You're an ambitious producer hoping to make it big in Hollywood. Your new film project attracts the attention of not just one but several A-List actors. You've understandably pre-ordered that yacht in anticipation.
But something happens and despite your star-packed cast, your film disappears without a trace, along with that yacht party you'd been planning.
More than ever, the film industry is a fickle place. A cast full of well-known faces is no longer enough to sell a film. This year alone, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler have all suffered at the box office.
So, as some sort of cautionary tale, here are eight star-studded films that you're probably not aware of.
Starring: Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, Zoe Saldana, Marion Cotillard, James Caan, Matthias Schoenaerts
From actor/director Guillaume Canet, best known for the breakout thriller Tell No One, this had a lot going for it. A gritty 70s crime plot, a script co-written by acclaimed writer/director James Gray and, well, that incredible cast but after a lukewarm reaction at Cannes, it was given a small release and seen by most as a disappointment, rather than a total failure.
Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, Jessica Chastain
The life of Pulitzer prize-winning poet CK Williams is brought to life by 12 NYU students in this under-the-radar drama that was cannily remarketed on DVD as Forever Love in an attempt to gain a wider audience. Reviews, like the film itself, were muted. Worth nothing that both James Franco and Mila Kunis have three titles a piece on this list.
Love and Distrust
Starring: James Franco, Amy Adams, Robert Pattinson, Robert Downey Jr, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer
An intriguing mis-sell here that's actually a collection of short films but sold as something else (check out the trailer for proof of that). The stellar cast are actually only in the film very briefly at different moments despite being sold as leads. The result? A whole load of toxic user reviews on IMDb - "I have decided to start a class action lawsuit against the creators of this movie for deceptive advertising" and "the worst movie I've ever seen in my life" being two highlights.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Adrien Brody, Kim Basinger, Maria Bello
Writer/director Paul Haggis has a knack for pulling together impressive casts with his previous films Crash, In The Valley of Elah and The Next Three Days boasting stars including Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Russell Crowe and Tommy Lee Jones, among others. But his latest ensemble piece, about relationships around the world, found itself stalling after brutal reviews followed the film's premiere at last year's Toronto Film Festival. It was called "a work of staggering trash" by The Guardian, which is quite a statement.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jessica Alba, Winona Ryder, Jon Hamm, Jason Sudeikis, Liev Schreiber
Around the time of Knocked Up, Paul Rudd also suffered a few forgotten misfires, including this collection of sketches based around the Ten Commandments. Rudd anchors the framing device, introducing the various tales, which feature a strange selection of stars. There are a few amusing moments but, given the collective talent on display, it's a general disappointment. The next time director David Wain collaborated with Rudd, they created Role Models aka all is forgiven.
The Cassandra Crossing
Starring: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Burt Lancaster, Martin Sheen, Ava Gardner
Back when all-star disaster movies were packing them in (The Towering Inferno, Airport, The Poseidon Adventure etc), studios were eager to drain more cash from the familiar formula. On paper, this one should have been a doozy. The plot focuses on the passengers of a luxury train who are infected by a killer plague, thanks to some pesky terrorists. The starry cast then attempts survival. With mixed results. Critics hated it and audiences stayed well away.
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss
A recent attempt to turn the other Hemsworth brother into a leading man, after supporting turns in The Hunger Games and The Expendables 2, this conspiracy thriller surrounded him with veterans but none of them could muster up either suspense or an audience. The film failed to even open inside the top 10 in the US and critics eviscerated it. A few months later, his older brother scored another worldwide smash with Thor 2. Which is awkward...
The Son Of No One
Starring: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche
While Channing Tatum is now one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood, just three years back, he headlined this film which was quietly buried after toxic reviews emerged. In it, he plays a cop whose dark secret comes back to haunt him. He's surrounded by fine actors, including a miscast Juliette Binoche as the editor of a small town newspaper, but the whole film fails to hang together in any convincing way.
(Images: All Star)