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10 Great Movies That Failed At The Box Office



Recently, we had a very particular case of a film which, in addition to the terrible repercussion of the critics, sank at the world box office, the new production of the filmmaker David O. Russell, ‘Amsterdam’. O. Russell is known for directing other outstanding works, such as “The Bright Side” and “Hustle”, successful cases, however, this time the director has assembled a stellar cast, with names ranging from Robert De Niro and Christian Bale to Margot. Robbie and Rami Malek – all award-winning actors – not to mention pop star Taylor Swift, and it went terribly wrong.

The event reminds us that big castings and expensive productions don’t always equate to success, and even films that have been praised by specialist critics don’t easily shake off the shame of failing at the box office. Precisely the cases we are going to address this time, renowned works, many of which are true classics of cinema, which did not make money or reached enough numbers to even pay their budget.

We also list productions that represented genres or were important at the time when they were released. From revolutionizing technical aspects to historical and thematic concepts. Sure, many of the films mentioned seem like a lie to say they performed poorly, but in some cases they weren’t understood either. And also say which box office failures you consider an injustice. Let’s go to the list!

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

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Sergio Leone is one of the western world’s greatest legends, collecting hit classics like “Once Upon a Time in the West” and “Three Men and a Conflict,” however, one of his greatest epics, ” Once Upon a Time in America ‘, which is also a classic, it was the biggest failure of his career. Leone wanted to show the original version of the film at 4:30, but the producers predicted that the work would be a failure in theaters and reduced it to 2:20.

However, to no avail, mainstream audiences failed to embrace the work at the time, and “Once Upon a Time in America” ​​only grossed $5 million against a $30 million budget. Years later, filmmaker Martin Scorsese attempted to piece together the original version and released a 3:49 cut, where it received a standing ovation.

Cleopatra (1963)

This is a very unusual case, as the other epic “Cleopatra” was the highest-grossing film of its opening year in 1963, but the feature was simply the most expensive production in cinema history until at that time, costing the incredible sum of $44 million. , which today would equate to US$280 million. The legendary Elizabeth Taylor did not attract the number of people expected to see the film and the gigantic Fox almost went bankrupt, having to stop several productions at the time so as not to close the doors definitively.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

It’s amazing to know this these days, but when ‘The Wizard of Oz’ premiered, Judy Garland and company excited no one, and the movie only made $3 million, after costing 2.8 million dollars, an astronomical budget at the time. And even “paying”, the amount collected is still considered negligible. However, when the film was re-released ten years later, success came and only then was it loved as it is today. After being broadcast on television in 1956, “The Wizard of Oz” went from a failure to an absolute classic.

Fight Club (1999)

‘Fight Club’ since its release has exploded and struck the minds of many, the feature film hit theaters in 1999, and ever-great director David Fincher hoped to make a name for himself with the work once and for all, after having risen to prominence with the equally large ‘Seven’. However, he didn’t count on rejection from Fox, who apparently hated the film when watching it and was sure it would be flopped.

They then did a marketing campaign selling an action movie that was very different from what the movie actually was, it definitely went wrong and didn’t reach the expected target audience. As a result, “Fight Club” cost $63 million, but only made $37 million in the United States and Canada, being slightly better in the rest of the world. It wasn’t until it was released on home video that the film gained the acclaim it deserved and sold very well.

Blade Runner – The Android Hunter (1982)

It’s one of the most iconic cases of movies gone bad, when it comes to box office. When “Blade Runner” was released, the film faced fierce competition from two major productions, which were “ET – The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan”.

Add to that a modified theatrical version, betting more on the action, and the result was a box office considered embarrassing, reaching only $6 million, in addition to poor reviews, where the film was considered ” a waste of time” by the duo Siskel. and Ebert. Years later, with the home video release and director’s cut, “Blade Runner” has become one of science fiction’s greatest classics.

A Falling Body (1958)

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece ‘A Falling Body’ is considered one of the best films of all time, being the best of them all by Sight & Sound film critics. But believe it or not, the film was a huge box office failure in the 1950s, grossing just $3.2 million during its entire run in American theaters. In fact, it is simply the second worst box office of the filmmaker’s career. At the time, major newspapers such as Variety, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times said the film was too long and too explanatory. Have you thought?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is considered by many to be the best children’s film since “The Wizard of Oz”, with full critical approval, but the box office was very poor. The film barely hit its $3 million budget, with only $1 million in profits.

Despite these very low figures, the work has become a classic over time, and also because numerous VHS sales and the theatrical re-release in 96 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary finally made it famous. The feature film reached absurd relevance by being a reference in ‘Simpsons’, in addition to becoming an inspiration for several productions of the genre. Earning later until a remake directed by Tim Burton and starring Johny Depp.

The Riddle of Another World (1982)

After the success of ‘Halloween’, master John Carpenter made a few more films until he achieved his masterpiece, ‘The Enigma of Another World’, a horror classic that mixes sci-fi and Lovecraftian elements in a literally chilling adventure. . At the time, however, the film had to face other successful works like “ET – The Extra-Terrestrial”, which eclipsed everything that had been released at the time, precisely because it brought a more positive message. space creatures. The production, which cost US$15 million, grossed just over US$19 million, and major studios are no longer giving the genius Carpenter a big budget.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

It’s a bedtime movie for many people, as it’s impossible for anyone who loves cinema not to have seen this classic starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. On IMDB, it is the highest rated film on the site. Even so, the film revered by many moviegoers only raked in $2.4 million upon release. Then he managed to find the modest sum of $28 million, which barely covered his budget of $25 million. Which is curious, because it has a popular appeal and is able to conquer the most diverse audiences.

Citizen Kane (1941)

“Citizen Kane”, which is to this day considered one of the most important films of all time, is a clear criticism of William Randolph Hearst, a powerful press magnate who used all his power to prevent newspapers to talk about the production, and threatened cinemas to show the film, watch it. In fact, the director of MGM even offered a large sum of money to have the work completely destroyed. However, “Citizen Kane” remains intact, but generated huge losses and had a mediocre box office compared to its size.

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