7 Great Movies That Bombed At The Box Office Source:

Sometimes really great movies don’t get the kind of love that they deserve when they are first released. There are many different reasons for this. Sometimes they just aren’t marketed well or they can’t find an appropriate audience for the film. There is also the problem with competition – sometimes they are competing with some really popular movies at the theatre, which puts them at a real disadvantage. Many of these films have since become cult classics; however, for some of them, it took years. Here are 7 films that are really great but, for whatever reason, bombed at the box office.

7. Office Space

“Office Space” may have a cult following now, but when it was first released in theatres it failed to make an impression. With a budget of $10 million, it only made $10,827,810 in North America and another $2 million internationally. According to the director Mike Judge, the movie was a tough sell. “Office Space isn’t like American Pie,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It doesn’t have the kind of jokes you put in a 15-second television spot of somebody getting hit on the head with a frying pan. It’s sly. And let me tell you, sly is hard to sell.” Source:

6. Hugo

Critics praised “Hugo” for its visual design, acting and direction and it went on to win five Academy Awards; however, in spite of this, it flopped at the box office. Its budget was between $150 and $170 million and it only earned $73,864,507 domestically and $111,905,653 internationally. Many blame the film’s poor box office performance on timing – “Breaking Dawn Part 1” and “The Muppets” were released around the same time, so it had some stiff competition. Souce:

5. Donnie Darko

Despite receiving positive reviews from critics, “Donnie Darko” performed poorly at the American box office. Some think it was too esoteric for its own good. Fortunately, the film was better received overseas and was able to recoup its budget as a result.

Since then, the film has developed a large cult following and many consider Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance to be his most underrated. Source:

4. Blade Runner

When it was released in 1982, “Blade Runner” was considered to be just another sci-fi flick. It only took home $6.5 million during its opening weekend. One of the big reasons for the film’s poor box office performance was that it was released around the same time as “The Thing,” “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” which became the highest grossing movie of the year. Critics were also polarized. Some were unimpressed with the film’s pacing while others praised its complexity.

Since its release, “Blade Runner” has garnered a cult following and it is now considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. Source:

3. Fight Club

“Fight Club” is considered a modern day classic; however, no one could have predicted this when it was first released. When studio execs first screened the film, they were deeply unimpressed and were concerned that the film would not have an audience. Marketing executives had trouble marketing the film and had to restructure the director’s original marketing campaign in an effort to reduce anticipated losses. It didn’t help matters when the film failed to meet 20th Century Fox’s expectations at the box office and critics fiercely debated the film upon its release.

“Fight Club” was finally able to find success when it was released on DVD. It sold more than six million copies on DVD and video. Source:

2. The Shawshank Redemption

“The Shawshank Redemption” was a dud at the box office when it opened over 20 years ago; however, in spite of this, it received multiple award nominations, including seven Academy Award nods, as well as widespread acclaim from critics.

Since its release, the film has gone on to find success on cable television, VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. In addition, it has also been included in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies, Roger Ebert’s list of The Great movies and IMDb’s user-generated Top 250. Source:

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” which was based on the graphic novel series “Scott Pilgrim,” is one of those clever, funny and offbeat movies that just didn’t fare well at the box office. It failed to recoup its production budget while it was in theatres, bringing in $31.5 million in North America and $16 million internationally. The critics’ response to the film was generally positive; however, that wasn’t enough to get people to go see it at the theatre.

Like many other films on this list, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” did better on home media format and it now has its own cult following. Source:

Cate Willikers

Cate Willikers