The 5 Biggest Box Office Flops Coming This Summer

Each spring, the showbiz hype machine talks up the excitement level of the summer blockbuster slate. In fact, despite a big May, Summer 2013 is looking like one of the dreariest and most useless summers ever, loaded with sequels to movies that weren’t worth seeing in the first place, lame vanity projects, overdone epics, and dull retreads.

Forget the summer’s biggest hits. What will the biggest flops of the season be? Here’s an educated guess based on advance buzz.

1. After Earth (May 31)

This is a movie that goes wrong early. Really early. In the credits. “Story by Will Smith”? Huh?

Starring the top-billed Smith son Jaden Smith, who is no longer the adorable little kid he was in Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid but is now a sullen teen? Directed by notorious hack M. Night Shyamalan, he of The Happening and The Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender, the guy who hasn’t made a movie that wasn’t laughed out of theaters in a decade?

Despite all of these obvious problems, plus the additional worry that the similar Tom Cruise movie Oblivion came out in April and fulfilled its title’s destiny almost instantly, After Earth is somehow managing to underperform expectations, causing early viewers to wonder why the former biggest star in the world, the elder Smith, spends most of the second half of the movie injured and stuck in a chair giving his son long-distance pep talks after the two crash-land on Earth to fight monsters a thousand years in the future. And why do both of them talk like they’re from New Zealand? This one is headed for the Bad Idea Hall of Fame, and the Stale Prince’s stock is plummeting after Men in Black III and Seven Pounds.