There's no denying that the last two-ish years have been extremely challenging for Hollywood, both in terms of general film production and especially cinematic exhibition.
With the pandemic causing cinemas to be closed for large chunks of time around the world, 2020 saw theatrical takings massively down on 2019, and though 2021 has seen an encouraging recovery, there's still a long way to go before things are close to "normal."
And if the year has proven anything, it's that normality is an unknown quantity moving forward, because the pandemic's impact has changed how audiences engage with media, and more to the point, what they're actually willing to watch at the cinema.
While it's not remotely surprising that the past year has seen a number of great movies unfortunately flop at the box office, the pandemic isn't entirely to blame in every case.
Poor marketing was also a huge problem for many of these films, not to mention risky subject matter, and even an inability to distance itself from iffy prior entries into its own franchise.
Each of these great films deserved thorough commercial success when they hit big screens this year, but instead they tanked catastrophically, all while Venom: Let There Be Carnage grossed close to $500 million worldwide. Oh, the humanity...
10. The Suicide Squad
Even though it released on HBO Max the same day as cinemas in the U.S., there was still a fair expectation that a splashy blockbuster like James Gunn's The Suicide Squad would entice many to watch it on the big screen.
And yet, despite scoring rave reviews from critics, the $185 million tentpole went on to gross just $167.4 million worldwide.
The film's commercial failure was blamed on a number of factors: the continuing challenges of the pandemic, its HBO Max release, a less-star-studded cast than the first Suicide Squad, and above all else poor marketing - namely confusion over whether the film was a sequel or reboot.
It's a frustrating fate for a film that was exactly what the original should've been - darkly hilarious and R-rated, with a keen sense of the titular squad's dynamic.
The grand irony is that Gunn's film, a work of sure totality made with no studio interference whatsoever, died at the box office, while its 2016 predecessor, a sloppy, frankensteined mess rife with executive meddling, was a smash hit, grossing a total of $746 million.
While a John Cena-starring Peacemaker series is set to debut early next year, The Suicide Squad's atrocious global performance basically ensures we'll never get a direct sequel to this terrific superhero flick. What a travesty.