10 SF & Fantasy Movie Flops That Shouldnt Have Been

FROM THE SFX ARCHIVES: Underachieving films we still kinda love, by Steve O’Brien, originally published in 2009. Would you add John Carter to this list?


1988 • Director: Terry Gilliam
Box office: $23.5 million
The tall tales and fantastical adventures of a 17th century aristocrat. Not exactly Ken Loach.
Why it shouldn’t have flopped: Typically for Terry Gilliam it’s bursting with invention and imagination. It’s sharp and funny and rich in sumptuous visuals and great comic turns.
Why it probably flopped: Again, it’s Terry Gilliam isn’t it? Sometimes the full-on assault of his imagination can be a bit too much to take. And with a pretty unknown 62-year-old as your lead it’s not going to break box office records. God, Gilliam can’t even have a success when he’s got Johnny Depp in his movie!

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