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    21 Movies That Weren't Super Successful At The Box Office, But Are Beyond Beloved Now

    "It was an absolute flop at the box office. It almost killed the studio that made it. At one point, there was some debate about ownership of it because nobody wanted it."

    In a viral thread, redditor u/OkWar3191 asked, "What's a movie that bombed at the box office but was actually good?" And y'all, there are no lies detected here.

    So with that in mind, here are just a few of the most popular responses shared:

    1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

    A couple sit on a couch

    BOX OFFICE: $3,300,000 (estimated)

    BUDGET: $3,700,000

    "This movie is probably the biggest example of this. It was an absolute flop at the box office. It almost killed the studio that made it. At one point, there was some debate about ownership of it because nobody wanted it, so TV networks could air it without paying anyone. That's when it started getting shown on TV constantly around Christmas, and it gained its status as one of the best Christmas movies of all time."

    u/diiejso

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    RKO Radio Pictures / Via youtube.com

    2. Clue (1985)

    A group of people stand over a body

    BOX OFFICE: $14,643,997

    BUDGET: $15,000,000

    "Given its current reputation, it's hard to believe it didn't even make its budget back."

    u/MrQuizzles

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

    3. Death to Smoochy (2002)

    A man in a purple rhino outfit

    BOX OFFICE: $8,382,938

    BUDGET: $50,000,000

    "It's one of my favorite dark comedies ever conceived. It didn't do well at the box office and was panned by critics despite having an extraordinary cast: Ed Norton, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Danny DeVito, Catherine Keener, Harvey Fierstein, Danny Woodburn, and Michael Rispoli. I think it's absolutely brilliant, and everyone delivers an incredible performance, especially Norton and Williams."

    u/LewisEFurr

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    A man sits in prison

    BOX OFFICE: $28,884,504

    BUDGET: $25,000,000

    "It notoriously bombed at the box office but went on to receive critical acclaim."

    u/TooSpicyforyoWifey

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Pictures / Via youtube.com

    5. The Thing (1982)

    A man holds a flame thrower

    BOX OFFICE: $19,632,715

    BUDGET: $15,000,000

    "One of my all-time-favorite horror movies! I understand it's regularly taught in film schools, not just for the practical effects but for the paranoia that was central to the story. You never knew, even at the very end, who was genuinely human and who was an imitation."

    u/PianoManGidley

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    6. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

    Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Ursula Reit, Nora Denney, Julie Dawn Cole, Roy Kinnear, Gene Wilder, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, and Leonard Stone on set

    BOX OFFICE: $4,057,564

    BUDGET: $3,000,000

    "For the classic film that it is, the original didn’t do well at the box office."

    u/justmoochin

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

    7. Matilda (1996)

    A family sit at a table

    BOX OFFICE: $33,459,416

    BUDGET: $36,000,000

    "Absolute 10/10 movie. Danny DeVito as the dad was a magnificent casting choice."

    u/Redqueenhypo

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Tristar Pictures / Via youtube.com

    8. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

    A man on a boat looks off into the distance

    BOX OFFICE: $212,912,137

    BUDGET: $135,000,000

    "It did a modest box office and recouped its budget, but it didn't make much profit. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) and was critically acclaimed, with a great cast. Explanation for poor box office was that it was out around the same time as Elf, in November/December of 2003. It was also released after the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which had done well that summer. People may not have had the appetite for another maritime film, especially one without the humor and fantastical escapism of Pirates. And why didn't those 10 nominations turn into awards? Because it had the misfortune to compete against The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which won 11 awards that year. Some serious bad luck and poor timing are the reasons so many people have never heard of this masterpiece."

    u/Hamilton_Spector

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    9. The Princess Bride (1987)

    A princess and a pirate kiss

    BOX OFFICE: $31,046,220

    BUDGET: $15,000,000

    "They didn't know how to market it. Is it a fantasy film? Is it an action film? Is it a comedy? Is it for kids? All the reasons it became a classic are the same reasons they couldn't get people into the theaters to see it."

    u/GardenGnomeOfEden

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    10. Galaxy Quest (1999)

    A group of astronauts stand together

    BOX OFFICE: $90,523,726

    BUDGET: $45,000,000

    "The victim of poor marketing. The marketing team decided that 'a goofy comedy for kids' was the right way to sell it, when in reality, it was semiserious comedy aimed at adults that just happened to be kid friendly."

    u/eaglescout1984

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    DreamWorks Pictures / Via youtube.com

    11. The Big Lebowski (1998)

    A man and a woman bowl together

    BOX OFFICE: $46,189,568

    BUDGET: $15,000,000

    "So, I heard it didn't do so well in theaters...but that's just, like, my opinion, man."

    u/DragonflyScared813

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Gramercy Pictures / Via youtube.com

    12. Treasure Planet (2002)

    A teenage boy on a skateboard

    BOX OFFICE: $109,578,115

    BUDGET: $140,000,000

    "For me, it's a contender for the best animated movie ever. Up there with Iron Giant."

    u/usafa_rocks

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Walt Disney Co. / Via youtube.com

    13. Hook (1991)

    A man and a teenager fight

    BOX OFFICE: $119,654,823

    BUDGET: $70,000,000

    "It was considered a flop at the box office and has 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I will always love that movie."

    u/theDeuce

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    TriStar Pictures / Via youtube.com

    14. Dragonheart (1996)

    A dragon and a man talk

    BOX OFFICE: $104,364,680

    BUDGET: $57,000,000

    "It didn't do well at the box office, but I love the shit out of it. I mean, who WOULDN'T, with Sean Connery voicing Draco and Dennis Quaid as a knight?"

    u/KnockMeYourLobes

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    15. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

    A man stands in a crowd screaming

    BOX OFFICE: $53,653,224

    BUDGET: $30,000,000

    "It's such an underrated movie, with fantastic performances from both Will Farrell and Emma Thompson. I guess it didn't totally bomb, but worldwide, it barely made back its production budget."

    u/ElijahatCarmel

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Sony Pictures / Via youtube.com

    16. Equilibrium (2002)

    Two men sword fight

    BOX OFFICE: $5,345,869

    BUDGET: $20,000,000

    "I enjoyed it as much as The Matrix, but it's unfortunate that it just didn't make any money."

    u/sadowsentry

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Miramax / Via youtube.com

    17. Waterworld (1995)

    A man in water screaming

    BOX OFFICE: $264,000,000

    BUDGET: $175,000,000

    "I fucking loved it. Don't get all the hate for it. It's Mad Max on boats."

    u/Phenomenon101

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    18. Children of Men (2006)

    A man and a woman chat

    BOX OFFICE: $70,455,770

    BUDGET: $76,000,000

    "It made $70,000,000 at the box office on a $76,000,000 budget, but was nominated for a bunch of awards (and won several, too) and has held up."

    u/georgey_porgey

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    19. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

    A woman and man talk

    BOX OFFICE: $55,495,466

    BUDGET: $27,000,000

    "Beautiful sets, great writing, moment-in-time cast — it's one of my favorite movies, and nobody has ever heard of it."

    u/BergsEyeView

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    The Weinstein Co. / Via youtube.com

    20. The Nice Guys (2016)

    Two men and two young girls look at something off camera

    BOX OFFICE: $62,788,218

    BUDGET: $50,000,000

    "It is often referred to as an unfortunate flop. I love this movie. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have great chemistry. I would have killed for a sequel."

    u/Ruddose

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    And finally:

    21. The Last Duel (2021)

    A man looks angry

    BOX OFFICE: $30,552,111

    BUDGET: $100,000,000

    "It failed so hard, it was kind of a meme, but that movie was great!"

    u/W8sB4D8s

    You can watch the original trailer for the film here:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Studios / Via youtube.com

    You've read their picks, but now it's your turn! What's a movie that did "meh" at the box office but you truly love? Share in the comments below!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    H/T: r/AskReddit.

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