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Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in "Wanderlust"
© Universal / Rudd & Aniston in "Wanderlust"
2012's biggest movie turkeys

By Dorothy Pomerantz
Forbes

In Hollywood, there are bombs and then there are disasters. "Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" was a disaster. Producer Kenn Viselman, a marketing executive, was a big part of the success of "Thomas the Tank Engine" and "The Teletubbies." But he fell flat on his face with the self-released "Oogieloves." The movie showed in 2,160 theaters and grossed only $1 million on a $20 million production budget.

A big part of the problem was that the Oogieloves came out of nowhere. They weren't based on any book or TV show. Another problem was that the movie was apparently awful. It earned a terrible 29 out of 100 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film only grossed 5 percent of its production budget.

Bing: Worst movies of 2012

That puts it at the top of our list of 2012's Biggest Movie Turkeys. To compile our list, we used data from Box Office Mojo to see which films earned the smallest percentage of their budgets at the box office. Keep in mind that to begin to even imagine breaking even, a film needs to earn at least twice its production budget at the box office. These 10 films didn't even come close.

We didn't count films that are still in theaters, but if we had, "Cloud Atlas" would have ranked high on our list. Made for $100 million, the epic film from the Wachowski siblings has earned only $24 million at the box office since it opened two weeks ago. Unless things turn around dramatically, the film will be one of 2012's biggest bombs.

Instead of "Cloud Atlas," the second biggest turkey on our list is "A Thousand Words," the latest money-loser from Eddie Murphy. There was a time when the comedian was one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, and for good reason: Movies like "Dr. Dolittle" and "Norbit" were huge hits.

More from Forbes: In Pictures: 2012's Biggest Movie Turkeys

Today, Murphy should probably stick to voice roles like Donkey in "Shrek." His live-action films have been tanking at the box office. "A Thousand Words" only earned 50 percent of its $40 million production budget back at the box office.

The third biggest turkey on our list is "Dredd," a remake of the 1995 film "Judge Dredd," which was based on a comic strip. The film had lots of fan boys excited, but the audience never got much broader. "Dredd," which starred Karl Urban in the role made famous by Sylvester Stallone, earned only 56 percent of its estimated $50 million budget back at the box office.

"Big Miracle" ranks fourth on our list with $25 million at the box office on a $40 million budget. Star Drew Barrymore is another big celebrity who has had a difficult time at the box office lately. Her last hit was 2009's "He's Just Not That Into You," which was really an ensemble film but one that Barrymore also produced. The actress, who recently gave birth to her first child, doesn't have upcoming roles planned at the moment.

Rounding out our top five is "Wanderlust." Despite the combined star power of Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, the film only earned only 70 percent of its estimated budget of $30 million. Though audiences didn't flock to the film, Aniston did have some luck in love on the movie -- she met her fiancé Justin Theroux on the film.

Related articles from Forbes.com:
Entertainment's Highest-Paid Women
Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actors
The Highest-Paid Actresses
The Most Overexposed Celebrities

36Comments
Nov 15, 2012 5:21AM
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The story line in Judge Dredd was insufficient, it's scope should have been widened and the characters a bit more detailed.  it needed another 45 minutes and more money spent to polish it.  I will say their use of  3d broke some ground and were often astounding.  The time expansion effects as depicted of those who were high on drugs were incredible.  My understanding was that the movie was shot full 3d in parts but in 2d which was converted to 3d in the mind altering sequences; if I am wrong someone will tell me.  The real3d process in this movie was much improved in clairity and scenes that needed dark and dreary looked really dark and dreary, not because of the glasses and bright scenes looked much better as well.  Mundane scenes had interesting depth and perspective and I felt no eye strain with the 3d glasses slipped over my own astigmatism correcting frames.  There was absolutely no 3d image collapse no matter where i focused my eyes on that screen.  I told folks to go see it for the eye candy and you'll get a notion as to how much 3d has improved.  As for the story...promising premises but a huge miss!
Nov 15, 2012 3:32AM
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I've seen only a handful of movies over the past few decades that weren't complete duds.  I walk out of the theater feeling completely ripped off.  It seems these duds can be spotted by watching the trailers--usually the best scenes are saved for that but the rest of the movie is a gigantic steaming pile of cinamatic crap!  Unless I get a personal recommend from a close friend who has the same taste in films as I do, I don't waste money going to the movies.  I might rent it when it goes to on demand through my cable company.  That way I've only wasted $4.99-$6.99 instead of the $20.00 or more my husband and I would have spent at the theaters on the movie, snacks and drinks. 
Nov 15, 2012 12:16AM
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Oogieloves actually DID have a TV show. I'm not sure if the title was Oogieloves but I sure remember watching it while babysitting my niece. I thought it was quite horrible but was mildly amused that their vacuum cleaner father's name is J Edgar....get it?

Maybe it was only on in Michigan since this guy is from Michigan but there was definitely a show.
Nov 14, 2012 11:31PM
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wanderlust wasn't a bad movie just didn't advertise for the movie good you should go out and see it and thousand words wasn't a bad movie but was nothing compared to eddie murphys other movies the other movies i've never even heard of and drew barrymore is a shtty actress if it wasn't for her supporting cast in some of her other movies she'd be nothing.
Nov 14, 2012 11:01PM
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i just saw cloud atlas.  i really liked it.  even as long as it was i really never thought it was over long.  i likded the premise and liked the realization on screen from the book.  as awlays, there are people who think other movies deserve to be on your list.  i saw the movie "abraham lincoln, vampire slayer".  i think i did lose some brain cells during that.  incredibly stupid, dumb premise and really bad all around. 
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