Flop movies appear each year, and 2023 was not an exception. Occasionally, films fail to live up to the praise they receive or even the audience’s expectations. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the major flop movies of 2023 are also the worst films of the year. Nonetheless, some overlap does exist between the two categories.
Our selections for the most disappointing movies of the year comprise two superhero disasters, a science fiction dinosaur downer, the final action film starring Sylvester Stallone, and the concluding adventure of Indiana Jones.
Here is the list of major flop movies of 2023:
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Following the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, our anticipation for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was unfairly high. However, given the caliber of the first three Indiana Jones movies, we wanted the iconic hero played by Harrison Ford to receive the appropriate send-off. Instead, Dial of Destiny was merely adequate; in fact, it is arguably the finest film on this compilation. However, in comparison to its forebears, it falls short.
Certain segments of this sequel are undeniably excellent, such as the extended prologue in which Harrison Ford is digitally aged to appear as Indiana Jones in his prime, near the conclusion of World War II. The Dial of Destiny failed to captivate the audience in the same way that the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant did in the preceding films. Helena Shaw (portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Indy’s goddaughter, is an enhancement over his son from the previous film; however, this adventure lacks vitality in some way.
Watch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on Disney+.
Could any on-screen duo be more irritating than the two Ezra Millers from The Flash? It did not come as a surprise that Miller’s persona, when duplicated, was so irritating. Miller’s Flash in Justice League was already a chore to witness. However, James Gunn himself proclaimed The Flash to be the finest superhero film of all time. Precautionary statement: It was not. On the contrary, it is true.
When The Flash television series adapts the Flashpoint plot more effectively, there will be a problem worth over $200 million. In their brief cameos, Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle did their best, respectively, as Batman and Supergirl, while Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck were outstanding. However, it is indisputable that the narrative was an enormous failure, and the highly anticipated cameo appearances towards the conclusion of the film were, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, extremely disrespectful to the actors who passed away.
Watch The Flash on Max.
How can battling dinosaurs become hard? In 1965, casting Adam Driver as one of the sole protagonists was decisive. Although Driver possesses some acting ability, he was unable to sustain an entire film like this by himself. Ariana Greenblatt, who portrayed the youthful Ahsoka on Ahsoka, provides Driver with her only obstacle in the form of Koa, the other survivor of the collision that transported them to Earth millions of years ago.
The film presents inquiries that it neglects to provide resolutions for. Specifically, why was the driver operating an Uber spaceship? That complete nonsensitude might have been disregarded had 65 featured some incredible dinosaur action. It was, in fact, an uphill struggle.
Watch 65 on Netflix.
While none of the films in the The Expendables franchise have been particularly remarkable, Expendables was an absolute disaster. Although this film was intended to serve as a fitting farewell for the action career of Sylvester Stallone, his character, Barney Ross, scarcely appears. As the protagonist, Jason Statham‘s Lee Christmas is passable, but the rest of the cast was uninteresting.
Given how often we’ve seen the cliche “prevent a madman from starting World War III” plot, the film’s screenplay could have been composed in the 1980s. No one would have had any complaints about the plot or the uninspired characters if the action had been more engaging. There is, however, a significant issue when an expendable film is incapable of producing thrilling action sequences. Furthermore, it is time to lay this franchise to rest, as its stars have well past their bedtime.
Rent or buy Expend4bles on Prime Video and other digital outlets.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
We cannot allow Marvel to pass us by after its dismal year at the box office. The Marvels are not included on this list because we had anticipated that it would be disappointing. This list includes Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania due to the significant decline in quality it exhibited in comparison to the preceding two films. As a Rick and Morty veteran, cheap quips and an abhorrent screenplay supplanted the entirety of the sincerity and humor present in the two preceding films.
By allowing Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to defeat an individual who is purportedly an Avengers-level threat, Quantumania ruined Kang’s official first full-length appearance, even if Johnathan Majors had not been exiled from Marvel Studios subsequent to his conviction for reckless assault and harassment. When Marvel’s funniest character has already eliminated one of this villain’s most notable variants, how can we take Kang seriously?
It is noteworthy to mention that viewers in the United States disregarded Quantumania following its debut weekend, resulting in a meager $214.5 million domestic gross. This amount was significantly lower than the $216.6 million that Ant-Man and the Wasp made in 2018. In the upcoming Marvel films, the solution is straightforward: produce superior films.
Nicolas Cage has experienced a significant transformation since a period during which he primarily directed direct-to-video schlock. In “Renfield,” which marked his long-awaited return to studio filmmaking, Nicholas Hoult played the part of Dracula’s dependable assistant alongside one of the most unpredictable actors currently working. In all honesty, it appeared to be an excellent idea in theory. Unfortunately, Universal Pictures was not successful with this endeavor.
Based on a substantial budget ranging from $65 million to $26.7 million, director Chris McKay’s adaptation of the familiar source material failed miserably in theaters, grossing a meager $26.7 million worldwide.
Internationally, the film grossed less than $10 million and was essentially doomed to fail. Overall, the film received divided reviews from critics, although Cage’s performance as Dracula received considerable acclaim.
Ultimately, it failed to establish a connection with the general public and was overshadowed by more successful films at the box office, such as “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “John Wick: Chapter 4,” and, to a lesser extent,” “The Pope’s Exorcist.” The only silver lining is that horror films that achieve cult status may endure for an extended period; therefore, given enough time, this one may find an audience on VOD or streaming. However, this year was an absolute failure.
Twenty-three years later, in 2023, Robert Rodriguez contributed to the original science fiction genre with the mind-bending thriller “Hypnotic.” Under the direction of Ben Affleck, the film debuted at SXSW and was released in theaters in early summer. To say it mildly, the situation did not achieve its intended outcome. Despite the presence of an A-list director and an A-list actor, the film failed to resonate with the general public. It debuted with a dismal reception, grossing only $2.4 million on a substantial budget of $65 million. It was setting the stage for disaster.
Subsequently, the film’s performance deteriorated further, as its worldwide gross peaked at a meager $15.7 million, an amount that barely covered the production costs and did not even include marketing expenses.
To be fair to Rodriguez, the pandemic severely hampered this film, as production was compelled to halt and resume, significantly and repeatedly increasing the final cost. The fact that the majority of critics were unimpressed with the ultimate product did not help matters. Additionally appealing to moviegoers at the time were films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” and “Evil Dead Rise,” among others.
A financially disastrous film, it was released at an inopportune moment and featured a hurried marketing campaign, notwithstanding the caliber of the actors and actresses involved. Conversely, in contrast to “The Creator,” envisioning this film gradually gaining an audience is considerably more arduous.
Expert opinion and independent investigation were combined to create this list. We compiled all pertinent information, viewed or studied all pertinent media, and determined the order of the list using our best professional judgment. The final ranking was established through an evaluation of the broader cultural implications of each submission, in addition to our interpretation of the material based on our analysis and work from the previous year at /Film.