Box Office Report Card: The Biggest Flops of Late Summer

Simon Varsano

An oversized crop of movies falls like leaves as the season turns.

While September brought record grosses of $602.6 million at the North American box office -- fueled by unlikely heroes including The Lion King, Contagion and The Help -- the month was littered with disappointments, following an equally sobering August.

PHOTOS: Late Summer's Box Office Flops 2011

Genre pics, a staple of late summer and early fall, were hardest hit. Some will recoup their costs thanks to foreign presales and international earnings; others won't.

Many box-office observers say there were simply too many films vying for the same moviegoers. Part of the issue is the challenge faced by new midrange distributors in scheduling films -- they don't want to go out in the heat of summer and compete with big-studio fare. That's not to say there weren't big-studio misses, too.

The budget figures listed at right do not include marketing spends, which easily start at $20 million for a wide release in North America.

From Conan the Barbarian to What's Your Number, click through to see just how poorly the late summer's box office disappointments fared.