The answer is way too many times. The problem is black and white: the script sucked.
If it’s not on the page, it can’t be on the screen. Poorly developed one-dimensional characters will be just that no matter what mega-watt stars play them.
Case in point– Cowboys & Aliens. We’ve got star power out the wazoo. James Bond and Indiana Jones, for crying out loud– Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Toss in some sex appeal with Olivia Wilde and terrific actors Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano, all directed by Jon Favreau, and you should have a blockbuster. Nope. Instead it’s a dud. A movie that clocks in at just under two hours and could have easily lost thirty minutes and would have been better if for no other reason than it would have put itself out of its misery sooner.
I won’t bore you with the alleged plot. Suffice to say, like Snakes On A Plane the title is the plot. There’s a gaggle of screenwriters and producers listed in the credits and they all should be ashamed to have wasted so much talent on such a futile fart-in-the-bathtub kind of film.
Next time, maybe start on the page before you blow a bundle bringing it to the screen.