Hops and Box Office Flops

Hops and Box Office Flops

A film podcast dedicated to the underdogs — the disasters, the bombs, the much maligned! So sit back, grab a beer, and enjoy!


June 2, 2023 80 mins

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst superhero movies to come out of the big comic book cinema boom. It ignores basically everything established in the main line of X-Men films to craft a laborious tale of the early days of Logan's heroism.

Throwing in heaps and loads of random mutants, X-Men Origins: Wolverine has zero interest in crafting an adequate narrative for its titular hero. Instead, it seems to hope that audienc...

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Rocky V is a textbook example of a franchise hanging on too long. Without any more mountains to climb, Stallone took the titular character back to his roots. Unfortunately, that journey isn't a very compelling one.

Rocky V has a lot to say—spotlighting the transactional nature of sports media, the devastating effects of head trauma, and how sports places profits over people; but none of it, sadly, is done particularly well.


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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the legendary character's big return to cinemas after 1989's The Last Crusade. Suffice to say, expectations were high for the famed archeologist's latest globe-trotting exploit.

And, for fans of the character, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did feature a lot of what made the original trilogy so great. What audiences seemed to be torn on, however, was its over reliance on CGI, goo...

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Robocop 3 is the embodiment of when a franchise has creatively exhausted itself. It feels and looks cheap; has nothing new to say; and tones down the series' signature violence to milk the most out of a dwindling audience.

For fans of the series, its existence must be heartbreaking. Robocop 3's ineptitude is on par with other disastrous sequels of the era, like Superman IV.

That is really all you can say about it. It recycles plot ...

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Alien Covenant was sort of damned from the beginning. As a direct sequel to the divisive Prometheus, it was continuing a story half the audience had no desire to see. Moreover, they probably also had zero interest in learning where the Xenomorphs came from.

Those are significant hurdles when that is exactly what the movie is about. Sorry, Sir Ridley. Thus, like its predecessor, your mileage on Alien Covenant will vary. In the case ...

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April 21, 2023 115 mins

Prometheus was Ridley Scott's triumphant return to the franchise he helped launch with 1979's Alien. But unlike the myriad of sequels that followed the groundbreaking original, Prometheus forges new ground.

Centering on the Engineers, it chronicles the creation of human life and the species' subsequent quest for answers that follows. It is during that quest the crew of the Prometheus discovers that those that gave them life had als...

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Alien Resurrection was a bizarre attempt to reinvigorate the Alien franchise after the divisiveness of its predecessor. Written by Joss Whedon, it twists itself into narrative knots to revive the series' long-standing heroin Ellen Ripley. Honestly, it suffers for it.

This variation of Ripley is a badass, as well, but she's also weird and barely resembles the character she's embodying. Combined with a sub-par script that is packed f...

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March 31, 2023 109 mins

Alien 3 is a massive disappointment. After the insane action masterpiece that was Aliens, expectations were high for how Ellen Ripley's story would progress.

Sadly, Fox, the studio behind the beloved franchise, didn't seem to have any ideas. Multiple scripts came and went, as did directors. Ultimately, the project fell to David Fincher.

If you told that to someone now, the excitement would be palpable. But this was 1992, and Finch...

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March 24, 2023 100 mins

Damned River chronicles a group of friends' harrowing trip down the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. Their guide, Ray, an unhinged madman and former mercenary (?), is at odds with other local rafters.

Thus, as the begin their trek, Ray slowly descends into madness.  The premise isn't exactly novel, but it isn't bad either. The issues with Damned River all come down to execution.

The acting is over the top and hammy, the script is all wet...

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March 10, 2023 64 mins

Drop Zone, like a lot of mediocre 90s action movies, puts a spin on a successful formula established in a much better film. In this case, it's 1991's Point Break.

Substituting skydiving for surfing and Wesley Snipes for Keanu Reeves, Drop Zone attempts to be edgy and hip like its inspiration, but mostly free falls in trying.

That's not to say that there aren't elements of it to be appreciated. The skydiving scenes are excellently s...

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March 3, 2023 106 mins

Rollerball (2002) is one of the worst movies any of us have ever seen; and that is saying something.

Directed by John McTiernan—who always seems to appear on our pod, despite directing some of our favorite films—Rollerball was a remake of a 1975 film starring James Caan.

The 2002 version retains none of what made that movie work. It's social criticisms are half-baked, the actual Rollerball scenes are nauseating, and its lead, Chris...

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February 24, 2023 67 mins

Airborne is rad. That fact can't be denied, even if rollerblading isn't as cool as it was in 1993.

That said, Airborne is also very 90s; and if you didn't grow up during that decade, the tubular nature of the film will probably escape you.

Anyway, Airborne centers around a hip California kid, who gets shipped off to Cincinnati, Ohio, to live with his relatives for six months. Mitchell Goosen is a fish out of water. The particular b...

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February 10, 2023 90 mins

Moonfall—written and directed by the master of "Disaster Movies" Roland Emmerich—is, quite ironically, a disaster of a movie.

Essentially, in Moonfall, the Moon is on a crash course with earth because malevolent artificial intelligence (AI) has knocked it off its axis. Oh, and the moon is actually a megastructure that was created by an ancient population in the far distant past.

That society built the Moon to escape the evil AI, en...

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Three Thousand Years of Longing is George Miller's much anticipated return to cinemas. Post Mad Max: Fury Road, expectations were high for his next project.

Sadly, Three Thousand Years of Longing can't live up to the lofty expectations of its filmmaker's predecessor. It's not a bad movie by any means; but its tale of a lonely woman finding love and purpose through an ancient Djinn isn't exactly compelling either.

Apparently, audien...

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January 20, 2023 79 mins

The Northman is a wild, Viking fever dream. So, if you're a fan of their mythology and lore, you will probably love it.

If not, then The Northman is a tough one to recommend. It is loaded with weird imagery and historical Viking rituals that will make little to no sense if you're not familiar with them.

Hence, it's disappointing box office return. It grossed just $69.6 million on a budget of $90 million. Though those numbers were b...

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January 13, 2023 93 mins

Black Adam was supposed to change the hierarchy of the DC Universe. Instead, it tanked with critics and couldn't conjure enough magic at the box office to earn a sequel.

Thus, it appears the Rock's long awaited appearance as the anti-hero is a one and done. Frankly, that kind of sucks because Black Adam is an entertaining movie. It's a flawed one, to be sure, but watching the titular hero mow down bad guys is a hell of a lot of fun...

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December 30, 2022 60 mins

The Wizard is a needlessly dark road trip movie about a young boy trying to find closure after the death of his twin sister.

The rest of the movie doesn't seem to understand that because that portion of the plot was written at the last minute, so it plays much more like a kids version of Rain Man, where the older brother exploits his younger, video game master brother for his own financial gain. Literally.

The Wizard, as it juggles...

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December 23, 2022 84 mins

Mars Attacks! is based upon a series of Topps trading cards released in the early 1960s. And it certainly pays homage to its inspiration.

Unfortunately, its also a narrative mess that fails to get the most out of its stacked cast. Mars Attacks! features an all-star lineup. It's got Jack Nicholson in two roles, Jim Brown, Joe Don Baker, Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Pierce Brosnan, just to na...

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December 16, 2022 69 mins

GI Joe: The Movie was meant for big things. Like Transformers and My Little Pony, it would be the property's big screen debut. The failures of those two prevented it from ever getting the chance, though. Even worse, it was meant to serve as a lead-in to the third season of the television show that, ultimately, never happened. Well, it sort of did, but far later and with a different animation studio at the helm.

Essentially, it's al...

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December 9, 2022 71 mins

RIPD— the Rest in Peace Department—is based upon a comic of the same name. We're not sure about the source material, but the film is just a unabashed Men in Black ripoff.

There's the wisecracking rookie who's new to the job; and the crotchety old vet who's stuck with him. Their job is to protect the earth from monstrous spirits, or deados, who walk among them, avoiding their fate in the afterlife.

So, let's run this down. Secret g...

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