Classic films that tanked at the box-office

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Greg_M, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Reading up on Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (which is doing great business) where the original (now condsidered a classic by many) didn't do well at all at the boxoffice back in 1971 grossing little more than $1,000,000.

    This was also true of "Once Upon a Time in the West" (which is screening at the Arclight this coming Wed in L.A.) this film also did very poorly in theaters but is now considered a classic.

    How many classic films are there that were box-office bombs?
     
  2. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    Didn't "The Wizard of Oz" not do too well at the Box Office at the time? Also, "It's A Wonderful Life"? "Fight Club" [​IMG]
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The list is longer than you think with some exceptional films. Just a few off the top of my head.

    The Night of the Hunter
    Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival
    It's a Wonderful Life
    The Alamo
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I forgot High Noon and The Ox-Bow Incident. Again, this list is very long and you can have a field day naming such films.
     
  5. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    Blade Runner is a big one.
     
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    there have been many down thru the years,
    but Hulk was the last one i recall [​IMG]
     
  7. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    The Wizard of Oz did not tank by any means. The film was the most expensive made at MGM up to that time, and did very well in most of the venues it played. It didn't make a profit for the studio, however, until a re-release after WWII.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    From what I've read about The Wizard of Oz, MGM thought this film wasn't going to be a big box office, but hoped to break even on it. However, it took 20 years for it to recoup it's investment in the film which was helped by repeated viewings on television.
     
  9. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer

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    The Shawshank Redemption
    Blade Runner
    Fight Club
     
  10. Rob P S

    Rob P S Screenwriter

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    The King of Comedy
    Office Space
    Once Upon a Time in America
    Rudy
     
  11. Mark Hawley

    Mark Hawley Second Unit

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    Carpenter's The Thing
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I thought Cinderella Man was really good and it did not do well.
     
  13. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    I was going to say that but the version that premiered in America and got such a low gross would not have become a classic.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Citizen Kane is a big one, as is 12 Angry Men.

    Several Disney films that are now regarded highly by audiences flopped in their original release, including Fantasia.
     
  15. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    As someone else mentioned. "Its a Wonderful Life" was not well recieved by the critics. And now its a classic.
     
  16. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Wasn't it not initially a success but became HUGE when introduced in Midnight re-releases in theaters.
     
  17. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    It did not take 20 years to recoup the investment......the film was in the black after the 1949 re-release. And the box office returns in 1939, while not Gone With the Wind numbers, made MGM happy. This is well documented in every Oz book written, and I'm sure it will be discussed in John Fricke's new commentary.
     
  18. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Vertigo is a notable one that didn't do all that well either critically or financially on its first release.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, I have a book by The Hollywood Reporter about box office hits that says it took 20 years, but either way, the film was in the red after its initial theatrical run in 1939.
     
  20. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

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    'Blade runner' and I'm glad it tanked big time, otherwise we would've had 3 bad sequels by now.
     

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