- Failed fantasy movies have the potential for successful reboots with the right script and special effects, as seen in these 10 box office bombs.
- Despite their commercial failure, these movies possess redeemable qualities, such as unique concepts and cult followings, making them good candidates for modern reboots.
- With their untapped potential, failed fantasy films like “Legend,” “Mortal Engines,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” could become the next big fantasy franchises with the right creative direction.
The fantasy genre is full of smash hits and popular franchises, but these 10 failed fantasy movies deserve a modern reboot even though they bombed the first time. Due to their high budgets and hefty production times, fantasy movies often require a pretty massive box office in order to succeed. Because of this, there is an unusual number of fantasies that have bombed throughout the years. However, a movie bombing doesn’t necessarily mean that the film doesn’t have anything of value, as these 10 box office failures could be the next big fantasy franchises if they were rebooted.
Fantasy is one of the most popular movie genres, with massive franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter taking the genre in all kinds of different directions. Due to the massive successes of these types of films, plenty of other studios have dumped copious amounts of money into their own fantasy films in an attempt to start a franchise. However, this doesn’t always work out, with several forgotten fantasy films turning into massive box office bombs. Luckily, each of these 10 movies has something redeemable about them, with all of them having the potential for a fantastic modern reboot with the right script and special effects.
1985’s Legend was a massive fantasy film that featured big names like Tom Cruise and Ridley Scott. The film follows a band of young heroes who attempt to save the world from Darkness and his evil forces, played by Tim Curry. Legend made only $23.5 million on a budget of $25 million, and while it does have a cult following, its critical and commercial failure have led to it being mostly forgotten. However, the massive world of Legend has all kinds of potential for a modern reboot, with the film’s incredible effects and worldbuilding adding an instant hook to a modern reboot.
9 Mortal Engines
The 2018 film Mortal Engines was an odd one, as it was a huge $100 million project that had almost no buzz. Based on the popular book series of the same name, Mortal Engines takes place in a world in which all of Earth’s major cities reside on the backs of giant titans. Although the film did fail, making only $83.7 million at the box office, its unique concept could easily lend itself to a great movie. Mortal Engines suffered from a bad script and bad marketing, but the franchise could be the foundation for building a popular and well-received franchise.
8 King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
King Arthur movies have always been hit or miss, and sadly, the recent 2017 film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was a miss. The Guy Ritchie film made only $148.7 million on a budget of $175 million, with it being a big flop for Warner Bros. Although the first film didn’t work out, Ritchie planned on making multiple sequels, all of which ended up being scrapped. It’s entirely possible that Guy Ritchie could lead a fantastic King Arthur franchise, but sadly his stylistic take on the classic tale only had to mess up once for the series to be ruined.
7 Jack The Giant Slayer
2013’s Jack the Giant Slayer was an epic take on the classic fairy tale, with the big-budget fantasy movie attempting to make a box office hit out of the iconic beanstalk climber. The film made $197 million, which for most movies isn’t bad at all. However, Jack the Giant Slayer cost around $200 million, meaning that it didn’t even turn a profit. Jack the Giant Slayer wasn’t a bad movie, and the world of the giants is a fun one to explore. If an updated take on the fairy tale could tweak the story and cut the budget a bit, a new Jack the Giant Slayer movie could truly succeed.
6 Gods Of Egypt
Mythologies are a popular well of ideas for fantasy movies, with the Greek and Norse pantheons commonly being the subject of major fantasy franchises like Percy Jackson and Thor. Gods of Egypt attempted to give the Egyptian gods the same treatment, but it sadly flopped hard. The 2016 film made only $150 million on a budget of $140 million, which doesn’t count things like marketing and distribution. This failure was mostly due to incredibly poor word of mouth, but if a new Gods of Egypt movie actually had a good script, a fantasy series about the Egyptian gods could be huge.
5 The Black Cauldron
Disney’s animated The Black Cauldron movie is one of the company’s few flops, with the 1985 film making only $21.3 million on a $44 million budget. The film is based on the popular fantasy book series The Chronicles of Prydain, which could carry a massive franchise on its own. Disney does live-action remakes all the time, although they tend to be based on their classic movies. If Disney made a live-action remake of The Black Cauldron, it could be a huge hit, with a franchise based on The Chronicles of Prydain having the potential to match the success of Lord of the Rings.
4 The Kid Who Would Be King
The Kid Who Would Be King is a 2019 film that flopped at the box office, despite it being a critical success. The film made only $32.1 million on a budget of $50 million, but it could have done a lot better. The Kid Who Would Be King would work perfectly as a series on a family-oriented streaming service like Dinsey+, with it being full of all kinds of story potential.
3 Reign of Fire
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, and Gerard Butler, 2002’s Reign of Fire had all the pieces needed to be a big hit. However, the film somehow flopped, making only $82.2 million on a budget of $60 million. The film explores a world in which underground dragons return to the surface and cause the apocalypse, a concept so cool and unique that it truly deserves a reboot.
1985’s Ladyhawke is an often forgotten fantasy film that, despite making only $18.4 million on a budget of $20 million, got pretty good reviews. The film follows a thief who gets caught up in a dangerous battle between a warrior and the Bishop of Aquila, and while the concept may not sound too unique, the film succeeds in its execution. If Ladyhawke was given another shot, it could truly do well, as the film already has a cult following that would support a reboot.
1 Something Wicked This Way Comes
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a fantastic horror fantasy film from 1981, but it too sadly failed. The film made only $8.4 million on a budget of $20 million, but it has gained a cult following in the decades since its release. The film follows a mysterious carnival owner who grants wishes, but each of his wishes has a dark twist. Although it is a family movie, Something Wicked This Way Comes is pretty terrifying, and a modern take on the classic fantasy story could scare modern audiences just as much.