People often remember 2005’s Doom as the worst film in actor Dwayne Johnson’s filmography, however, there was another major flop before Doom that Johnson starred in: Southland Tales. Released in 2006, this movie was a satiric commentary on the military-industrial complex and the infotainment industry. The film featured Johnson in the lead role alongside Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake, but all these stars failed to fill up the theatres as the film didn’t even cross the $400,000 mark.
At the time, Johnson was popular because of his WWE days, however, the film’s massive failure had his fans concerned about his Hollywood career. Despite these setbacks, Johnson went on to establish himself as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, all thanks to his determination and talent.
The worst performing film in Dwayne Johnson’s filmography: Southland Tales (2006)
There is no doubt that actor Dwayne Johnson had a good start in Hollywood. With the role of The Scorpion King in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, Johnson quickly became a well-known name in the industry. The actor then appeared in a few more movies, but then came his worst-performing movie, Southland Tales (2006).
Directed by Richard Kelly, the film was released theatrically in the United States on November 14, 2007, and only made $374,743 during its international theatrical run, making it the worst-performing movie in Johnson’s filmography. With its budget of $17 million, it proved to be a financial loss for Universal Studios.
Dwayne Johnson recalled the humiliation
The film premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was instantly scrutinized by the critics. People walked out of the premier and journalists were left confused, making it a massive disaster. In a 2019 interview with IndieWire, Johnson recalled the tragic day,
“When the screening ended, we were all on our Blackberries at that time, and our publicists were, like, sweating – We had to walk from there directly to our press conference. We sit down in the press conference and someone was like, ‘They f**king hated the movie. So just be prepared.’ But we had to be there for another three hours. So we sit down and the first question, I’ll never forget, is a journalist standing up and saying, ‘I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve never seen so many people walking out of a movie. What was it about this movie?'”
Despite some setbacks in the mid-2000s, Johnson was able to redeem himself, especially with his performance in the Jumanji and Fast & Furious franchises. Today, his films have grossed over $12.5 billion worldwide, making him one of the most successful and highest-grossing box-office stars of all time.