A box office flop, sometimes known as a box office bomb, is a film that fails to meet or exceed its budget when it is released to the general audience. While a few films that are labeled flop eventually make enough money via DVD/Blu-ray rentals and sales to generate a profit, many others are just losses for the makers and distributors. Sometimes, outlooks for a film and very high budgets far surpass critical reviews and attendance and the movie turns into an instant bomb. The fact that it’s difficult to predict what people will appreciate is perhaps the most common reason for a film’s failure.
A box office flop can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including poor direction, a lousy script, or inadequate acting. Although the film may have excellent stars, but star power alone does not guarantee box office success; a few great flops have featured exceptionally well-known and popular actors. A significant failure does not always ruin an actor’s career, even if it doesn’t necessarily augur well for future contract talks.
Furthermore, because movie theatres do not just show movies for free, a portion of every ticket sold is used to fund the theatre. Sometimes a film fails because everyone expects it to be bad – perhaps it’s a sequel to a bad film, or it’s in a genre that the director isn’t known for, or it involves a director/actor/producer who turns off viewers for one cause or another, or it’s presumed to be a rip-off of an older film or a remake. Even good films might suffer at the box office if they are very expensive to produce. Many independent films are released in fewer than a few hundred theatres, making it difficult for high-budget films to repay their costs.