The 12 Least Bankable Hollywood Actors

Just like in real life, in Hollywood no one is perfect. Even the best and most popular actors have a dud or two on their resumes. However, some fall even shorter than this – some are downright unbankable. We’re talking here about actors who have repeatedly appeared in sub par, low-grossing films – often in ones that lose money. Here are 15 actors and actresses who cannot be trusted to consistently pull their own weight at the box office!

Nicole Kidman



Nicole Kidman nicely demonstrates how actors and actresses can retain their “A-List” status despite starring in successive flops. In ranking Kidman – the world’s top overpaid celebrity – “Forbes”  has described The Golden Compass, a widely-panned disaster that barely grossed $75 million on domestic and worldwide sales – on a budget of $200 million. That’s right, a net loss of $125 million. But, at least she’s still kinda hot.

Jennifer Lopez



While J-Lo has experienced a world of success in the music industry, she has disappointed countless directors Her film Gigli has the dubious distinction of not even grossing enough ($6 million) to cover its $54 million production budget. And it’s safe to say that Anaconda, Jersey Girl and Angel Eyes, and the other films in J-Lo’s on-screen anthology didn’t give Titanic a run for its money at the box office.

Will Ferrell



One of the most oft-quoted actors in comedy, Will Ferrell’s penchant for getting laughs hasn’t translated to very much box office success, at least lately. Recent Ferrell films like Bewitched and Stranger Than Fiction turned out to be low-grossing duds, and his recent Semi-Pro pulled in only $33.5 million domestically.

Adam Sandler



Adam Sandler has always had a hit-or-miss relationship with the box office. Between the embarrassing lows of his debut in Going Overboard and the soaring highs of Big Daddy, Sandler has starred in more than his fair share of flops. (Eight Crazy Nights and his recent string of “serious”, grown-up films come to mind.) In fact, Sandler is so well-known for appearing in sub par, low-grossing films that there are actually online polls for fans to vote on which of his flops they like best.

Rob Schneider



Few actors guarantee mediocre box office returns as consistently as Rob Schneider. Recent low-grossing performances in the abysmally-received Duece Bigalow – European Gigolo (earning Schneider a 2005 “Worst Actor” Razzie Award) and The Hot Chick led one blogger to do some research on just how bad this now straight-to-DVD actor really is. His findings?

“Out of the 19 movies he’s [Schneider] acted in, he’s never managed to break the 50% mark [on RottenTomatoes]. Only 3 of the 19 even managed to win over 1 of 3 critics. His average is 21%. I challenge you to find an actor with a worse track record.”




Madonna joins J-Lo as a singer that should never have tried acting. Movies such as Shanghai Surprise, Shadows of Fog, Body of Evidence and Swept Away all grossed far less domestically than their production budgets, creating a small mountain of money-losing films for the talented pop star. Her excuse is based on her conviction that, “the media is hell bent on ensuring [her] films are flops.”

Robin Williams



In the Late 1970s and early 1980s, Robin Williams had an undeniable edge, and experienced unmitigated success as a comedic actor. This nice guys movie output  lately however, has been far less successful than one would expect. This has been brought to light in a recent review of Williams’ License To Wed, which reads in part: “Another Robin Williams Flop, or Can Mandy Moore Save It?” (The reviewer’s opinion was no.) These days, Robin Williams simply cannot be counted on to pull in big money at the box office.

Dane Cook



By this point, it should be clear that success in other fields (like music) is no guarantee of Hollywood glory. So it is hardly surprising that one-time comedic sensation Dane Cook has failed to find his way on the silver screen, starring in such flops as Employee of The Month and Good Luck Chuck ($35 million domestic.) One article cautioned back in 2007 that Cook is “gonna run out of chances”. Now in 2009, it may already be too late to shed his reputation as an intriguing, yet unreliable douche.

Julia Roberts



Roberts is another name one might not expect to see on this list, but it’s tough to argue with her recent output. Her most recent film, Duplicity, left much to be desired. The New York Post discussed this in great detail in an article titled, “Masses Shun Julia Roberts’ Comeback For Cheesy Nicholas Cage Thriller”, noting that Duplicity‘s initial gross of $14 million placed it behind Cage’s Knowing by a significant $10 million margin. Even Charlie Wilson’s War, which I enjoyed only ended up grossing $61 Million, and the film had a $75 Million production budget. Did Fireflies in the Garden go straight to DVD? Who knows…

Nicholas Cage



Dubbed “King of the movie flops” by the UK’s DailyMail, Nicholas Cage has to be admired for his refusal to give up.  This Coppola probably only ever got a chance to act because of his famous uncle (Francis Ford). Despite a mountain of commercial disappointments (Ghostrider, Knowing and Bangkok Dangerous being the most recent examples – all of which resulted in a net loss), Cage somehow manages to remain near-relevant with occasional box office hits like the National Treasure franchise.

John Cena



Similar to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Paul “Triple H” Levesque and many wrestlers before, John Cena decided to broaden his scope and try his hand at big-screen acting. Unfortunate for everyone, isn’t it? Despite being promoted heavily on each and every WWE broadcast in the weeks leading up to its release, Cena’s 12 Rounds was a no-doubt disaster at the box office in its first week. As was it’s predeccesor, The Marine. Note to Hollywood’s:  the ability to wear tights and grapple with sweaty men in a wrestling ring may not be what it takes to be a cinematic success.

Mariah Carey



Rounding out (no pun intended) our list of the least bankable actors is another woman who should have stuck to her day job: Mariah Carey. Carey’s ‘biopic’, Glitter currently ranks as the 39th worst movie of all-time on the Internet Movie Database, placing beihind such landmark films as Barney’s Great Adventure, Son of the Mask and an earlier failed crossover attempt — Vanilla Ice in Cool As Ice. With a production budger of $22 Million and a gross revenue of roughly $5 Million, this film can serve as a hallmark for which all future failed producions will be judged.

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