Top 5 Great Films That Failed at the Box Office

Iris | 11 - 04 - 2023

Since the beginning of the cinematic era, Hollywood delivered numerous films that were instant hits and celebrated by fans. From spine-chilling thrillers to breathtaking action, few movies received positive reviews but underrated box office failures. The phrase ‘box office flops’ does not always mean bad movies because many flops become classic ones. In some cases, these movies lose money because of the poor marketing, and absence of popularity. However, these films deserved so much attention for their brilliant plot. Let’s delve into the top 5 films that failed box office. 

Blockbusters that Weren’t Box Office Hits

Throughout history, great talents like Denis Villeneuve, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro and 

Steven Spielberg have had box office disappointments. The failed movies in theaters gained a new life when its added to Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other online streaming platforms. Here is the list of the top 5 films that failed box office but received wider audience reach later. 

What is the gross over of The Shawshank Redemption?
  • A. $50 million
  • B. $30 million
  • C. $100 million
  • D. $25 million

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Frank Darabont direction is praised as one of the greatest movies ever. Yet, can you believe it is one of the famous movies that didn’t make money? Unfortunately, yes, it’s grossing only around $28 million. Besides, The Shawshank Redemption has been an absolute fan-favorite for years in Hollywood.

2. Fight Club (1999) 

One of the top films that flopped financially in 1999 upon its theatrical release. Rumors spread that the executives didn’t prefer the film’s final version before the release. The movie gained only $37 million in the US compared to its original budget of $60 million. That makes it the Hollywood’s failed blockbuster movie. Only a few people know the worth and praise the movie. 

3. Donnie Darko (2001)


The sci-fi psychological thriller Donnie Darko was considered a box office disappointment in cinema. The marketing campaign of the film does not help in creating revenue. After its release on DVD and video, the movie gained the audience’s attention for its captivating storytelling and mesmerizing performance of Jake Gyllenhaal. 

4. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) 

It is the biggest sci-fi film of all time but a box office letdown in film history. The movie did not succeed in theatres due to the low collection of $100 million at the box office. Yet, the Denis Villeneuve blockbuster held a compelling story that led to winning the Academy Awards for cinematography and visual effects. 

5. The Suicide Squad (2021)


With the 2016 Suicide Squad disappointing fans, the James Gunn version of the dangerous team sparked hope for the fandom. The movie delivered thrill and amazement, but underperformed at the box office, grossing only over $55 million at the domestic box office.

Also read, Hollywood’s top film franchises of all time. What is the gross over of The Shawshank Redemption?

Famous Movies That Didn’t Make Money

Apart from the above top 5 box office flops, there are some other commercially unsuccessful but great movies. The list of top films that struggled financially and went unnoticed is specified below:

Famous Movies That Didn't Make Money

Also read, the 15 most profitable movies of all time. 

Now, you have an idea about the movies that failed at the box office due to production budgets, and poor marketing. Yet, it reached a wide audience through online streaming platforms. So, do not judge movies based on their box office performance alone because it’s more worthy of your attention.

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