There haven’t been very many great Thanksgiving movies in cinema history, but there have certainly been plenty of turkeys to go around. Let’s look back over the past four decades of films at some of the biggest box office bombs. Click through our photo gallery of 12 movies, but careful, though. Some of these turkeys, including “Battlefield Earth,” “Heaven’s Gate,” “Ishtar,” “John Carter,” and “The Lone Ranger,” might make you nauseous.
1. “Battlefield Earth” (2000)
Directed by Roger Christian. Starring John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker. Losses over $100 million.
Travolta fought for many years to get this adaptation of the L. Ron Hubbard novel made into a movie. Set in the year 3000, the science-fiction film is set on an Earth that has been ruled for 1,000 years by the brutal Psychlos.
2. “Heaven’s Gate” (1980)
Directed by Michael Cimino. Starring Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges. Losses over $115 million.
Cimino had full reign to do what he wanted coming off Best Picture and Best Director wins two years earlier for “The Deer Hunter.” This epic Western is set in Wyoming during the 1890s. The plot revolves around a dispute between land barons and European immigrants.
3. “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)
Directed by Ron Underwood. Starring Eddie Murphy, Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson. Losses over $125 million.
The problem might have started in the description that it’s a science-fiction/action/comedy movie. At the end of the 21st century, humans have lunar colonies and cloning is now common. The title character is a smuggler just out of prison who buys a nightclub.
4. “Ishtar” (1987)
Directed by Elaine May. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Isabelle Adjani. Losses over $85 million.
Two untalented American lounge singers and songwriters are on their way to a gig in Morocco. They somehow get involved in a plot to overthrow the Emir of Ishtar.
5. “Cutthroat Island” (1995)
Directed by Renny Harlin. Starring Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella. Losses over $138 million.
Set in 1668 Jamaica, a woman is tracking down her uncle, a pirate who has three pieces of a treasure map. She wins a con man in an auction because she needs his help.
6. “47 Ronin” (2013)
Directed by Carl Rinsch. Starring Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada. Losses over $125 million.
This 3D fantasy action film is about a real-life group of 18th century Japanese samurai. The lead character is a half-Japanese, half-English outcast.
7. “John Carter” (2012)
Directed by Andrew Stanton. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong. Losses over $180 million.
The film is about a former Civil War Army captain on his first interplanetary adventures in dealing with civil unrest and warring kingdoms.
8. “Sahara” (2005)
Directed by Breck Eisner. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Steve Zahn. Losses over $100 million.
This movie actually opened at #1 for its first week but still lost a fortune. The lead characters work for the World Health Organization and are trying to stop a disease spreading across Africa.
9. “The Lone Ranger” (2013)
Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson. Losses over $150 million.
It was a reimagining of the old Western tale of a Texas Ranger resurrected by a Native American, who then becomes his trusted companion. Tonto is also the ancient narrator in the wraparound beginning and ending.
10. “The 13th Warrior” (1999)
Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Omar Sharif. Losses over $150 million.
Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, the movie’s plot is somewhat based on “Beowulf.” An angel of death determines the kingdom can be saved if 13 warriors go to face the danger.
11. “The Alamo” (2004)
Directed by John Lee Hancock. Starring Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric. Losses over $115 million.
The Texas Revolution of the 19th century is brought back to life. Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and their forces fall to the Mexican Army in their efforts to save Texas.
12. “Mars Needs Moms” (2011)
Directed by Simon Wells. Starring Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack. Losses over $120 million.
This motion-capture comedy focuses on a nine-year-old boy who needs to understand the importance of family. He also has to rescue his mother after she is abducted by the Martians.