IIt’s not easy to predict which movies will hit the box office, but every once in a while, something great comes with a low ticket price.

Over the years, there have been a number of incredible movies that have struggled, or actually failed, to recoup their budgets, unjustly earning the “box office failure” tag.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why movies like this – Men’s children and It’s a wonderful life, to name a few – struggled to find an audience at first. Most of the time, though, the quality shines and the film eventually finds a cult fan base beyond its theatrical release.

Thanks to the advent of streaming services, reliance on box office numbers has lessened somewhat over the years. This also means that movies that struggled to find audiences upon release can continue to find love years later after being added to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or another service.

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Assassination of Jesse James by coward Robert Ford (2007)

Andrew Dominik’s venerable West only collected half of its $30m (£22m) budget when it was released in cinemas in 2007. Fortunately, however, it managed to find see love after being released on DVD and Blu-ray, without a doubt, it has been included in some of the “best movie list of the year” movies.

Blackhat (2015)

Michael Mann’s underrated cyber-thriller was a box office bomb, earning just $19.7m (£15m) at the box office against a budget of $70m (52.5m). pound). Unfairly harsh reviews probably don’t help.

Blade Runner (1982)

It’s hard to imagine a movie like Blade Runner flop at the time of release, but it’s precisely Ridley Scott’s sci-fi movie. After a lackluster showing in the US, the film proved its strength to audiences worldwide and became a word-of-mouth hit in the process. However, it only made $10.5 million (£8 million) against its $30 million (£22.5 million) budget.

Children of Men (2006)

Although it is now considered one of the greatest films of the 21st century, Alfonso Cuarón’s eerie thriller, starring Clive Owen, failed to recoup box office. at the time of its release in 2006.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Orson Welles’ film may now be a beloved classic, but it was a different story in the early 1940s: it failed to recoup its costs at the box office – and was beaten at the Film Awards. best Oscar by (the movie is really good) How green is my valley.

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(RKO Radio Pictures)

Clock (1995)

Spike Lee’s Clock ranks as one of the director’s most disappointing performances at the box office to date, taking only $13 million (£10 million) from a $25 million (£18.7 million) budget. ).

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Peter Berg’s real-life drama fell more than $30 million (£22.6m) from a budget of $156m (£117m) – it’s a shame to consider it one of the Friday night lights the creator’s best movies to date (from the director Battleship and 22 . milewe don’t have to say much).

Donnie Darko (2004)

Donnie Darko grossed just over $7.5 million (£5.6 million) worldwide on a $4.5 million (£3.3 million) budget. One notable reason for its failure may have been its marketing campaign focusing on the scene involving an engine crash of an aircraft just weeks before 9/11. Thankfully, the film has continued to amass a large following after its release on DVD and is now one of the most popular films of the 2000s.

(Dale Robinette / Flowers / Gaylord / Adam Fields Prod / Kobal / Shutterstock)

Event Horizon (1997)

With its B-movie scares and absurd mess, Event horizon has all the ingredients to become a sleepy hit. Instead, it was a critical and commercial failure, grossing $26.7 million (£20 million) on a production budget of $60 million (£45 million).

Fight Club (1999)

There is some controversy surrounding David Fincher Fight Club at the time of release due to rumors that studio executives didn’t like the finished product. It is because of this that the owners have scaled back their planned marketing campaign in order to reduce what they expect will be poor ticket sales. It’s no surprise, then, that the film underwhelms at the box office.

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Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Michael Cimino’s ambitious epic was notably one of the biggest box office bombs of its time, costing studio United Artists around $37m (£27.7m) – or more. $114 million (£85.5 million) when adjusted for inflation. The film, which received critical acclaim at the time, has been re-reviewed in recent years – and is best viewed as one of the last truly director-driven films. in that Hollywood era.

Hugo (2011)

Martin Scorsese’s glamorous family drama was a commercial failure, grossing just $185 million (£138.6 million) against a budget of $150–170 million (£112 million-127 million) Older brother). Five years later, he will have another failure with Silent, thus making studios wary of investing in the director’s future projects. Instead of. Scorsese moves to streaming, releases Irish people on Netflix in 2019. He’s releasing his next two movies, including the 2022 one The Killers of the Flower Moonon Apple TV+.

(Paramount / Gk / Kobal / Shutterstock)

Insider (1999)

Despite being loved by critics, Michael Mann’s film – starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe – never raked in its $68m (£51m) budget.

Iron Giant (1999)

Despite being one of the best animated movies of all time, Iron giant was a victim of Warner Bros’ skepticism towards the genre following the failure of their previous attempt, Looking for Camelot. Pixar’s future director Brad Bird’s film earned $31.3m (£23.4m) worldwide on a budget of $70–80m (£52 – £60m).

It Was a Wonderful Life (1946)

While not a huge flop, this classic underperformed at the Christmas box office due to stiff competition from other major films released at the time, including William Wyler The best years of our lives and Powell and Pressburger’s A matter of life and death.

King of Comedy (1982)

Although Martin Scorsese’s film was critically well received, it was a box office flop. Reflecting on this, lead star Robert De Niro said that the film “probably wasn’t very well received because it exudes something that people don’t want to see or know”.

King Richard (in 2021)

Despite having released a memoir and given eye-catching headlines weeks before King RichardUpon release, Will Smith failed to get people interested in his new film. Life Chart of Venus and Serena Williams’ Tennis Coach Father, King Richard is pure Oscar decoy and while it may not be technically “brilliant”, it is an extremely charming watch. Not many people know: with a budget of $50 million (£37 million), its current gross two weeks after release is $16.4 million (£12.2 million).

Man on the Moon (1999)

This Jim Carrey film by Miloš Forman cost Universal a lot of money after failing to recover its budget of $52m – $82m (£39m – £61.4m). In 2017, footage of the filmmaking process was turned into a documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyondchronicles Carrey’s transformation into comedian Andy Kaufman.

mom! (2017)

First, yes – we rate Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror as a “great” movie. Second, yes – it was deemed a flop after earning just $14m (£10.5m) at the box office.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

David Lynch’s Head is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, but it was too difficult to market that it failed to recover from its $20m (£15m) budget.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

Edgar Wright’s latest movie, Last night in Soho, failure. at the box office – but it’s not the first time the director has been disappointed. In 2010, Scott Pilgrim was a box office bomb, grossing $47.7 million (£35.8 million) against a production budget of $85 million – $90 million (£63.7 million – £67.5 million). ). However, the love for the film has remained strong for 11 years, with the director regularly tweeting whenever it airs on TV.

‘Scott Traveler vs World’

(Big Talk Productions / Kobal / Shutterstock)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This Stephen King adaptation may famously top IMDb’s “top 250” list, but it was a box office disappointment upon release, earning just $16 million (£12 million). ) during the first theatrical run. It will then be reissued and earn $58.3m (£43.7m), which is kind of a cheat, but we’ll allow it.

A Simple Plan (1998)

Sam Raimi’s Oscar-nominated Coen brothers-style drama, now showing on BBC iPlayer, has earned $17m (£12.7m) at the box office,. This probably cemented its fate to become one of the most underrated films of the 1990s.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Until the release of home entertainment, the simulation of Rob Reiner This is the spinal tapchronicles the rise of a fictional band, which has become a beloved classic to this day.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

It may be a brilliant Roald Dahl adaptation, but Gene Wilder’s film made a tiny profit of $1 million (£749) upon its initial release in 1971. It solidified its status as the one of the most beloved family series of all time after becoming a regular fixture on the Christmas TV schedule.


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