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Colin Farrell's Flops: Reasons for His Recent Box Office Bombs

In the early 2000s, Colin Farrell was a box office favorite, churning out hit after hit. "American Outlaws" in 2001 was followed by "Minority Report" and "Phone Booth" in 2002. The actor received acclaim for 2003's "The Recruit" and 2004's "Alexander," but more recent releases have not been as successful for Farrell. His last three films, "Winter's Tale," "Dead Man Down" and "Seven Psychopaths," have tanked at the box office. Find out what elements have caused Colin Farrell's latest movies to flop at the box office.

Leading Actor Status

According to some critics, Colin Farrell just doesn't have what it takes to be the leading man in a movie. Traditionally, he has had more success when cast as a supporting actor in a film. "Minority Report" paired him with box office titan Tom Cruise. He teamed up with box office money maker Samuel L. Jackson in "S.W.A.T." In "Hart's War," he worked with leading man Bruce Willis. While working on "Miami Vice," Colin Farrell formed a great team with Jamie Foxx. In the Marvel Comics-based film "Daredevil," Farrell portrays a villain opposite Ben Affleck's masked character, and in "The Recruit," he teamed up with acting legend Al Pacino.

As the lead actor in "Winter's Tale" and "Dead Man Down," Colin Farrell works with casts of relatively unknown actors. Audiences aren't ready for Farrell to carry a movie on his own, and the ratings reflect this.

Leading Ladies

In order to produce a successful film, handsome actors like Colin Farrell need to have a gorgeous leading lady cast alongside. In "American Outlaws," Ali Larter fills the bill, and in "Phone Booth," Radha Mitchell and Katie Holmes fill the roles of Farrell's wife and mistress. "The Recruit" pairs him with the beautiful Bridget Moynahan, while "Alexander" stars two big names: Rosario Dawson as his wife and Angelina Jolie as his mother. With a history of starring in films with such dynamic leading ladies, Colin Farrell's most recent match-ups just weren't the ticket for audiences. "Dead Man Down" pairs him with Noomi Rapace, a talented Swedish actress without a huge Hollywood following. In "Winter's Tale," Farrell's love interest is portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay, a successful English actress.


In the past, Colin Farrell has seen the greatest success with action films full of adventure and excitement. "American Outlaws" paired the action and Western genres perfectly, while "Minority Report" coupled science fiction with action. "The Recruit" and "S.W.A.T." married the action and crime genres, while "Alexander" brought both action and adventure to a historical film. Farrell thrived in all of these roles, but more recent film flops were the result of the Irish actor accepting roles in film genres that were outside of his comfort zone. In "Seven Psychopaths," Farrell just didn't fit into the comedic thriller, and in "Dead Man Down," he couldn't perform to par in such a dramatic role. Most recently in "Winter's Tale," Farrell failed to impress audiences and critics with his portrayal of Peter Lake in this supernatural drama. Sticking with the tried and true seems like a better option for Farrell and one that has generated successful box office returns in the past.


Throughout his career, Colin Farrell has taken a chance on some relatively unknown directors, and he's also worked with some of the top names in the movie business. His most successful films, however, have been those in which he worked with a well-known director who is no stranger to blockbusters. "Minority Report" was directed by film legend Steven Spielberg, and "Phone Booth" was directed by the veteran filmmaker "Joel Schumacher." For "Alexander," Colin Farrell worked with director Oliver Stone, and on "Miami Vice", Farrell worked under director Michael Mann. Colin Farrell's box office blunders all have one thing in common: relatively unknown directors. "Seven Psychopaths" was directed by Martin McDonagh, a director with only one other feature film under his belt. "Dead Man Down" was directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who is not a well-known name in Hollywood directors. "Winter's Tale" was the directorial debut of Akiva Goldsman.

"Fright Night"

Colin Farrell accepted the role of vampire Jerry in 2011's "Fright Night" but not without first giving the decision some serious thought. The comedy-horror film is a remake of a 1985 film of the same name. Before taking on the film, Farrell worried that the film might irreparably damage his career. While Farrell admits that he normally feels that remakes are "unoriginal" and "uncool," the actor fell in love with the film's funny script. He also embraced the idea of a role that was lighter and less dramatic than others he had done in the past. In the end, the movie turned out to be a dud, and the flop hurt Farrell's image in the eyes of movie lovers.

Colin Farrell has enjoyed a great deal of success in Hollywood, but his most recent ventures have flopped at the box office. It is clear that a few elements must come together in order for Farrell to star in a top-notch film that is a box office success. Colin Farrell needs to play the supporting role to a strong male lead, be cast alongside one of Hollywood's hottest leading ladies, stick with action films and work with established directors. He also needs to avoid cheesy remakes in the future.

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