people behind the Final Fantasy franchise decided to make the jump to the movie industry. That led to the creation of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, featuring the voice talent of the likes of James Woods and Steve Buscemi. The CGI film was incredibly expensive though, thanks to its impressive animation and the $137 million budget could not be clawed back. Square Pictures was then shut down in response to the poor box office.