12 Of The Biggest Box Office Bombs Of The 1980s – Which Is Your Guilty Pleasure?

Not every film that’s made can be a massive box office success. Some do very well, others do OK, and some simply don’t perform how the studio hope – in fact, some fall flat on their face and bomb at the box office!

Some of the films that don’t perform well at the box office go on to garner massive cult followings as the years go on, and so eventually recoup their initial costs and more, but we’re looking at how films initially did at the box office, so let’s take a look at some big-name films that didn’t perform well at the box office on initial release…

1. 9 ½ Weeks

This film became infamous for certain scenes involving food from the fridge being used erotically, but that didn’t help the film perform at the box office in the US, though it was more popular in other territories in which it was released unedited!

2. The Abyss

A big-budget Sci-fi film directed by James Cameron who would go on to direct Titanic. The Abyss is a very good film, but simply didn’t have the pace of other big-budget Sci-Fi films like Star Wars and so left audiences staying away from the box office!

3. Blade Runner

The very definition of a film that performs poorly at the box office, but becomes a major success as the years go by, this has become a real cult hit and is a popular film with fans the World over and has been released in various cuts over the years.

4. The Blob

A bigger-budget remake of a 1958 horror film, The Blob was praised for its special effects which were ahead of its time, but that didn’t stop the film performing very poorly at the box office taking just over $8 million dollars!

5. Dune

A well-known and big-budget film based on the famous book by Frank Herbert. The film was too ambitious for what they were able to do at the time and so it was felt it simply didn’t do justice to the source material, seeing it bomb at the box office.

6. Earth Girls Are Easy

A comedy sci-fi film starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum and Jim Carey in one of his earliest roles, but it wasn’t massively funny and failed to engage with audiences, so they simply stayed away from the cinemas leading to this doing poorly.

7. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

Basing a film on some disgusting collectable cards must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but this is widely regarded as one of the worst films of all time and audiences obviously agreed and stayed away!

8. Ishtar

This is one of the films most famous for bombing at the box office and is widely regarded as an example of how to make one of the worst films of all time! Negative reviews helped to ensure audiences went to see something else instead!

9. Little Monsters

Fred Savage was a big star in the 80s and many of his films did very well as a result, but this wasn’t one of them, getting a limited release in cinemas and taking less than $1 million!

10. Pink Cadillac

This film made the mistake of opening opposite Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and this meant that the film ended up taking nowhere near the forecasted results and it was deemed a box office failure as a result.

11. Return to Oz

This performed very poorly in the US, though it did better overseas where audiences appreciated its faith to the source material, but that didn’t stop the film making a loss of $17 Million when compared to its budget!

12. Shock Treatment

Trying to capitlaise on the massive success seen after the release of its prequel, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment simply couldn’t get it quite right in the same way and didn’t connect with audiences, seeing them stay away as a result.

How many of these films that did badly have you seen, and do you secretly love some of them? Personally I am a big fan of Blade Runner, The Abyss and Return to Oz so box office takings don’t mean everything regarding a film’s quality. Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments as always.