10 Famous Movies That Surprisingly Flopped In The Box Office

Sadly, just because many people enjoy a certain film, that doesn’t instantly make it successful. And that doesn’t mean all those people have a poor taste in movies – that’s just because the success of movies is based on the profit it makes in the box office, rather than on the opinions of the viewers. However, there are times when movies that flopped in the box office make spectacular comebacks and eventually become cult classics – and today we have 10 great examples that might leave you surprised.

Check out the movies that became cult classics despite being box office flops in the gallery below!

#1 The Shawshank Redemption

Image source: Columbia Pictures

Budget: $25,000,000

Box office earnings: $28,428,150

Most of us can’t imagine any “Greatest movies” list without The Shawshank Redemption – but did you know it actually flopped in the box office? Despite being praised by critics, the movie only made $3,428,150 when it came out at first.

#2 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Image source: Paramount Pictures

Budget: $3,000,000

Box office earnings: $4,000,000

The 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder was mostly overlooked by movie goers as it first came out, only making $4,000,000 in the box office, which is not that much considering its $3,000,000 budget.

#3 Blade Runner

Image source: Warner Bros

Budget: $28,000,000

Box office earnings: $39,342,912

Despite being considered a cult classic today and even receiving a sequel 35 years after the original, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was a box office flop at first. It was only over the years that the movie gained quite a following in the sci-fi fan community.

#4 Matilda

Image source: TriStar Pictures

Budget: $36,000,000

Box office earnings: $33,459,416

This movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name still remains a favorite of many children even 24 years after its initial release. However, Matilda was a complete box office flop, earning only $33 million in the US, $3 million less than the movie’s budget.

#5 Hocus Pocus

Image source: Buena Vista Pictures

Budget: $28,000,000

Box office earnings: $39,514,713

Today we recognize Hocus Pocus as an all-time Halloween classic but when the movie initially came out, it was met with rather harsh criticism, causing Disney to lose around $16.5 million.

#6 Stardust

Image source: Paramount Pictures

Budget: $70,000,000

Box office earnings: $137,515,140

The 2007 movie Stardust had a pretty impressive cast, featuring actors like Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, and Robert De Niro. But even despite the cast and positive reviews from critics, the movie did not earn much in the box office. However, the movie eventually gained a cult following after becoming available on various streaming platforms.

#7 Fight Club

Image source: 20th Century Fox

Budget: $63,000,000

Box office earnings: $101,187,503

When you say “cult classic”, you can’t help but think of Fight Club. However, even despite its fan following today, the movie didn’t do so well in the box office when it initially came out, and was not considered a financial success.

#8 Donnie Darko

Image source: Newmarket Films

Budget: $6,000,000

Box office earnings: $2,962,988

Even though Richard Kelly’s 2001 film Donnie Darko played in the cinemas for 28 days, it only made a little under $3 million at the box office, only earning nearly half of the film’s budget. Some people wondered that one of the reasons could be because the movie came out just a little after 9/11 and featured a plane crash in its storyline.

#9 Blade Runner 2049

Image source: Warner Bros

Budget: $150,000,000

Box office earnings: $259,239,658

The 2017 sequel of Blade Runner suffered a similar fate to the original movie by earning significantly less than expected in the box office. Some people speculated that the film may have flopped because the movie industry was a little oversaturated with sci-fi movies at the time.

#10 Heathers

Image source: New World Pictures

Budget: $3,000,000

Box office earnings: $1,108,462

Even though Heathers flopped in the box office, only making a little over $1 million at the box office, the film eventually gained a cult following over the years.

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