Summer 2017 could be described accurately as a “Tale of Two Cinemas,” as it was a season that told two very different stories about the state of Hollywood’s biggest quarter. For critics and film lovers, this summer was a real treat, delivering a large batch of diverse, filmmaker-driven movies such as Edgar Wright’s blistering Baby Driver, Christopher Nolan’s evocative World War II drama Dunkirk, and Kathryn Bigelow’s harrowing Detroit (and these films had great box office showings to boot). On the flip side, it was a much different situation for the majority of the summer’s blockbuster releases, which Hollywood relies on to drive massive ticket sales each year.
Outside a trio of commercially and critically successful superhero flicks — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man: Homecoming — pretty much every big title failed to meet expectations, including well-established franchise like Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers. All that combined to make summer 2017 the lowest domestic gross since 2006 and the fewest number of tickets sold since 1992. Interestingly, despite the overall crumminess of this summer, there were fewer big box office bombs than usual, instead replaced by frequent under-performers. Here are the most disappointing box office performances of the summer.
Domestic Box Office: $22 million
Foreign Box Office: $24.2 million
Budget: $20 million
This summer was particularly brutal for comedies, which have increasingly become a reliable source of box office success due to their lower production costs and broad appeal. While Girls Trip ended up being one of the summer’s breakout hits, the season’s other raunchy, female ensemble comedy, Rough Night, was a box office misfire.
In spite of its impressive cast, led by Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, Rough Night barely registered with audiences, earning a worldwide gross of around $46 million. Although it only had a budget of $20 million, Rough Night barely made that money back once you factor in marketing and other other costs, and the film’s mediocre Rotten Tomatoes score (48%) may have played a role in convincing audiences to skip this R-rated comedy.