24 Major Movies That Were DOA (And Where To Find Them)

When it comes to studio poles and blockbuster movies, it’s not necessarily better to burn in than fade.

When a movie studio falls short of releasing a big movie, there’s always hope that it will be a hit or even generate its own franchise.

Twentieth Century Studios

However, filmmaking is a gamble, and many films struggle to reclaim their budget while others fall into obscurity without much of a fight. With that, I’ve rounded up 24 notable studio releases that died on arrival and are mostly forgotten today!


Max Payne

20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Mark Wahlberg stars in this toothless and no-nonsense video game that has replaced many of the featured elements of the source material with… CGI valkyries???

Where to watch: HBO Max.


Researcher: Darkness is rising

Rights Management / Mark Platt Products / Ronald Grant Archives / Mary Evans / Courtesy Everett Collection

Student Hope to become the next day Harry Potter-esque YA but unfortunately lacks the magic needed to force audiences to check out this huge budget bug.

Where to watch: Video on demand.


Deliver us from evil

Screen Jewels / The Everett Collection Courtesy of

Even a rating “Based on real events” cannot be saved evil A misguided procedural hybrid directed by Scott Derrickson (Joel McHale as a knife-fighting detective?).

Where to watch: Video on demand


land of the lost

Universal Collection / Courtesy Everett

Will Ferrell was apparently bomb-proof until his attempt to restart the adventure properties of Sid and Marty Croft for a new generation explodes upon release.

Where to watch: peacock.


Ember City

Universal Collection / Courtesy Everett

beast house Director Jill Keenan had hoped to boost Walden Media’s next major franchise, but even names like producer Tom Hanks and star Bill Murray failed to muster enough enthusiasm to fire up the box office.

Where to watch: stars



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Before Idris Elba, Chris Evans, and Zoe Saldana entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they loaned their talents to a DC comic that couldn’t blow enough audiences to warrant future installments.

Where to watch: HBO Max


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Touchstone Images/Collections Courtesy of Everett

After he rose to fame with his role in the original version of the deskHollywood lured Martin Freeman for the title of this long-awaited adaptation of the beloved British novel that unfortunately hasn’t fully translated to audiences in the United States.

Where to watch: Roku Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu



Netflix Collection / Courtesy Everett

One of Netflix’s first major acquisitions from a rival studio, the flick about big-budget soldiers-for-lives was forgotten as fast as it got on the streaming device.

Where to watch: Netflix


man from uncle

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Alicia Vikander were the newest stars in Hollywood at the time, but their collective ambition and the elegant direction of Guy Ritchie couldn’t sustain this inspiring espionage.

Where to watch: Toby



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

The success that Kate Beckinsale found in Hell The franchise was not replicated by this poorly marketed and heavily criticized thriller.

Where to watch: Video on demand



New Line Cinema / The Everett Collection Courtesy of

Arguably the nail in Brendan Fraser’s coffin as a leading man, New Line Cinema’s disastrous adaptation of Cornelia Funk’s 2003 novel could not end with their storybook.

Where to watch: Video on demand


lollipop punch

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Zack Snyder’s polarizing action fantasy has been described as a little-known masterpiece and fetish failure, but one that can’t be called a box office success.

Where to watch: Netflix


Wrinkle in time

Atsushi Nishijima / The Walt Disney Company / The Everett Collection Courtesy of

Ava DuVernay and Walt Disney Pictures assembled a star-studded revival of Madeleine L’Engle’s formative novel, but the movie barely had a pulse on its underwhelming start.

Where to watch: Disney +


Cirque du Frick: The Vampire’s Helper

worldwide / prod db / scientific

Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages stay away from this quirky movie, John C. Reilly, which is based on the popular Darren Sheen book series.

Where to watch: Video on demand


Tin Teng Adventures

Paramount Pictures/The Everett Collection Courtesy of

With Steven Spielberg behind the camera, Peter Jackson in the producer chair (and the sequel slated to be directed), and script penned by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Stephen Moffat, international audiences have embraced this global, yet unsatisfying, action-capture adventure. The box office prevented Tintin from going up again.

Where to watch: HBO Max


the giver

The Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Group

Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel has been a staple in middle school classes across America, but mandatory reading doesn’t translate into indispensable filmmaking, even if you have Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Taylor Swift in the cast.

Where to watch: Netflix


First team

20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Joe Carnahan was tasked with bringing a modern, engaging A-team into the 21st century, but a lame duck script and general indifference to the 30-plus-year-old property caused the film to barely slay our cultural radar.

Where to watch: hollow



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Superstar Johnny Depp’s stature is called into question after leading this sci-fi thriller about artificial intelligence scientists racing to complete a project that could help their dying colleague keep his consciousness forever faltered astonishingly at the box office.

Where to watch: hollow


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

STX Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Group

Luc Besson hopes valerian will become another Fifth ElementThe level hit with its dazzling visual effects and fresh cast, but all of her ambition eventually fell to theaters half-full.

Where to watch: Video on demand


mortal engines

Universal Pictures/Collected with permission from Everett

This sci-fi film by Peter Jackson asked the question: Will people race to see a movie about travel and predatory cities? Unfortunately, the answer was “no”.

Where to watch: peacock and hollow


Alex Cross

Top Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

This high-profile movie was set to reintroduce fan-favorite character James Patterson to a new generation, but it turns out that audiences couldn’t accept Madea long ago as a hero full of masculinity.

Where to watch: HBO Max



Universal Collection / Courtesy Everett

Believe it or not, Ron Howard’s $70 million comedy about infidelity, starring Kevin James, Vince Vaughn, and Winona Ryder, baffled audiences with its presence in 2011 as much as it is today.

Where to watch: peacock


in the heart of the sea

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Ron Howard’s marine-adventure film about a doomed whaling ship starring Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland, unfortunately, sank to the bottom of the box office upon its release in 2015.

Where to watch: hollow


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The Walt Disney Company / Collection Courtesy of Everett

In one of the biggest blunders in the history of casting, Jake Gyllenhaal was mistakenly recruited to star in this not-so-glamorous video game that not only ruined this potential franchise but also served as a benchmark against the game series as well.

Where to watch: Disney +