Ben-Hur is this summer’s biggest box office bomb, and sources close to the film told The Hollywood Reporter that it’s projected to come in at a $120 million or more loss.
The movie was directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and opened in theaters on August 19. Since then, it’s only earned $54.1 million at the global box office so far–it pulled in only $11.35 million in its debut weekend. $25 million of that is from domestic sales, and knowledgeable sources say it’s unlikely Ben-Hur will reach $75 million worldwide.
Ben-Hur cost almost $100 million to produce, not including its major marketing budget. MGM declined The Hollywood Reporter’s comment on the exact amount lost, but told stockholders that it was lowering its fiscal 2016 financial forecast because of a write-down it’s taking from Ben-Hur.
Other movies that haven’t seen good box office showings this summer include Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, which only made $165.3 million worldwide with a $140 million production cost, and Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. The latest Alice movie earned $295.4 million globally and cost an estimated $170 million. Otherwise, Disney has done great this year, as four of its films hold the top spots in 2016 worldwide gross–Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Finding Dory.
In addition to its commercial failure, Ben-Hur wasn’t a hit with the critics. The movie currently sits at a 38 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic. It stars Jack Huston (American Hustle), Toby Kebbell (Warcraft), Rodrigo Santoro (300), Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland), Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel), and Morgan Freeman (Ted 2).
Xbox One owners could play a free Ben-Hur tie-in game in early August. It was released as an advertisement for the movie and is absolutely terrible.