Photo: Disney/20th Century Fox/ Dark Shadows
If you were a Romney supporter, a Tigers fan, or a Twinkie enthusiast, 2012 probably proved to be a disappointing year. Check out some of the biggest disappointments of the year in movies.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
"Prometheus" looked as if it was going to be awesome. After all, you had Ridley Scott, director of the first and arguably best film in the "Alien" series, helming a big-budget, star-studded prequel. You had a script that was co-written by "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof, who helped breathe life into another moribund movie franchise, "Star Trek." The trailer for the movie was so cool that film geeks across the nation did a collective swoon when it came out. But when the film was ultimately released, "Prometheus" wasn't awesome. It was confused mess that left a lot of questions. Why would a noted scientist spontaneously decide to pull off his helmet minutes after walking out onto an alien planet? Why didn't anyone seem concerned about Noomi Rapace's character when she appeared in the spaceship covered in blood and with a bunch of staples in her gut? Why did Charlize Theron not run out of the path of that giant rolling doughnut-shaped spacecraft? Why? Why? Why?
Photo: Warner Bros
The Wachowskis and Tom Twyker aimed for the rafters with this big-budget adaptation of David Mitchell's brilliant novel. It was one of those movies that was going to be either a masterpiece or a failure. It turned out to be both. With its dense, complex storylines and unabashedly philosophical message, "Cloud Atlas" is a movie that all but demands multiple viewings. It might very well be one of the best films of the year, but it failed to connect with audiences. The movie, which was reportedly budgeted at over $100 million, grossed only $26 million domestically. Expect this flick to become a cult fave when it comes out on DVD.
After directing "WALL-E," one of the best movies of the past decade, director Andrew Stanton seemingly could do no wrong. Then he did "John Carter." Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs's hugely influential book series, "John Carter" suffered from a basic problem: Filmmakers like George Lucas and James Cameron had already incorporated the coolest parts of the books into their own iconic movies. A straight adaptation just felt like old hat. Add to that an unfortunate title change -- the original name for the movie was the far more memorable "John Carter of Mars" -- a ballooning budget, and a lackluster opening weekend, and you've got the biggest bomb of the year.
Photo: Universal Pictures
Poor Taylor Kitsch. The "Friday Night Lights" star entered the year at the cusp of A-list stardom, and then he wound up headlining not one but two bona fide box office bombs, "John Carter" and "Battleship." Based on the beloved board game, that latter movie is indeed about a battleship. But it's also about aliens that decide to fight the naval vessel. It's the sort of silly plot line that my five-year-old nephew might come up with, but somehow Universal sank hundreds of millions of dollars into the project. In the end, they are looking to lose more than $150 million on the flick.
Photo: Columbia Pictures/Open Road Films
Remakes, Remakes, Remakes
If there was more proof this year of the depressing, and disappointing, timidity of movie studios -- aside from making a movie based on a board game -- it's the proliferation of unnecessary movie remakes. Case in point: Len Wiseman's "Total Recall" was a special-effects-laden dud that had little of the loopy fun of the original. "Red Dawn" proved to be even worse. While the original "Red Dawn" was a jingoistic action flick, definitely a guilty pleasure, the film fit with the Reagan-era Cold War paranoia of the time. The remake was just pointless. During production, the movie's villains were the Chinese military. During the editing process, however, someone must have pointed out that people in China in fact buy a lot of movie tickets. So those villains where scrubbed in favor of North Korea, a country that can't properly feed itself. Next year doesn't look any better, with "Robocop," "Carrie," and "Annie" remakes scheduled to hit the theaters.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
For anyone who has ever watched the British TV series "The IT Crowd" -- and seriously, if you haven't seen it, see it -- you know that Richard Ayoade as the otherworldly nerd Moss is freaking hilarious. He should have been a breakout star along the lines of Rebel Wilson, but sadly, instead of starring in "Pitch Perfect," he starred in "The Watch." The movie was already in trouble when it was forced to change its name from "The Neighborhood Watch," thanks to that whole unfortunate Trayvon Martin business. The movie is a standard-issue Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill bro comedy but with aliens. Again with the aliens. The movie didn't find much of an audience and ultimately took in only about half of what it cost to make. Hopefully, Ayoade will find himself in the next Kristen Wiig movie.
Photo: Warner Bros
Pushed to 2013
There was a moment there that 2012 looked like it was going to be the best movie year ever for comic fans. Not only was the long promised "Avengers" film and the final installment of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy going to hit the screens but also "Man of Steel," a Nolan-produced, Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot. Batman, Avengers, and Superman? In the end, a summer filled with three A-list superheroes proved to be too much crime-fighting awesomeness for one year and the "Man of Steel" was bumped to 2013. But that wasn't the only highly anticipated flick to get the nudge. "G.I Joe: Retaliation", Baz Luhrman's "The Great Gatsby" and "Gangster Squad" were also previously slated for this year only to get moved to 2013.
Photo: Warner Bros
"Rock of Ages"
As it turns out, audiences were really not interested in watching a shirtless, long-haired Tom Cruise rock out to power ballads.
Photo: Kenn Viselman
"The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure"
This vaguely creepy children's' movie, boasting a cast of Toni Braxton, Christopher Lloyd, and Jaime Pressly, proved to be the biggest bomb of all time. Though the movie cost around $60 million, including marketing and advertising, it took in barely $1 million at the end of the day. While it might not be a movie disappointment on par with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," it certainly wasn't good news for the poor sots who invested in this flick.
Photo: Warner Bros/Disney
Director Tim Burton had a bad year. On paper, his remake of the cult '60s TV series "Dark Shadows" should have been great. The series' campy gothic tone seemed like a natural fit with Burton. It starred Johnny Depp as a whey-faced vampire and the divine Michelle Pfeiffer. Yet when it was released, the movie proved to be disappointing, plagued with some major story problems. While "Dark Shadows" did OK at the box office, it was savaged by critics. In October, Burton released the stop-motion-animation movie "Frankenweenie." It came in fifth during its opening weekend and overall failed to create the cult buzz that marked Burton's last foray into animation, "The Nightmare Before Christmas."