2023 had its fair share of box office success stories, and it also had a number of high-profile films that were expected to do well but came up short. This focuses on the latter.
We’ve compiled a list of movies released in 2023 that at least some people believed would perform reasonably well at the box office and then did not, for whatever reason. This list includes films like The Flash and The Marvels, two superhero films from rival companies DC and Marvel that did poorly at the box office. The Marvels, for instance, is the MCU’s worst-performing movie of all time. The Flash, for its part, was riddled with controversy surrounding actor Ezra Miller and their significant legal issues.
The list also includes the Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult vampire movie Renfield, Pixar’s Elemental, and another DC movie, Shazam: Fury of the Gods. In fact, there’s even a movie on this list that was one of the biggest earners of the year–it just wasn’t enough to offset the costs of the film.
Now, just because a film did not perform well commercially, that doesn’t necessarily say much of anything about its quality. No two people have the same taste, and measuring the success of a movie by box office alone is not fair. If you enjoyed any or all of the films on this list, that’s great. Movies are made to be enjoyed, and you might have found something to appreciate in any of the movies that might have flopped for any number of reasons this year.
Also of note is that box office performance is only one metric. Movies also make money through merchandise, streaming rights, home video sales, the movies you watch on airplanes, and numerous other revenue streams. Judging a movie’s “success” based on box office alone excludes a number of key factors and doesn’t paint a full or fair picture. However, so long as movie studios remain very tight-lipped about revenue beyond the box office, this will continue to be the leading metric, for better or worse.
Here are the top 10 biggest box office disappointments of 2023, listed in no particular order.
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