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List of major flops

A flop is something that doesn't reach expectations of success, failing to come even close. A major flop goes one step further and is recognized for its almost complete lack of success.

Obviously, due to the subjective nature of "success" and "meeting expectations", there can be disagreement about what constitutes a "major flop". For example, David McReynolds ran for president of the United States of America in 1980 and 2000 on the socialist ticket, but came nowhere near winning. However, he would never characterize his campaign as a flop because he ran for president in order to get his causes recognized, without any hope of being elected. On the other hand, New Coke is generally regarded indisputably a "Major Flop".

Movie Flops

A movie is most likely a flop if it doesn't perform as expected. A major movie flop might barely (or not even) make back the money it took to finance it. In extreme cases it might put the studio out of business.

Some notable Hollywood flops include:

Commercial Flops

  • New Coke. The Coca-Cola company changed the formula and taste of its flagship product, a universally successful drink whose name was almost synonymous with soft drinks. It was a marketing and public relations debacle, and the company had to backtrack and return to the older formula. However, when they went back to the original formula, demand for the classic taste grew to a greater extent than before New Coke, propelling Coca-Cola to a market lead over rival Pepsi. Therefore, the situation became an unintentional success for Coca-Cola.
  • Ford Motor Company's Edsel
  • Sinclair C5 a battery powered car designed by Sir Clive Sinclair
  • Sony's Betamax
  • DIVX, a take-off on DVD that required users to pay per viewing. Retail electronics giant and DIVX backer Circuit City[?] lost about 200 million dollars over the fiasco.
  • Ford Motor Company and General Motors, who only had lukewarm interest in the technology, have dropped production of their electric car[?] models.

Flops in Computing

  • The IBM 7030, also known as Stretch, was IBM's first attempt at building a supercomputer. Its actual performance was less than one third of its original specification. This resulted in IBM drastically dropping the price and losing money on every machine sold.
  • Microsoft Windows 1.0 was a huge flop because its sales were low, it was very slow, needed a lot of memory for the time, and practically no software was ever written for it.
  • Apple has had flops, notably the Apple III, Apple Lisa, and Apple Newton.
  • IBM had the IBM PS/2[?] and the IBM PCjr[?].
  • Intel expected the Itanium processor to revolutionize the microprocessor industry, but after 7 years of development and billions of dollars spent the first Itanium chip proved an utter technical and commercial failure. However the project still goes on, and Itanium 2 is an improvement.

Flops in Science and Engineering

A scientific flop may be something that took years of man-hours and a lot of money to complete (maybe never even got done) and ended in failure.

Video Game Flops

USA Presidential Campaigns

French Elections

  • Lionel Jospin's 2002 presidential campaign was such a flop he retired from politics.
  • The unnecessary dissolution of a favourable parliament (Assemblée nationale) in 1997 by President Jacques Chirac should have presaged an easy win for his partisans. They lost, yielding power to the opposition.

Canadian Elections

  • Kim Campbell led the governing Conservatives in the 1993 election campaign and succeeded in winning only two seats in the legislature.

Musical Comebacks Gone Horribly Awry

Flops in Sports

Flops in Television



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