Follying around

The Biggest Financial Flops of RIDLEY SCOTT. Making movies is not a conquest of paradise

A list of Ridley Scott’s films that earned very little money.

Jakub Piwoński

15 April 2024

ridley scott

Ridley Scott ‘s latest film, the notable “Napoleon,” elicited mixed reactions from us, which translated into an unsatisfactory financial outcome. The film, which cost nearly $200 million, earned just a little over that amount, making it an unprofitable venture. However, Apple’s streaming platform surely cannot complain about the film’s popularity on their service, which somewhat mitigates the scale of the failure. This year, Scott will deliver another costume spectacle, as the premiere of “Gladiator 2” is planned – but for now, let’s refrain from judging whether the film has a chance for commercial and artistic success. We can, however, mention other films that have caused the British director some headaches.

“All the Money in the World”

all the money in the world ridley scott

Earnings: $56,996,304

The hurried replacement of the canceled Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer didn’t help. Neither did the other stars in the cast, led by Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg. Nor did the intriguing story inspired by true events. With a budget of $50 million, the film ultimately earned just a little over that amount, turning out to be not worth the risk Scott took, especially when his main star was replaced amidst a scandalous atmosphere.

“G.I. Jane”

gi jane ridley scott

Earnings: $48,169,156

For the beautiful Demi Moore, shaving her head for the role must have been quite a challenge. It’s a shame that years after the film’s release, we mainly perceive it through the lens of Demi Moore’s courageous act rather than what the film actually portrays. Ridley Scott has always been fascinated by strong women, but this time something went wrong, as few believed in the story of a woman entering an elite commando unit (Moore received a Golden Raspberry Award for the role). The film created quite a buzz but ended up being a clear flop – with a budget of $50 million, it earned just over $48 million, far from expectations.

“A Good Year”

a good year ridley scott

Earnings: $42,269,923

It’s not a bad film, but it’s so unremarkable that it was enough to prevent it from succeeding in theaters. Even years after watching it, I only remember that “A Good Year” is a movie that leaves the viewer indifferent. Russell Crowe, after great successes (also due to his collaboration with Ridley Scott on a certain sandal film), apparently wanted to participate in a less spectacular project. Clearly, the creators’ plans completely missed the audience’s expectations regarding the director’s and actor’s names, resulting in the film, with a budget of $35 million, earning a paltry $42 million.

“The Last Duel”

ridley scott the last duel

Earnings: $30,552,111

This is one of Ridley Scott’s better films in recent years. Unconventional narrative approach, intriguing subject, strong acting performances, directorial flair – what more could one want? Unfortunately, for reasons difficult to explain, the film was a spectacular flop in theaters. With a budget of $100 million, it only managed to earn “peanuts” in the form of $30 million. Ridley Scott commented on this in his typical style, attributing the flop to the younger generation of viewers and their “damn cell phones.” I agree with one thing – “The Last Duel” is definitely a film for a more demanding viewer, one that is not what it appears to be on the surface.


ridley scott legend

Earnings: $16,837,628

This was a time when fantasy spectacles didn’t have the same level of marketing success as they do today, thanks to the successes of productions like “The Lord of the Rings,” “Game of Thrones,” or “The Witcher.” The golden age of cinematic fantasy was yet to come. Tom Cruise, the main star of “Legend,” was not as recognizable in 1985 as he is today. Perhaps this, along with a rather mundane plot, contributed to the financial failure of the film, which, costing $30 million, only managed to earn half that amount.

“White Squall”

ridley scott squall

Earnings: $10,292,300

This is probably one of the lesser-known films in Ridley Scott’s repertoire, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve attention even years after its release. It’s a very accessible tale of male adventure on the high seas, underscored by the tension of a disaster. At least that’s how I remember watching “White Squall,” a film that delivers exactly what you would expect based on its packaging. However, this wasn’t enough for some, resulting in the film, with a significant budget for its time of $38 million, earning only around $10 million.

“1492: Conquest of Paradise”

1492 conquest of paradise ridley scott

Earnings: $7,191,399

We remain at sea, which again contributed to the sinking of Ridley Scott’s grand ship. This is probably one of the most painful financial failures in Ridley Scott’s career. A great visionary, as Scott has been and remains to this day, he wanted in the early ’90s to tell the story of another visionary and explorer – Christopher Columbus. He assembled a colorful cast of stars, once again proposed collaboration to Vangelis – the composer – and amassed an impressive budget of $47 million for those times. Mixed reviews from critics resulted in disappointing financial results for the film, which consequently earned a shockingly low $7 million.

“Blade Runner”

blade runner ridley scott

Earnings: $41,753,783

Not everyone knows that this iconic and groundbreaking science fiction work initially suffered financially. With a budget of around $28 million, “Blade Runner” only earned $41 million worldwide during its theatrical release. The film gained a second life later on when the director began to refine his film and release it to television and on VHS in a director’s cut version. Fortunately, today, no one remembers the re-edited version by the producers that completely displeased the audience. “Blade Runner” is a perfect example that a cinematic flop doesn’t mean that a work is forgotten by the world – sometimes it’s a moment of artistic reflection and a contribution to the cult status of a work.

Jakub Piwoński

Jakub Piwoński

Cultural expert, passionate about popular culture, in particular films, series, computer games and comics. He likes to fly away to unknown, fantastic regions, thanks to his fascination with science fiction. Professionally, however, he looks back more often, thanks to his work as a museum promotion specialist, investigating the mysteries of the beginnings of cinematography. His favorite film is "The Matrix", because it combines two areas close to his heart - religion and martial arts.

See other posts from this author >>>