The Oliver Stone-directed movie, which is not yet released in the UK, documents whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leak of mass government surveillance is among the least successful films of the year, according to Forbes.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s Grimsby and Matthew McConaughey’s Free State Of Jones join Stone’s Snowden on the list of Hollywood’s Biggest Turkeys of 2016.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, the film tells the story of how, in 2013, the NSA analyst leaked 1.5 million classified documents to journalists who revealed massive domestic surveillance programmes begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Despite being rated well by critics, Snowden was ranked the ninth least successful film of 2016 on the 10-strong list which compares worldwide box office grosses with estimated production budgets.
The appearance of Jeremy Corbyn at a London screening of Snowden failed to boost the film’s takings which returned 86% of its 40m dollar (£32m) budget at the box office, according to the list.
Forbes’ list deemed sci-fi superhero movie Max Steel the least successful release of 2016 after it returned just 42% of its budget.
Second was Free State Of Jones in which McConaughey plays American Civil War fighter Newton Knight and brought in less than half of its 50m dollar (£40m) budget.
Third was Popstar: Never Stop Stopping after taking 48% of its budget.
Baron Cohen’s Grimsby, estimated to have a 35m dollar (£28m) budget, marked the worst return of the English actor and producers’ career.
It took 28.7m dollars (£23m) at the worldwide box office with an estimated budget of 35m dollars (£28m).
Forbes’ spokeswoman Natalie Robehmed said: “Forbes’ list of biggest turkeys compares the percentage of production budgets movies earned back at the theatre to figure out which flopped financially.
“Not all movies flopped because they were bad films. In fact, Popstar: Never Stop Stopping, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Snowden were all well received by critics, earning 77%, 68% and 63% on Rotten Tomatoes respectively.
“Movies underperform for a number of reasons, be it marketing, release date timing, poor reviews or a combination of several factors.
“In the case of Max Steel, it finished filming in 2014 but by the time it was released, garnered no press attention. There weren’t big name stars to draw viewers to it, which also hurt its chances. Combined with poor reviews, it flopped.”