We're talking about his big-budget movies. His smaller movies can't save him if his bigger movies don't deliver the $$$. That goes for all directors.
Fact is, "Superman Returns" is considered a box office disappointment. Warner lost money. The head of the studio talked about it. The expectations were huge, the budget was huge...and the movie end up making little over $390 million worldwide. That's really bad for a movie of this size. To put things in perspective, the first "Transformers" made over $300 million in the States alone.
"Valkyrie" did good worldwide but it was not hailed as a huge box office success. Some say the $80 million budget is actually a $100 million budget. Not to mention the money for marketing. After all, it was a Tom Cruise vehicle.
Thing is Albershide, the first few days are the most important days, box office wise. Ask anyone working in Hollywood. The first weekend is extremely important and it's a clear indicator of how a movie would perform. That's the reason it is duscussed so much and because of it people are able to make accurate predictions. "Jack the Giant Slayer" is following the "John Carter" pattern. It's very, very expensive and considering the budget and the marketing cost it'll have to make $500 million in order to be called a "success".
At this point though, $500 million is only a dream.
Well, he directed a movie that made over $450 million and it still stands as the most successful "X-Men" movie. Just because the "X-Men" crowd hates it doesn't mean that all people hate it. It's a funny situation - the hardcore fanboys bash it and Ratner is laughing all the way to the bank. Kinda like Bay and "Transformers"...