- Keanu Reeves, despite his success, has had his fair share of box office failures in his nearly 40-year career in Hollywood.
- Some of Reeves’ biggest box office flops include “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” “Henry’s Crime,” and “Freaked.”
- While Reeves continues to be popular and successful with franchises like John Wick, even he has experienced financial losses in the film industry.
Keanu Reeves is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, but even he has had some box office failures. For all his success with the John Wick franchise and the original Matrix trilogy, Reeves has equally been part of some Hollywood flops. With a nearly 40-year career and well over 50 movies under his belt, some level of failure on the big screen is inevitable. Even with his mixed success in terms of numbers, Reeves continues to be the face of the modern Gun Fu genre and remains popular with most audiences around the world.
Reeves has had a number of movies with small budgets fail to make a big splash commercially. However, he has also been involved in some high-budget failures. His breakthrough came in 1989 through Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and the Canadian has been a huge name in cinema ever since. Outside his movie career, Reeves is known for having a likable personality and being well-respected both in and out of the industry. With his successful franchises and immaculate reputation, Reeves has achieved a career to be proud of. However, here are 10 of his biggest box office bombs and why they failed.
10 Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
With an underwhelming reception from both critics and audiences alike, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues will be one the Canadian star wants to forget. With an $8.5 million budget, the film failed to gross even $1.8 million, cementing its place as a box office dud. Both Reeves and movie lead, Uma Thurman would go on to have much bigger hits, however this movie failed to capture much attention or care from audiences. The movie was based on a 1976 novel of the same name, making much of its content dated for the 1993 movie release, ultimately ending in a substantial loss for the production.
9 Tune In Tomorrow
In an era full of successful Rom-coms, Tune in Tomorrow was unable to stand out as one of the genre’s big successes. Rather than flourishing among its competition, the movie instead faded into obscurity, with it being one of Keanu’s least successful movies. The film had an estimated $11 million budget but only managed to recoup about $1.8 million at the box office. With Reeves’ big break taking place a year prior, there was potential for the movie to do well. Instead, other romantic films offered something far more substantial than Tune in Tomorrow, which led to its poor performance.
8 Henry’s Crime
Henry’s Crime is far from Reeves’ worst-performing movie critically. The reviews are somewhat underwhelming, with a mixed-to-negative view being the predominant reception for the film. That being said, the action/thriller failed to light up the big screens, making just over $2 million in comparison to its $12 million budget. The familiarity of this type of movie as well as the lack of a must-see factor, meant Henry’s Crime failed to shine financially. The 2010s was a relatively good era for Reeves with the success of the John Wick franchise, but Henry’s Crime will not be the action flick that defines Reeves’ career.
Everything about Freaked has an overall freakish feel, its production being no exception. From changing studio heads to even a change in the name of the film, Freaked proved to have a turbulent time making it to the big screens. When the comedy finally made it to theaters, it didn’t last long. With limited advertising and even more limited screenings, the film grossed less than $30,000 dollars during its box office run. To make matters worse, the budget of the movie was $12 million, making it a serious flop despite the film having a fairly positive overall reception.
6 Bill & Ted Face The Music
The return of the franchise that gave Reeves his first big break didn’t quite manage to make the splash of the originals. The success of the first two movies failed to translate three decades later on a commercial scale, as the third movie in the trilogy lost almost $20 million. With a $25 million budget, Bill and Ted Face The Music made just $6.3 million throughout its theatrical run. Despite Bill & Ted 3’s reviews, the demand had clearly gone for a franchise that peaked in the 90s. Remakes and franchise revivals can prove to be a success, but much of Bill & Ted’s fanbase moved on, earning the third film a big loss.
5 Man Of Tai Chi
Man of Tai Chi shares a similar story domestically as Bill & Ted Face The Music. Much like the last entry, Man of Tai Chi found itself losing around $20 million at the box office. The movie’s $25 million budget equaled that of Bill & Ted 3 but would earn even less, with just $5.5 million being grossed worldwide. Favorable reviews didn’t save the film’s financial blushes. The rise of superhero movies as well as some big popular animated films, took up much of the box office success in 2013. Man of Tai Chi also received an R rating, only making any chance of profit that much more challenging.
Despite the 2010s having some of Reeves’ biggest successes, there were several films that were unable to make the impression the studios would have hoped. Just a year after the triumph of John Wick 2, Replicas attempted to cash in on the popularity of the Canadian. Unfortunately for all involved, the movie completely flopped, with the movie making back less than a third of its budget. After another competitive year at the box office, poor advertising, and low scores critically, Replicas was a movie to forget. Just $9.3 million was made back out of the film’s $30 million budget.
3 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run
Perhaps surprisingly, Reeves’ biggest financial failure on the big screen was The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Having cost $60 million, the movie made just $4.8 million, making it the largest loss in revenue at the box office for a Reeves film. The deficit doesn’t tell the whole story, as COVID-19 hurt production massively, causing it to be delayed multiple times. While unlikely to make back its massive budget, Sponge on the Run’s box office performance isn’t a true reflection of how it might’ve performed under normal circumstances. Despite the huge loss, it feels unfair to put Sponge on the Run on top of Reeves’ box office flops.
2 47 Ronin
If there is one year of Reeves’ career he could remove, it would likely be 2013. He had two bombs in one year, and this one was huge. Reeves’ status as a commercial action star would be cemented the following year, but had it not been for John Wick, 47 Ronin could have caused huge damage to his career. With a mammoth $175 million budget, the film made just over $150 million, meaning the massive investment failed to pay off. One of Keanu Reeves’ biggest box office bombs struggled through that same 2013 competitive box office alongside a weak marketing campaign making 47 Ronin a flop.
1 The Matrix Resurrections
The Matrix franchise is up there with one of Reeves‘ biggest hits. The original trilogy had huge success at the box office and became a cult classic. However, the attempt at revitalizing the franchise decades later didn’t pan out as hoped. The Matrix Resurrections was given a $190 million budget to try and recapture the magic of the originals. Instead, the hype didn’t quite translate in 2021. The movie made under $160 million and was the only film in the franchise to make a loss. A large reason for the box office bomb is that The Matrix Resurrections came during a time of remake fatigue, hurting its overall performance.