It cost $350 million to create and market the movie, and it’s a huge flop (relative to the whopping amount of money spent on it—it will still gross more than a Woody Allen movie).
I didn’t watch the movie, but I doubt it’s any worse than profitable movies like the last three Star Wars prequels and various comic-book-based movies.
What did they do wrong? Here are my guesses:
(1) Not a sequel to a previous successful move or old TV show (especially if based on a comic book).
(2) Unknown actor. Who the heck is Taylor Kitsch?
(3) Takes place on a desert planet. Movies on desert planets always do poorly unless they are a Star Wars sequel. Remember the failure that was Dune? People want to see trees, like in Avatar.
If the movie starred Tom Cruise (if he's not too old to play an action hero), took place on a planet with trees, and was called Star Wars Episode XXII, it would have been a huge success, even though it had the exact same story.