While many box office smashes and critically-acclaimed films go on to live in the hearts of moviegoers everywhere, some of the best films that go forgotten or unappreciated are the ones that fail at the box office, or just don't quite perform the way they should have. Most of these films do go on to be cult classics, but let's take a look at some of the most unappreciated and underrated box office disappointments of all time.
The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle
- Director: Des McAnuff
- Release Year: 2000
- Stars: Piper Perabo, Robert De Niro, Jason Alexander, Rene Russo
- Budget: $76 million
- Box Office Intake: $35.1 million ($26 million domestic)
Premiering around the time when live-action adaptations of old cartoons were becoming popular, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle could not capture the same success of previous reboots such as Space Jam and George of the Jungle, losing over $40 million at the box office and scoring a mediocre 43% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, the film really captured all of the same zany slapstick energy of the source material, as well as a including a lot of meta-humor that really made it a funny, stylish adaptation that deserves a second chance. Here's the trailer for the 2000 adventure comedy:
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- Director: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
- Release Year: 2001
- Stars: Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Phil Morris
- Budget: $90-120 million
- Box Office Intake: $186.1 million ($84 million domestic)
Atlantis was one of Disney's attempts in the early 2000s to offer different and unique stories to its audiences, and though it seems like it made its budget back, it was actually a failure when accounting for marketing — and the fact that Disney quietly canceled a spin-off TV series and underwater attraction at Disneyland following the film's release.
Even with the mixed reviews, many critics praised the departure from the typical Disney storylines, and thanks to its unique art style and fast-paced action, Atlantis has gone on to be a cult favorite, and is certainly one of Disney's more underrated releases. Here's the trailer for the underrated Disney gem:
- Director: Peter Berg
- Release Year: 2012
- Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker
- Budget: $209-220 million
- Box Office Intake: $303 million ($65 million domestic)
One of many unpopular opinions on this list, but Battleship was actually a really good movie. Sure, the plot isn't completely original, nor is the adaptation from the board game that effective. But, what this movie lacks in unique storytelling it more than makes up for with stellar visual effects, thrilling action, stylish direction and some good performances, especially from Kitsch and Rihanna (yes, she was actually good).
Sadly, critics didn't find it to be up to par, and audiences agreed, resulting in a mediocre box office performance. But this is a film that deserves a second shot, and is a very underrated sci-fi blockbuster. Here's the trailer for the 2012 sci-fi action film:
- Director: Wes Anderson
- Release Year: 1996
- Stars: Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Andrew Wilson, James Caan
- Budget: $7 million
- Box Office Intake: $560,069 (Domestic, no foreign release)
Wes Anderson is one of the most unique and zaniest directors still working today, having delivered some of the most stylish stories with The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. But before he directed these masterpieces, he directed his most underrated — and least successful — film in his career, Bottle Rocket. The story of three friends who plan a simple robbery was such a funny, smart and quietly original film that any fan of Anderson would be sorry not to watch. Though the film was a box office bomb, it earned rave reviews from critics and helped launch Anderson and the Wilsons' careers. Here's the trailer for the 1996 indie comedy:
Cowboys & Aliens
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Release Year: 2011
- Stars: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell
- Budget: $163 million
- Box Office Intake: $174.8 million ($100 million domestic)
The blending of two genres typically works out to be stylish mishmashes — action-comedies and romantic-comedies being the two most popular combos. But when two genres that seemingly have no connection come together, the results can be either very disastrous or very successful. In the case of Cowboys & Aliens, the result was both.
Even though critics found the combination to be a mismatched, the blend of the western and sci-fi genres actually was a really fun and thrilling experience. Though the film truly underperformed at the box office for Universal, it's unique combo and fast-paced action make it a very underrated box-office disappointment. Here's the trailer for the 2011 sci-fi western:
- Director: Alex Proyas
- Release Year: 1998
- Stars: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connnelly
- Budget: $27 million
- Box Office Intake: $27.2 million ($14.3 million domestic)
Director Alex Proyas once had a very promising career in the early '90s to early 2000s, releasing hits including The Crow and I, Robot. But amidst making the bigger box-office hits, Proyas directed a "smaller," more intricate film entitled Dark City that was truly one of the best films of his career that just didn't do enough in theaters. The film following an amnesiac man discovering everything in his city might not be real was released to generally positive reviews from critics, still holding a "Certified Fresh" rating of 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but bombed at the box office, falling in fourth place in its opening weekend and only lasting four weeks in theaters.
Even though the film didn't meet Proyas and Fox's expectations for making money, it has since gone on to become a cult classic, and thanks to its bizarre story, unique visuals and stylish atmosphere, this is an underrated classic that deserves more attention. Here's the trailer for the darkly entertaining classic:
- Director: Bob Saget
- Release Year: 1998
- Stars: Norm Macdonald, Artie Lange, Jack Warden, Traylor Howard
- Budget: $13 million
- Box Office Intake: $10 million (Domestic, no foreign release)
Now, don't mistake this entry as me calling this a quality movie. Dirty Work is by no means original nor great in quality, but for those who enjoy stupid or raunchier humor, this film is perfect. The film was the first starring vehicle for actors Norm Macdonald and Artie Lange and the first directorial effort of popular comic Bob Saget, but received very negative reviews from critics upon release and fell short of recouping its budget at the box office.
But there's no denying a certain charm to the movie, whether it's Macdonald's hilarious (and wildly unsubtle) lead performance, multiple slapstick gags or effectively capitalizing on Christopher McDonald's naturally villainous nature. Though it has a small cult following since its release, this is a film that deserves a lot more revisits and is easily one of the more underrated films on this list. Here's the trailer for the cult comedy:
- Director: Kurt Wimmer
- Release Year: 2002
- Stars: Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson, Sean Bean
- Budget: $20 million
- Box Office Intake: $5.3 million ($1.1 million domestic)
Kurt Wimmer has unfortunately never had a successful career as a director in the film industry. Though he's co-written some big hits, including The Thomas Crown Affair and Salt, all of his directorial efforts have proved to be letdowns for critics and studios, especially Equilibrium. The 2002 sci-fi thriller was a major box office bomb, and received generally negative reviews from critics, but it's actually a very solidly written and stylishly directed entry into the dystopian genre.
Though there are a lot of atypical genre tropes, the action is very unique and slick, the editing is fast-paced and thrilling and the performances are actually solid, especially Bale in the lead role, making this a worthwhile watch. Here's a trailer for the underrated sci-fi action gem:
Everybody Wants Some!!
- Director: Richard Linklater
- Release Year: 2016
- Stars: Gelen Powell, Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch
- Budget: $10 million
- Box Office Intake: $4.6 million ($3.4 million domestic)
This film is one of the few exceptions on this list in that the low box office intake was not the fault of audience disinterest or poor reviews, but rather the studio not giving the film a wide release across the country, instead giving a limited release. The other nice thing about this film's low financial return is that it will not have any adverse effect on director Richard Linklater's career, as not only was the film a major critical success — holding a "Certified Fresh" 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes — but it was also not his first box office failure, The Newton Boys still being his least successful to date.
Even though audiences still did enjoy the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, its box office disappointment and subsequent absence from the public eye make this one of the most underrated comedies (and my personal favorites) on this list. Here's the trailer for the (second) most recent underrated film on this list:
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
- Director: Terry Gilliam
- Release Year: 1998
- Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Mark Harmon
- Budget: $18.5 million
- Box Office Intake: $13.7 million
Fear & Loathing is one of the most controversial and widely-debated novel-to-film adaptations to this day. While many critics were divided on whether the film's performances were were breathtaking or disgusting, the story thematically brilliant or mind-numbing, and the direction stylish or overwhelming, most audiences have come to appreciate the film for its bizarre visuals, stellar performances and deep storytelling. The film tanked at the box office upon release, and though it has since gained a cult following, it is still a very underrated film with Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro's best performances of their careers. Here's the trailer for the 1998 psychedelic dark comedy:
- Director: Russell Mulcahy
- Release Year: 1986
- Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart
- Budget: $19 million
- Box Office Intake: $12.9 million
Highlander is another different entry into this list because, even though the film failed at the box office, its subsequent success in the home media market spawned four sequels, one live-action and one animated TV series, as well as two animated TV movies. But even with the big cult following, and recent attempts to reboot the franchise, this is still a very underrated film that all action and fantasy film fans should give a watch, thanks to its outlandish plot, stunning effects and good performances.
- Director: Rodman Flender
- Release Year: 1999
- Stars: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Elden Henson
- Budget: $25 million
- Box Office Intake: $4.2 million (Domestic, no foreign release)
Blending slapstick comedy and teenage horror, Idle Hands was like a combination of Scream and The Evil Dead at its time of release, giving the MTV audiences all the stoner humor and pop culture references they wanted. However, thanks to poor critical reception and competition from The Matrix (which was still sitting at the No. 2 spot at the box office after a month in theaters) and Entrapment, the stoner comedy bombed at the box office.
It has garnered a cult following in the years since its release, but if one were to turn their brains off (just a bit) and go in with an open mind, they'll see how underrated this movie actually is. Here's the trailer for the 1999 horror comedy:
- Director: Troy Miller
- Release Year: 1998
- Stars: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross, Mark Addy
- Budget: $85 million
- Box Office Intake: $34.5 million (Domestic, no foreign release)
Growing up in the '90s, there were really two big companies when it came to releasing family movies: Disney and Warner Bros. While Disney had big hits like Tarzan, George of the Jungle and Mulan, Warner Bros. did have some trouble getting more of theirs to land successfully in theaters in addition to home media, having big success with the Free Willy and Space Jam, but seeing The Iron Giant and Shiloh flop at the box office. But one of the lesser-discussed flops that still resonates today is the fantasy dramedy, Jack Frost, the story of a young boy who's father comes back to life in the form of a snowman a year after dying in a car crash.
The sweet — and heartbreaking —storyline delivers plenty of warmth and comedy in its cliche-ridden story, as well as some truly stunning visual effects thanks to Jim Henson's Creature Shop and a wonderful lead performance from Keaton. While those who grew up with the film remember it fondly, it should be passed down to the younger generation, as it is truly one of the most underrated childhood flops for its time. Here's the trailer for the moving 1998 family fantasy:
- Director: Andrew Stanton
- Release Year: 2012
- Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church
- Budget: $350 million
- Box Office Intake: $284.1 million ($73 million domestic)
Oh Taylor Kitsch, you poor, poor man. In a year that would've bankrupted him if he put his faith in his films' box office returns, Kitsch suffered two big hits (ooh, poor choice of words?) that landed on this list, both of which are very underrated: Battleship and John Carter. The latter, which was Disney's live-action adaptation of the famous Edgar Rice Burroughs' sci-fi character, had all the elements for success: a popular property, a talented director (Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo, WALL-E) and a studio that knows how to make thrilling live-action blockbusters.
Sadly, audiences and critics just couldn't agree, the film earning a mixed reception of 51% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and falling far from recouping its massive budget, leading it to be one of the most infamous flops of the past few years. But it honestly deserves a revisiting, because even if its story isn't completely original, it's still a swashbuckling fun and thrilling adventure with wonderful visual effects and a stellar lead performance from Kitsch. Here's the trailer for the underrated sci-fi action blockbuster:
Land Of The Lost
- Director: Brad Silberling
- Release Year: 2009
- Stars: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel, Jorma Taccone
- Budget: $100 million
- Box Office Intake: $68.8 million ($49.3 million domestic)
This is the second film on this list that is by no means a great movie, but still has a lot of very good things going for it that makes it a very underrated comedy gem. Adapting classic TV shows into movies is never an easy thing, some hits including the Jump Street franchise and Get Smart, while also seeing some misses including The Dukes of Hazzard (critical failure, commercial success) and My Favorite Martian. Sadly, Land fell on the list of failed adaptations, and though it did certainly have its problems, it was actually a very funny, stylishly directed and fast-paced comedy adventure that knew not to take itself too seriously. Here's the trailer for the 2009 big-screen adaptation:
The Lone Ranger
- Director: Gore Verbinski
- Release Year: 2013
- Stars: Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner
- Budget: $225 million
- Box Office Intake: $260.5 million ($89.3 million domestic)
Armie Hammer is another actor on this list who's had a rough couple of years. Even if the role is a strong script or a solid quality movie, every time Hammer's name appears in a movie, it's almost as though audiences run for the hills to not watch the movie. Entourage, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Birth of a Nation all underperformed at the box office, but amongst all the box office disappointments, he starred in Disney's live-action adaptation of the radio series The Lone Ranger, which went very under-appreciated.
At 2.5 hours, it definitely gets long in some moments, but thanks to stylish direction from Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3 and Rango), great performances/chemistry from leads Hammer and Depp and fast-paced action, this movie is a very underrated adventure. Here's the trailer for the 2013 Disney action adventure:
Looney Tunes: Back In Action
- Director: Joe Dante
- Release Year: 2003
- Stars: Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton
- Budget: $80 million
- Box Office Intake: $68.5 million ($20.9 million domestic)
Following the success of the first big-screen Looney Tunes movie in 1996, Space Jam, Warner Bros. had a tough go in trying to get another movie featuring the classic cartoon characters on the big screen, and was finally able to get it off the ground in 2003 with Back in Action, in which the characters would again interact with live-action actors for an action-packed adventure. Even if the director did not enjoy working on the film — like, at all — Dante still brought the characters to life on screen in such a vibrant way that it's hard to find fault with the film.
Even if Dante didn't agree with the ever-changing script, Back in Action still packed a number of hilarious gags, smart metahumor and great performances from its human cast as well, especially leads Fraser and Martin. Though critics found the film to be an improvement over Space Jam in its humor and plot, the film still tanked at the box office, and even if audiences still have a hard time appreciating the movie today, it's truly an underrated family adventure gem. Here's the trailer for the live-action/animation blend of metahumor and zany fun:
- Director: Kinka Usher
- Release Year: 1999
- Stars: Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo
- Budget: $68 million
- Box Office Intake: $33.4 million ($29.7 million domestic)
Shortly after the huge successes of Dark Horse Comics adaptations, The Mask and Timecop, Universal Pictures decided to take a chance and adapt the bizarre comic book series, Mystery Men, onto the big screen in 1999, and though it paid off with a fair amount of critics, it fell flat at the box office.
But this film deserved much better than it got, because before Guardians of the Galaxy and Kick-Ass offered a quirkier group of heroes, there was Mystery Men, and it was so jam-packed full of wacky characters, unique visual effects and plot points that with its ensemble cast, it should've been a huge hit. With all these unique components combined, it's definitely an underrated action comedy that needs a resurgence amongst today's audiences. Here's the trailer for the 1999 superhero spoof:
- Directors: Tom Sieto, Piet Kroon, Robert Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
- Release Year: 2001
- Stars: Bill Murray, Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, Lawrence Fishburne
- Budget: $70 million
- Box Office Intake: $14 million ($13.5 million domestic)
When we think of a movie about the inner workings of a person, Inside Out is the first movie that comes to mind for everyone. Except me, because though Inside Out was a brilliant and heartwarming movie, there is a more fun and fast-paced movie that came long before it: Osmosis Jones. Technically, these two can be considered two different kinds of movies, since Inside deals with emotions while Osmosis deals with the scientific workings of the body. However, Osmosis is actually a much better movie for the younger audiences, because even if its humor is a bit risque for a kids' movie (the film originally earned a PG-13 rating), it's very educational in dealing with many of the body's processes.
In addition, the film is chock full of clever pop culture references and humor that it can even entertain older audiences today, making it one of the most underrated films on this list. Here's a trailer for the bizarre Warner Bros. live-action/animated comedy (apologies for the poor sound quality):
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
- Director: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
- Release Year: 2016
- Stars: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Tim Meadows
- Budget: $20 million
- Box Office Intake: $9.5 million (Domestic, no foreign release)
This is another film on this list that you can argue against because of two exceptions: It just came out, and it earned very positive reviews from critics. However, positive reviews from critics do not necessarily mean audiences found it as entertaining as the critics did, which can be seen in this film's box office returns. Though The Lonely Island is well-loved by many people, their involvements in the film world (especially together) have all seen rough outings, whether it was their debuts in Hot Rod or Schaffer's directorial work in The Watch.
Though Popstar tanked at the box office, it was still an incredible experience that has wrongfully been forgotten since its failure. The entire soundtrack was not only performed by the cast members involved, but the songs were also written by the three stars, creating some of the most hilarious songs that evoke fond memories of their time on Saturday Night Live. In addition, the film's satire element of the pop industry and the mainstream music scene was brilliant and quietly funny, blending subtle gags with all-out belly laughs. While Lonely Island fans have showered praise upon the film, Popstar deserves to become a home media hit and live on through history as a classic the same way This is Spinal Tap has. Here's the NSFW trailer for the 2016 comedy mockumentary:
- Director: Wolfgang Peterson
- Release Year: 2006
- Stars: Kurt Russell, Mike Vogel, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss
- Budget: $160 million
- Box Office Intake: $181.7 million ($60.6 million domestic)
This film has a special place in my heart because, though the movie as a whole isn't the best, the disaster genre has been one of my favorites since I was a kid, and the Poseidon remake is certainly a solid entry. The story of the (fictionally) famous ocean liner that was capsized by a rogue wave and the attempts by passengers of the upside down ship to escape didn't have the best script to tell the thrilling story, but thanks to some incredibly groundbreaking CGI, it's an intense experience that more audiences should've given a chance. Here's the trailer for the thrilling 2006 disaster remake:
- Director: Robert Schwentke
- Release Year: 2013
- Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Bacon
- Budget: $130 million
- Box Office Intake: $78.3 million ($33.6 million domestic)
Dark Horse Comics adaptations really show up on both ends of the spectrums, where they are either huge hits and create a franchise or are flops and sees no further installments. R.I.P.D. unfortunately landed on the bad end of the spectrum, with critics finding issues with its screenplay, acting and formulaic plot points, which did nothing but help the film go on to be one of the biggest box office flops of the decade.
The movie did have its problems, but it was just too damn fun to completely write-off. Its story did feel like a comic book version of Ghostbusters, but the film did well to feel like a stylized comic story, thanks to its slick editing, solid visual effects and thrilling direction. In addition, Bridges delves into his character acting ability again and succeeds to deliver one of his funniest and wackiest characters in his career. Even if the film is pretty formulaic, it's very underrated with its humor and fast-paced action. Here's the trailer for the 2013 supernatural action comedy:
Shoot 'Em Up
- Director: Michael Davis
- Release Year: 2007
- Stars: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Belucci, Stephen McHattie
- Budget: $39 million
- Box Office Intake: $26.8 million ($12.8 domestic)
This movie is easily in my top 20 of all time or a number of reasons. First off, the plot is basic. Sometimes, a plot convoluted with twists and full of characters can be phenomenal to watch, but when a filmmaker goes back and makes a basic story of an unnamed hero trying to do the right thing in a world surrounded by evil, it often turns out to work well (Desperado, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly).
In addition to the simple plot, the film set the level absurdity setting to high and while clearly unrealistic in the real world, every bit of it is fun and hilarious to watch in the film. For example, the lead hero uses a carrot to stab an enemy through the back of his mouth, killing him. How can you not enjoy that level of ridiculous action? Here's the NSFW trailer for the 2007 stylish action film:
- Directors: Lana and Lily Wachowski
- Release Year: 2008
- Stars: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon
- Budget: $120 million
- Box Office Intake: $93.9 million ($43.9 million domestic)
Another super unpopular opinion on here, but I loved the American big-screen adaptation of the hit Japanese anime/manga character. Sure, the story wasn't the greatest thing ever written, but the screenplay behind it captured so much of the original's zany energy, (semi) cheesy dialogue and lovable characters that it was easy to forgive the formulaic story. In addition to what feels like a fairly faithful script, the direction from the Wachowskis, stunning visual effects and editing and the performances from its perfectly chosen ensemble cast make it too fun and thrilling a movie to overlook. Here's the trailer for the fast-paced 2008 American adaptation:
That's My Boy
- Director: Sean Anders
- Release Year: 2012
- Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Vanilla Ice, Leighton Meester
- Budget: $70 million
- Box Office Intake: $57.3 million ($36.9 million domestic)
Even as an Adam Sandler fan, it's hard to truly love his last handful of movies, but That's My Boy remains one of my favorite Sandler movies of the current decade, as well as one of his most underrated flops. Any movie that can feature Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges playing fictionalized versions of themselves in which they went downhill after the eighties and football coach Rex Ryan praising his rivals Tom Brady and Bill Belichick is a recipe for success.
Its vulgar humor was over-the-top but delivered with style thanks to stars (and SNL vets) Sandler and Samberg, along with hilarious supporting performances from Ice, Nick Swardson and Luenell. Here's the NSFW trailer for the hilariously underrated Sandler-Samberg comedy:
- Director: Brad Bird
- Release Year: 2015
- Stars: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie
- Budget: $190 million
- Box Office Intake: $209.2 million ($93.4 million domestic)
Disneyland is the first theme park in America to have rides mostly based on completely original ideas rather than trademarks, including the classic tea cups and the various "mountains" located around the park (Space, Thunder, Splash). Because they had such original ideas for their rides, they are still the only company to turn these rides into motion pictures, but like the long-lined Space Mountain, the movies' results have been like a rollercoaster for Disney.
Beginning all the way back in 1997 with Tower of Terror, Disney have had a total of six adaptations based on their rides, and while one has gone on to be a major franchise with an upcoming installment, the rest have either fallen flat or not seen a big enough success for a future, ranging from The Country Bears to The Haunted Mansion. The most recent adaptation, Tomorrowland, unfortunately followed suit, barely recouping its budget thanks to overseas theaters and only receiving mixed-to-positive reviews from both critics and audiences.
However, aside from a rushed plot in the last third of the movie, this movie is actually one of my favorite live-action Disney films from this century. Rather than focus on staying in the fantastical city, the plot actually remains in our world for a majority of the time, and it helps to capture the audiences' sense of imagination and creativity. In addition, the film and its visual effects are directed with style thanks to long-time Disney/Pixar collaborator, Brad Bird, and its blend of serious themes, fast-paced action and smart comedy from its leads, Robertson and Clooney, this is one of the smartest and most fun Disney live-action flops that is still underrated, even within a year of release. Here's the trailer for the 2015 sci-fi fantasy adventure:
- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
- Release Year: 2002
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Brian Murray
- Budget: $140 million
- Box Office Intake: $109.6 million ($38.1 million domestic)
Coming at a time when Disney was really going back and forth on their animated successes in theaters, Treasure Planet seemed to have all the makings for a big hit. The directors of the film previously made The Little Mermaid, which is still considered to be one of the greatest animated films of all-time, the ensemble cast was made up of stars who were either making a rise in the acting world or were already big, the plot offered a unique twist on the classic Treasure Island story, and the film was being produced and distributed by the most successful animation studio in history. However, it just couldn't find the correct target audience, falling incredibly short of its budget in the American market, nor in the overseas theaters, becoming one of the most expensive box office flops of all time.
Even if audiences gave the film generally positive reviews, I feel like this has gone very underrated as years have past for poor reason. The change in setting and unique animation styles told a visually stunning tale with the help from an all-star ensemble cast. Here's the trailer for the 2002 sci-fi spin on the classic swashbuckling adventure:
- Director: Walter Hill
- Release Year: 1992
- Stars: Bill Paxton, William Sadler, Ice-T, Ice Cube
- Budget: $14 million
- Box Office Intake: $13.7 million ($13.2 million domestic)
Any movie with half of its main cast holding the first name Ice must be a recipe for a straight-to-DVD disaster, right? Wrong. Trespass is proof that such a combo can not only be successful, but also be one hell of a thrill ride. The film follows two firemen (Paxton and Sadler) searching an abandoned building for treasure while also fighting off a street gang.
The action-crime-thriller supported its simple modern-day story with some thrilling pacing, great action and good performances from its cast, especially leads Paxton and Cube, in addition to very stylish direction from veteran visionary Walter Hill, well-known at the time (and to this day) for classics including The Warriors, 48 Hrs. and Streets of Fire. Despite receiving fairly positive reviews from critics, currently holding a 68 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the film fell short of recouping its budget and audiences gave it a more mixed reception, making this a very underrated box office disappointment. Here's the trailer for the fast-paced action treasure hunt:
- Director: Joe Johnston
- Release Year: 2010
- Stars: Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
- Budget: $150 million
- Box Office Intake: $139.8 million ($62 million domestic)
Remakes always get a bad rap — sometimes deservedly so — and horror remakes are certainly the toughest ones to get off the ground, ranging from hits such as The Ring and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to flops such as The Wicker Man and Village of the Damned. When it was announced that one of the most classic horror films of all-time would get a remake, the world let out a collective sigh, preparing themselves for another lackluster attempt to recreate the thrilling story that is The Wolfman.
Upon release, the film was an all-around failure, earning poor reviews from critics and audiences alike, as well as failing to even recoup its production budget at the box office. However, this was actually a very solid remake that had a lot of things going right for it. It had a powerhouse ensemble cast, a talented veteran director and stunning visual effects that still held true to the original film's vision. Though it may not have been a great movie overall, it still was a pretty creepy and thrilling remake that has gone very underrated in the years since its release. Here's the trailer for the suspenseful horror remake:
- Director: Peter Hewitt
- Release Year: 2006
- Stars: Tim Allen, Courtney Cox, Chevy Chase, Kate Mara
- Budget: $35 million
- Box Office Intake: $12.5 million ($11.9 million domestic)
The final film on this list is again by no means a good movie, but it is one that deserved more negative attention that it deserved (somewhat for good reason). Zoom certainly (let's say) borrowed plot elements from superior family superhero movies such as Sky High, resulting in a lot of cliche story points and character development. The film earned critical slaughtering upon release, holding a 3% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and tanking at the box office. However, the film still does a fairly good job of being unoriginal, making cheesy jokes and using pop music from the time to result in a fairly entertaining family adventure with a great cast, a good heart and very good visual effects. Here's the trailer for the underrated family action-comedy:
What are your favorite box office flops?