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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 14, 2012 10:14PM
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"Despite the combined star power of Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd", now that is an oxymoron.
Nov 14, 2012 7:40PM
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So many duds to choose  from, how could you lose.   Enough of Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.  
Nov 14, 2012 7:43PM
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I saw most of "A Thousand Words" on HBO and it wasn't that bad, I've seen a lot worse. Maybe not this year, but in the last 2 or 3 years I've seem horrible movies like Transformers that strangely make tons of money but everyone hates them
Nov 14, 2012 8:28PM
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This article doesn't tell the whole story though.  Many "duds" will also play overseas and often make decent box office (even if "overseas" is, well, Canada).  Several of these movies will go on to DVD or Netflix or something and earn revenue there.  Also, they'll move on to HBO or Showtime (who have to pay the studios for the right to play them) and they will make money there.  Same goes for (eventually) cable TV, etc.  Also, most studios have SEVERAL big budget, money-making films every year where they PROFIT HUGELY.  That more than balances out the duds and stinkers they produce.  Plus they have low-budget movies (such as Paranormal Activity, for example) that go on to reap massive gains.

So we can read articles like this about the bombs, but I'm not feeling all too sorry for the studios or major movie stars who earn millions for (sometimes) putting in tepid performances.

Nov 14, 2012 10:21PM
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I Wonder what some these stars do it for the money,art,fame or just to make total fools out them selfs take nicolas cage and ghost rider two that was the worst movie i seen cage in ever and he mad some stinkers but his one was the worst and a embrassbment not only to himself but to the whole marvel world..if they do a another ghost rider i pray to god either two things cage is not in it or they get a whole new director,writer, producer, everything becasue this movie sucked big time...
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