19 March, 2020
The crowded theatrical release calendar of 2020 was bound to produce box office disappointments. Some are massive, star-packed tentpole films that audiences weren't interested in. Others are smaller films with bad word-of-mouth. However they got here, these are the biggest flops of 2020 so far. Sometimes a film just doesn't land, even when it has its defenders. That was the case with Underwater, the Kristen Stewart-led sci-fi horror film that was presented as a kind of creature feature throwback movie in the vein of films like Alien and The Abyss. The film arrived at a slow time for films anyway, in early January, and while it certainly had its fair share of critical fans early on, it garnered mixed reviews. Then, audiences just didn't seem to want to show up, and a C CinemaScore on opening weekend didn't help with that. Underwater picked up just $7 million in the U.S. on its opening weekend, on its way to a domestic total of $17.2 million. The film did better internationally, grossing $23.5 million in various territories around the world. The eventual total, as of mid-March, is just over $40 million. A lot of modestly priced horror films would love to have a worldwide total like that, but Underwater wasn't modestly priced. Its reported budget was closer to $60 million thanks to its effects-heavy production, and that meant the box office was significantly underwhelming.