The Flops that weren't flops
[Related story: Hansel & Gretel to get a sequel?]
[Related story: Biggest movie flops of 2012]
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Things weren't looking too good for Jeremy Renner's Hansel and ex-Bond girl Gemma Aterton's Gretel. An opening weekend of $30 million (£19.8 million) was being forecast but it pulled in a much slimmer $18 million (£12 million). The reviews too were not particularly kind, turning up a 15% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Then there was the 'Jack The Giant Slayer' factor, another fairytale property which had bombed disastrously just a week or so before. But plucky Hansel & Gretel were not done with. The world market voted with its feet, and from the jaws of defeat, the sibling pair has pulled $205 million (£136 million) – and counting. Now there's a sequel in the offing. Flop, schmop.
Time magazine called 'Hook' 'the rare Spielberg flop'. Indeed, his re-imaging of the Peter Pan myth failed to capture the imaginations of, well, anyone really. The critics hated it, and even Spielberg sort of hated it. He told Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode earlier this year: “I wanna see 'Hook' again because I so don't like that movie, and I'm hoping someday I'll see it again and perhaps like some of it." Spielberg, and its stars Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams, took no salaries, instead going for a 40% share of the gross revenue. Dumb move, right? Wrong. The 'rare Spielberg flop' made over $300 million (£198 million). Now that's a payday.
(Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Planet of the Apes
The 2001 reboot of 'Planet of the Apes' was in development for well over a decade. Stars such as Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger came and went, and it went through every top director in Hollywood – Peter Jackson, Oliver Stone, Sam Raimi, Chris Columbus, Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich and James Cameron were all linked at one point or another. Tim Burton eventually took it on. But the results weren't good. Critics and fans of the original films mostly disliked it, while the 'open ending' annoyed many. It didn't flop, however. Against all odds, and likely down to good will for both the franchise and Burton, it made $362 million (£239 million), well over three times its production budget.