'Sahara' stands out as an example of poor planning. Movie opened in the top spot, had good DVD sales, but finished deep in debt. Why? Promotion costs were (hold on to something) $100 million. Holy cow. All totaled the production cost $250 million and carries $105 million in red ink.
The bad mojo continued far after the movie closed with Clive Cussler (author of the novel the movie is based on) suing the producers for failing to give him script approval, and the producers countering for failure on Cussler's part to promote the movie.
NPR's Madeline Brand talks to LAT reporter Glenn Bunting about the court decision, and the sordid financial details of the production including the bribery costs involved in securing shooting locations in Morocco, the two million dollar opening sequence that wasn't used, and the heavy coin spent on star perks. Bunting's story in LAT from April. LAT story from 5/16.