The lowest grossing films of Hollywood's biggest A-listers

Sam Ashurst
Contributor
Dwayne Johnson in Southland Tales (credit: Universal)

The receipts are in, and Melissa McCarthy’s woman-focused gangster movie The Kitchen has bombed.

The New Line crime drama - which hasn’t been released in the UK - made just $5.5 million (£4.6M) in its opening weekend in the US.

It’s a far cry from her former hits, stuff like Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters. Of course, there’s a chance The Kitchen will go on to take just under $300 million like those movies, but it’s probably pretty unlikely.

Read more: The Kitchen sets unwanted record for Melissa McCarthy

Still, McCarthy shouldn’t be too sad about the film’s failure, she’s in very good company when it comes to having a massive flop on her CV.

And if the following examples are to be believed, she’ll bounce back.

Dwayne Johnson: Southland Tales (2006) - $275k

Director Richard Kelly (L) poses with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (C) and Sarah Michelle Gellar at a cocktail party for 'Southland Tales', 2006. (REUTERS/Tom Boland)

The artist formerly known as ‘The Rock’ might be currently packing in multiplexes with Hobbs & Shaw, but not even Jason Statham could’ve saved Southland Tales. From the director of Donnie Darko, the surreal LA noir couldn’t even muster half a million at the global box office. For someone who’s as aware of his brand as Johnson, it was a tough blow to take.

Read more: 'Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw' opens to $180m worldwide

Southland Tales hurt,” said Johnson. “I took it in the gut. We all went into that movie having so much trust, and a script that was complex and interesting. At times, you’re like, ‘What the f*** is going on?’ Richard Kelly, who was a good friend, was so passionate about that movie.”

Jennifer Lawrence: Garden Party (2008) - $21k

Jennifer Lawrence in Garden Party (credit: Roadside Attractions)

Southland Tales was a hit compared to Garden Party, which is a movie that tried to be a riff on Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (following a group of disparate youths in LA), but should probably have stayed on the cutting room floor.

With just 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, this was a fairly ignominious way for future super star Jennifer Lawrence to make her movie debut.

No wonder everyone thinks Lawrence’s first film was Winter’s Bone, because at least people actually saw that particular indie hit.

Bradley Cooper: Midnight Meat Train (2008) - $83k

Bradley Cooper in Midnight Meat Train (credit: Lionsgate)

Bradley Cooper made a rare foray into horror in 2008, taking on Vinnie Jones’ train-based killer in this glossy adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story of the same name. He hasn’t been back since, probably because it was such a massive flop.

Worldwide gross took the film to $3 million, but even on a low budget of $15 million, that’s not enough.

Still, Cooper has enough of a sense of humour about it to allow it to be used as an in-joke in Silver Linings Playbook.

“I remember when David O Russell asked, ‘What do you want the movie to be on the marquee?’” Cooper said. “And I didn’t even know if he was joking or not, but he said, ‘What about Midnight Meat Train?’ And then I show up on set and there it is, with the posters in the entranceway to the theatre, too! It was fantastic. You can just almost see it.”

Angelina Jolie: Hell's Kitchen (1998) - $11k

Angelina Jolie in Hell's Kitchen (credit: HK Film Corporation)

What is it about movies with ‘Kitchen’ in the title starring iconic actresses that film-goers have such a problem with? Whatever it is, Jolie’s Hell’s Kitchen makes Melissa McCarthy’s The Kitchen look like Avengers: Endgame - grossing just $4,322 on its opening weekend, from a budget of $6 million. Yikes!

Read more: Major stars who refuse to watch their own films

We’re not sure why people didn’t connect to the story of an ex-convict being targeted for revenge by his ex-girlfriend, but this is one of the worst flops on the list. Unbelievably, it’s not the actual worst.

Sandra Bullock: Who Shot Pat? (1989) - $2,300

Sandra Bullock in Who Shot Pat? (credit: Castle Hill Productions)

Sandra Bullock’s Who Shot Patakango? (otherwise known as Who Shot Pat? ) was such a failure, there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of it.

The film follows a bunch high school teens in the late 1950s, in a Romeo & Juliet style tale of a tough hood who falls in love with a preppy girl (played by Bullock).

That $2,300 box office figure came from just one theatre, which sounds like the film was four-walled (a single screening that distributors pay for, so they can get reviews to help them sell the film on home video) to us.

But whatever reason for the limited release, the edgy drama probably isn’t the first film Bullock mentions at social functions.

Ben Affleck: Glory Daze (1995) - $15k

Ben Affleck in Glory Daze (credit: Seventh Art Productions)

Oh, the irony - this definitely wasn’t one of Ben Affleck’s glory days, but let’s not lay the blame solely at his feet.

The coming-of-age frat bro flick had an astonishing cast, including Matt Damon, Sam Rockwell, Matthew McConaughey, Brendan Fraser, and Alyssa Milano.

Somehow, the slacker comedy managed to waste all of that talent on a meandering story populated almost entirely by unlikeable characters.

Earning just $15k, it should have been the lowest grossing movie for everyone involved - but Alyssa Milano also appears in the next movie on our list.

Robert Downey Jr: Hugo Pool (1997) - $13k

Robert Downey Jr in Hugo Pool (credit: BMG Independents)

Yep, Robert Downey Jr’s low moment was also Alyssa Milano’s - the actress led this tale of a young woman running a pool cleaning business, with Robert Downey Jr one of her clients.

Read more: Newly discovered Endgame cameo revealed

In this post-Endgame world it’s impossible to imagine an RDJ movie making less money than he’s probably lost behind the sofa, but this really did gross just $13k. That said, it was in considerably less cinemas than Endgame - just four theatres for two weeks.

The Kitchen will be released in the UK on 20 September.