Most people reading this are smart enough to know that a movie's box office returns are not an indication of its quality. Some truly abysmal movies make a sum equivalent to a small country's economy. On the other hand, some of the finest movies barely break even, or fare far worse. The following list will take a look at ten unfortunate works of the 2010s that didn't get a fair shake during their theatrical run. Some of these even had critical acclaim, but for one reason or another general audiences paid little attention to their name on a marquee. Thanks to home video and streaming though, these movies got a second chance.
Maybe it was poor marketing or maybe it was the bad reputation the Sylvester Stallone film gave the brand, but Dredd failed to make any waves at the box office. Fans of the comic were pleased with the adaptation, and action movie aficionados gave their unanimous approval, but the masses ignored it like the plague. The extreme violence and oppressive atmosphere may have something to do with its lack of appeal to people who aren't already fans of the character. Still, Karl Urban has hopes of returning to the character someday.
9 Machete Kills
Off a ten million dollar budget, the first Machete managed to make a solid statement in theaters. The tongue in cheek tone and hammy performances made for a fun time. The sequel Machete Kills did not have the same luck. It was produced on a slightly bigger budget, but made a fraction of the money back. Danny Trejo still put in a standout performance and the actions scenes are just as entertaining, but most viewers passed on this one. Hopefully it doesn't doom prospects for the character's return to the big screen.
8 Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Guy Ritchie knows how to make an entertaining spectacle, from his humble days making Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch to his big budget spectacles like Aladdin and Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, some of his later films haven't broken bank at the box office. One such film undeserving of the low returns was The Man From U.N.C.L.E., based on the '60s television show. This comedic spy action flick carries Ritchie's signature style and is entertaining through and through. While it didn't bomb as bad as some of the others on this list, it didn't do as well as expected.
Pan is equal parts sentimental and adventure. One moment, the characters are wowed by a new area of Neverland and the next they are tearing up at the loss of a loved one. Garrett Hedlund puts in an especially inspired performance as James Hook, who is still amiable with the titular character and has both hands. Some reasons for this film's failure include the critical reviews aimed at the special effects and the truly ugly promotional posters. It really didn't look appealing, but those who took a chance on it were pleasantly surprised.
Had Solo not suffered its production delays and change in directors, its box office return wouldn't have been such a loss for Disney and the Star Wars brand. Yet, because of its troubles, almost four hundred million dollars at the box office was considered a failure.
Something has to really go wrong for that much money to still be a financial disappointment. It's not the film's fault that it needed to gross enough to cover the cost of filming it twice.
5 Edge Of Darkness
Martin Campbell directed two of the best Bond films, Goldeneye and Casino Royale. His collaboration with Mel Gibson, Edge of Darkness, was a violent political thriller about a detective hunting down the men responsible for his daughter's death. The movie didn't make as much as it should have for two potential reasons. Firstly, Avatar had already been in theaters for a month and was still on its record-breaking ascent. Secondly, it was Gibson's first major role after his legal issues and racially insensitive statements from the mid 2000s. We're glad his dark times are behind him now, and he is back to directing and acting in some stellar works.
4 The Watch
This Ben Stiller-led sci-fi comedy had all the trappings of a modern comedy classic; a great cast, a script by Seth Rogen, and the director is a part of the Lonely Island Trio. Yet despite this, the movie barely made back its budget in theaters.
Critics derided the low brow humor, but the performances turned in by Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill were top notch. Richard Ayoade , who is most notable for his role on the classic British sitcom The IT Crowd, also played a major role.
3 Bullet To The Head
It's certainly not the most inviting movie title, but one would have expected a modern classic from director Walter Hill, known for such gems like The Warriors and 48 Hrs.. Unfortunately, this buddy movie saw little love in theaters, making it one of Sylvester Stallone's worst performing movies ever. Still, it shouldn't be ignored, and any fans of the actor will find a lot to enjoy in this caper. Jason Momoa also had a small part before he hit it big as Aquaman.
2 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
While not based on a video game, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a must-see for any fan of the medium. It's chock full of references and homages to classic titles. It's not just for gamers, though. The movie is so dense with humor and plot, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
It quickly crashed and burned during its original run, but positive word of mouth gave it more success on home video. It's a good thing the movie wraps up his story all in one go, otherwise the lack of success would have doomed any chance at a sequel and finishing the arc.
1 Blade Runner 2049
The long-anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott's cult classic was a critical success, but failed to meet the studio's financial expectations. It made more than its budget, but needed to gross at least four hundred million dollars to truly break even. It ended its run at about at two hundred fifty million dollars.
It feels like a gift to get just one sequel to Blade Runner, but more movies in the universe would have been nice. Because of its low returns, the world probably won't see the franchise continue.