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Battlefield Earth (2000)
Why it got the green light: A John Travolta vanity vehicle through and through, even post-"Pulp Fiction" no studio was willing to take a gamble on financing "Battlefield Earth", an adaptation of the sci-fi novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Ultimately the film was bankrolled by foreign dollars and later set up at production company Morgan Creek, which released the film through an existing deal with Warner Bros.
Why a franchise never materialized: Plagued by bad buzz from the get-go, the resulting film was even worse than detractors could have imagined. Directed by George Lucas protege Roger Christian, "Battlefield Earth" was greeted with scathing reviews and less than $30 million in worldwide box office on a $44 million budget - a number that had originally been inflated to $75 million by production company Franchise Pictures in a financing scheme that led to an eventual lawsuit and the shuttering of the company. Travolta had originally planned on producing a sequel, but the embarrassing mess that resulted from the first film effectively killed any franchise hopes. - CE