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10 Actors Who Are Box Office Poison

All actors have their failures, there’s no disputing that, but some actors have failed so prolifically that there’s only one term to use to describe them – “box office poison”.

It’s something no actor wants to be labelled as, for it indicates a general lack of popularity with audiences – either because they’ve become tired of the actor, or never liked them in the first place – and makes them increasingly less likely to be offered A-list work in the future (hence why several on this list are currently edging towards the straight-to-video duldrums).

These 10 actors, regardless of whether they or their films are actually any good, just can’t seem to catch a break, and one thing’s for sure; if you cast any of them in your movie, there is a substantial chance that it is going to be a box office flop…

10. Taylor Kitsch
Notable Flops: John Carter ($282.7m against $250m budget), Battleship ($303m against $209m), and Savages (fared slightly better, with $82.9m against $45m).

Kitsch is the latest in a long line of actors being insisted upon audiences at the moment, despite evidence suggesting that people just don’t like him all that much. With two major box office blows in the same year, it’s safe to say that the headlining roles aren’t exactly rolling in for the guy, regardless of how talented he proved himself in Friday Night Lights.

Upcoming Projects: His best bet to bounce back is Peter Berg’s upcoming action thriller, Lone Survivor. Kitsch plays a supporting role opposite Mark Wahlberg, and given Wahlberg’s comparative popularity, it’s likely that this one will score a modest hit for the actor.

9. Ryan Reynolds
Notable Flops: Green Lantern ($219.8m against $200m), The Change-Up ($75.4m against $52m), R.I.P.D. ($59.1m against $130m), and Turbo ($142m against $135m).

Though Reynolds is an eminently popular, likable actor, he just isn’t getting the caliber projects that his talent should dictate; suffering two crushing flops in quick succession with R.I.P.D. and Turbo has surely dealt a good deal of damage to his future prospects, as studios come to realise that, despite his good looks and cocky swagger, he’s really not all that bankable, which is genuinely surprising.

Upcoming Projects: His biggest chance for a hit is Tarsem Singh’s Selfless, due out next year, though short of his Deadpool movie ever actually getting made, there’s not a whole lot on the horizon that could bring the actor surging to the top of the box office.

7. Katherine Heigl
Notable Flops: Killers ($98.1m against $75m), One for the Money (ironically titled, it pulled in just $36.8m against a $40m budget), and The Big Wedding ($35.7m against a $32m budget).

This one’s actually pretty easy to work out; Heigl has unfortunately not done herself many favours by simply coming across as so unlikable in interviews, criticising Judd Apatow despite him being the prime reason for her fame (by casting her in Knocked Up), and complaining about her work on Grey’s Anatomy. Unlike most actors on this list – and it might sound childish to say it – this is one who many might actually take a little pleasure in seeing fail.

Upcoming Projects: Animated flick The Nub Job is her best effort at scoring a box office win, yet though its budget is only $45m, this will likely be reflected in a rudimentary animation style, which could turn kids off. A modest hit is possible, but a lack of A-list names (other than Liam Neeson) could severely hold this one back.

2. Lindsay Lohan
Notable Flops: Now, here’s where things start getting really interesting. Lohan’s long list of flops include Chapter 27 ($187.4K against roughly $5m), Georgia Rule ($24.9m against $20m), I Know Who Killed Me ($9.6m against $12m), Labour Pains (not even released in the US, grossed $1.7 in UAE, Lebanon and Russia), InAPPropriate Comedy ($228k against an undisclosed budget), and The Canyons ($43.4k against $250k).

Even with her low-fi projects, Lohan just can’t seem to make a movie these days that turns a profit, and given her tawdry public profile, is it much of a surprise that audiences don’t really want to see her anymore? It’s a shame, as the fresh-faced youngster from Mean Girls had so much potential…

Upcoming Projects: Nothing, nada, zip. Lohan has absolutely nothing lined up for release or shooting, so it’s safe to say that things aren’t looking good. Though there are enough jokes about her eventually resorting to porn, the fact that her last film was shot for a mere $250k suggests that this might not be too far from the truth…

1. Clive Owen
Notable Flops: Elizabeth: The Golden Age ($74.2m against $60m), Shoot ‘Em Up ($26.8m against $39m), The International ($60.1m against $50m), Duplicity ($78.1m against $60m), The Boys Are Back ($3.1m against $16m), Trust ($120k against $4m), Killer Elite ($56.3m against $35m), Intruders ($3m against $13m) and Shadow Dancer ($330k against roughly $6-7m).

Despite being a talented and likable actor, Owen just doesn’t seem to be able to light up the box office; even when working with exceptionally talented writers, directors and co-stars, everything he’s in just seems to flounder financially, and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense (to me, at least). The fact that he’s weathered so many flops and continues to get work, then, is undeniably impressive.

Upcoming Projects: Crime drama Blood Ties is his most commercial prospect (it’s pretty decent), while action adventure flick The Last Knights will benefit from the presence of Morgan Freeman alongside him (hopefully), and then there’s Steven Soderbergh’s TV project The Knick, which depending on your view of the TV medium, will either be a good or bad thing for the actor. Still, there’s nothing huge on the horizon for the actor, and that’s a little worrying.


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