You can only do so much as a filmmaker. You can get the right script, make sure the casting is perfect and actually shoot a good film, but that doesn’t guarantee that people are going to make their way to the theaters. Some movies just don’t have the right marketing or a broad enough audience. A lot of films have found themselves on the higher end of critics’ reviews, only to lose money at the box office. Here are some of the more notable films that have done just that.
Nobody was on fire quite like Harrison Ford during the early 1980s after appearing in both “Star Wars” and the “Indiana Jones” series. “Blade Runner” was set to be a surefire hit, but flamed out at the box office. Even with re-releases, “Blade Runner” has grossed just $32.8 million, which is almost identical to the film’s budget. However, “Blade Runner” developed a huge cult following over the years and even spawned a sequel in the 2010s, so not all was lost.
Children of Men
“Children of Men” is one of those movies where, if you’ve seen it, there’s a good chance that you loved it and it stayed with you mentally for a while. The movie was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who is now a highly touted filmmaker. He was given a $76 million budget to make “Children of Men”, and the film released on Christmas Day in 2006. Perhaps the content was a bit too dark for such a holiday, and “Children of Men” limped along to less than $70 million at the box office worldwide despite a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
With more than 1 million audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, “Fight Club” has a 96 percent positive score. That’s almost unheard of with that many votes, and just goes to show how many people love David Fincher’s film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Fincher had a high budget on the film with $63 million back in late 1999, but domestically had grossed just $37 million. The film did well overseas, but the profits are much lower. Thankfully for Fincher, “Fight Club” has had a sustained success more than 20 years later.
It’s a Wonderful Life
When you think of classic Christmas films, none stand out quite as much as the Jimmy Stewart-led “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The film was released just before Christmas back in 1946, and perhaps was released too close to the holiday, giving audiences just four days to see it before Santa’s arrival. It cost RKO pictures over $3 million to produce “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and it lost more than a half million for the studio. Thankfully, the movie has since become a staple of Christmas and is still aired on network television on an annual basis.