Every year in Hollywood, we hear the same story. Movie X becomes a giant box office smash, Movie Y winds up becoming a major flop. Regardless of whether or not the movie was a flop or a mega-hit, they all have one thing in common: they get talked about at the end of the year, for better or worse.
And then, there are the other movies. The forgotten ones. Think about it. They’re either sitting in the cold of some Redbox machine, trapped inside a dark Netflix warehouse, or they’re in the weird DVD section of a local drug store. Why does the drug store have a DVD section? They only sell five movies. Who are buying these movies? If you feel awkward when you’re buying a pack of condoms at a drug store, you can’t imagine the look on the cashier’s face when you show them a copy of a “Here Comes The Boom” DVD with the intent to buy it. “Wait,” says the cashier, “we sell DVDs here?” That’s exactly what this list is all about.
Now, some of these films were pretty bad flops (especially one of them), but I tried to avoid the ones that got a lot of bad press as it was flopping. “After Earth” and “The Lone Ranger” are the kinds of shockingly bad flops that will haunt studio producers for years to come. They will be remembered. Even the “Oldboy” remake will forever be remembered as “that remake of ‘Oldboy’ that did terrible in the box office.” The films on this list go deeper than that. Chances are, you saw trailers for these films a bunch of times when you went to the movies, but shortly after they came out, they just disappeared.
For me, an older example would be this movie called “Martian Child.” It came out in 2007 and starred John Cusack and Amanda Peet. It was about this kid who thinks he’s from Mars and John Cusack decides to adopt him, despite the fact that the kid is so damn weird. The only reason why I remember this movie is because I felt so nauseous while watching the trailer. It played in front of a number of different movies that I saw in the summer of ’07, but by the time it was released, I completely forgot about its existence. The movie was released to over 2,000 theaters but didn’t gross more than $7 million. See, that goes beyond simply being a flop, nobody even remembered that the movie came out!
Some of the movies on this list aren’t that extreme, some are merely in the process of being forgotten. And hey, some of you may have actually liked them. Generally speaking though, these are films that were in and out of the public’s consciousness without much attention ever being paid to them. You saw commercials for them on TV, you saw their trailers. You might have even seen a few on this list. Bottom line: you were once aware of these films. Once they actually came out though, hardly anybody cared and barely anybody remembers them now. Those are the kinds of movies I will be talking about.
So, let’s get right to it, shall we?
Honorable Mention: Ender’s Game
U.S. Release Date: November 1st
I know what you’re going to say. “Wait, I still kind of remember this one.” Give it two more weeks. It’s gonna happen. This movie had the misfortune of being released a mere two weeks before “Catching Fire,” while critics and audiences had a less-than-enthusiastic response to the film in the first place.
“Ender’s Game” was in development hell for decades before it finally got released this year and it never seemed destined to become a box office hit, despite the presence of Harrison Ford. It may still be in the back of your mind somewhere, but it’s very likely that you will forget it exists once the holidays are over. If I’m wrong, and it becomes a cult classic, may Harrison Ford punch me in the face.
This article was first posted on December 18, 2013