The success of a movie depends on many different factors. Some of these include the cast, the screenplay, the director, the budget, and the marketing. Some movies are an instant hit at the box office, while other just fail dismally and are forgotten over time. Then there is another group of movies; those that are now recognized as hit, cult, classic, or high quality movies but initially failed at the box office. When a movie is popular now, it is easy to forget their initial failure.
Here are five films that you probably forgot were a flop at the box office.
1. Shawshank Redemption
If people do not realize this was a box office flop, it generally surprises them. This film is now often listed as one of the top movies that you must see in your lifetime and it had all the makings of a success; a great cast, a fantastic director, and an amazing script. The critics loved this film when it was released in 1994 and it was nominated for seven Oscars, including a nomination for Best Picture. Unfortunately, the admiration of the critics was not reflected in box office figures. The budget for the movie was $25 million and it grossed only $28.3 million.
2. The Wizard of Oz
‘The Wizard of Oz’ is now an internationally recognized and acclaimed musical film that is loved for its characters and the morals that run throughout the storyline. It is a film that is considered successful enough to have prompted many remakes and spin offs along with the sequel movie ‘Return to Oz’. However, when it was released in 1939, it was a complete flop in the movie theaters. This was reflected in the box office gross figures of $3 million. This shambolic figure barely covered the $2.7 million budget for the movie.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
For many families, Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. The heartwarming story is one that has stood the test of time and can still deliver a poignant message. However, the movie wasn’t as warmly received when it was released in 1946. In fact, it was a box office flop and received negative reviews from movie critics. Although the film cost $3.18 million to make, its box office gross was just $3.3 million.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ had all the ingredients for success. It is a comic book turned into a movie which is one of the most popular genres of movies, it could also boast Edgar Wright as the director and Michael Cera in the lead role. Everyone involved in the film expected it to become an instant hit at the box office when it was released in 2010. Unfortunately, these predictions were incorrect as the move lost huge amounts of money. The budget was $85 million and the movie grossed just $32 million. Regardless of this massive failure, the film is now something of a cult hit.
5. Citizen Kane
This 1941 movie is still referred to as one of the greatest films of all time. It is also the movie that people claim to have seen if they want to sound intelligent and cultural. When the Orson Welles masterpiece was released, it tanked at the box office grossing just $1.5 million. The movie’s budget was $839,000. Despite its staggering lack of success at the box office, ‘Citizen Kane’ was nominated for nine Oscars.