HomeCulture25 brilliant movies that were box office bombs, from Babylon to Fight...

25 brilliant movies that were box office bombs, from Babylon to Fight Club

PRedefining which movies will explode at the box office may seem like an easy task, but there’s a reason studios are paid so much to do so.

However, every now and then, an acclaimed film can come out and be completely successful after it’s released to the public.

Over the years, there have been a staggering number of films that have struggled, or actually failed to recover, and have been labeled a “box office flop” as a result.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why movies like this – man’s child And It’s a wonderful life, to name a few – struggled to find an audience at first. Fortunately, however, the quality of the film shined through and the film eventually found a following in theaters.

Thanks to the advent of streaming services, reliance on box office figures has decreased somewhat over the years. This also means that movies that have trouble finding audiences upon release are likely to continue to find love years after being added to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or another service.

Below, we take a look at a list of the films that unexpectedly – ​​and unfairly – hit the box office.

The Assassination of Jesse James by Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Andrew Dominik’s revered Western only collected half of its $30m (£22m) budget when it was released in cinemas in 2007. Fortunately, however, the film was loved after it was released on DVD and Blu-ray, certainly helped by being included in some of the “best movies”. movie of the year list.

Babylon (2022)

It’s hard to know exactly what’s behind Babylon tasteless box office screenings. Is it due to poor marketing or the fact that the movie is 190 minutes long? Whatever the reason, it’s a damn shame – in her five stars Babylon review, Clarisse Loughrey described the “depraved drama” as “designed specifically to divide audiences”, adding that it “smashes to the head any notion that the era of silent films of The film industry has always been austere or weird.”

Black Hat (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). The unfairly harsh reviews probably don’t help.

Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’

(Frank Connor/Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures)

Blade Runner (1982)

It’s hard to imagine a movie as popular as sword runner flop at the time of its release, but it’s precisely Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film. After a lackluster stint in the US, the film proved its staying power through audiences worldwide and became a word of mouth in the process. However, it made just over $10.5 million (£8 million) against a budget of $30 million (£22.5 million).

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Men’s Children (2006)

Though it’s now widely considered one of the best films of the 21st century, Alfonso Cuarón’s dark thriller, starring Clive Owen, failed to make money at the box office at release date in 2006.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Orson Welles’ film might be a beloved classic now, but in the early 1940s it was a different story: it failed to recoup its cost at the box office — and was beaten at the awards. Oscar Best Picture by (really very good) How green is my valley.

(Photo by RKO radio)

Stopwatch (1995)

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

Deep Water Horizon (2016)

Peter Berg’s real-life drama fell more than $30m (£22.6m) from its $156m (£117m) budget – it’s a shame to consider it one of the Friday night lights the creator’s best films to date (of which, from the person who directed Battleship And 22 . milewe don’t say much).

Donnie Yen (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 could be that its marketing campaign focused on the scene involved in an aircraft engine crash just weeks before 9/11. Thankfully, the film has continued to amass a following following its release on DVD and is now one of the most popular films of the 2000s.

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

Event Horizon (1997)

With its B-movie-style scares and ridiculous twists, Event horizon has all the ingredients to being a sleeper. Instead, it was a commercial and critical failure, grossing $26.7 million (£20 million) on a production budget of $60 million (£45 million).

The Fabelman House (2022)

Steven Spielberg’s late-career endeavors rarely enjoy the kind of box office magic that defined his early successes. But still shocked to see so few viewers Fabelman’s house, a mostly autobiographical film focusing on the filmmaker’s childhood and his parents’ marital troubles. Perhaps a marketing error – the trailers suggest this will be a silly love letter to a cinematic wonder, while the actual film offers a much more nuanced and cynical worldview .

Seth Rogen in ‘The Fabelmans’

(Universal image)

Fight Club (1999)

There’s Something Controversial Around David Fincher fight club at the time of release due to rumors that studio executives did not like the finished product. It is because of this that the owners have scaled back their planned marketing campaign in an attempt to reduce what they expect is poor ticket sales. It’s no surprise, then, that the film was underwhelmed at the box office.

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Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Michael Cimino’s ambitious epic is notable for being one of the biggest box office bombs of its time, costing the studio United Artists an estimated $37m (£27.7m) – which is more than $114 million (£85.5 million) when adjusted for inflation. The film, which received critical acclaim from critics at the time, has been re-evaluated in recent years – and is considered one of the last truly director-driven films of the century. That old Hollywood.

Huy Hoang (2011)

Martin Scorsese’s charming family film was a commercial failure, grossing just $185 million (£138.6 million) against a budget of $150–170 million (£112 million-$127 million). US dollars). Five years later, he failed again with Silent, thus making studios wary about investing in the director’s future projects. Instead of. Scorsese moves into streaming, releases Irish on Netflix in 2019. He will release his next two movies, including 2022 The Killers of the Flower Moonon Apple TV+.


Insider (1999)

Despite being critically loved, Michael Mann’s film – starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe – never raked in a $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. Future Pixar director Brad Bird’s film made $31.3m (£23.4m) worldwide on a budget of $70–80m (£52-60m). .

It was a wonderful life (1946)

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

James Stewart and Donna Reed in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’


King of Comedy (1982)

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

Man on the Moon (1999)

This Jim Carrey film by Miloš Forman ended up costing Universal a lot of money after failing to recoup its $52-82 million (£39 million-61.4 million) budget. In 2017, footage of the filmmaking process was adapted into a documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyondchronicles Carrey’s transformation into comedian Andy Kaufman.

Driving Mulholland (2001)

David Lynch’s head-scratching film is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, but was so difficult to market that it failed to recoup its $20m (£15m) budget.

Scott Pilgrim World War (2010)

Edgar Wright’s latest movie, Last night in Soho, failure. at the box office – but it wasn’t the director’s first sense of disappointment. In 2010, The Pilgrim Scott 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) million pounds). Still, the love for the film remains strong 11 years on, with the director frequently tweeting whenever it airs on TV.

‘Scott Traveler vs World’

(Produced for Big Talk/Kobal/Shutterstock)

The Shawshank Atonement (1994)

This Stephen King adaptation may have famously topped IMDb’s “top 250 movies” list, but was disappointing at the box office upon release, earning only $16 million (£12 million). ) during the first time in theaters. It will then be reissued and earn $58.3m (£43.7m), which is kind of a fraud, but we’ll allow it.

A Simple Plan (1998)

This Oscar-nominated Coen brothers-style noir by Sam Raimi, now showing on BBC iPlayer, has grossed $17 million (£12.7 million) at the box office. This probably cemented its destiny as one of the lesser-known films of the 1990s.

This Is the Spine Faucet (1984)

Until the release of home entertainment, Rob Reiner’s fantasy film This Is The Spine Faucetchronicles the rise of a fictional band, which has become the beloved classic it is today.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

It may have been a brilliant adaptation of Roald Dahl, but the Gene Wilder film made a small profit of $1 million (£749) upon its initial release in 1971. It cemented 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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