Box Office: $19.3 million
A patient, slow-burn horror film from an indie filmmaker (Krisha's Trey Edward Shults) that's been mis-marketed as an action-packed zombie film? This really seemed like a recipe for failure.
A24's misguided approach to selling It Comes at Night to audiences was set to bite them in the a** on the film's opening weekend as word-of-mouth got out that it was actually an artful, dialogue-sparse anti-genre film, but due to the film's incredibly low budget, it still ended up being a mini-major success, if you like.
Made for just $2.4 million, the Joel Edgerton-starring horror incredibly grossed more than eight-fold its budget, even with it opening below analyst's expectations due to the aforementioned word-of-mouth issue and scoring a dreaded "D" CinemaScore rating.
A less-savvy distributor would've just dumped the film quietly on VOD and not even released it in cinemas given its niche appeal, but A24 took advantage of the film's tiny budget to milk it for some easy bucks while it could.
Shady business? Perhaps, but because the film's actually pretty damn good, it's easy to give them a pass in this case.
Which movies most surprised you this year with their unexpected box office prowess? Shout them out in the comments!