10 Films You Didn't Realise Secretly Bombed

There's no business like show business, and these shows did no business!

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Warner Bros

Filmmaking is an unpredictable industry. People will spend years of their lives and millions of their own savings trying to make their dream project a reality, only to lose it all when audiences decide their dream project isn't worth leaving home for. Other times, Hollywood hacks and industry sell-outs will lazily throw together a half-baked moving picture that can barely be considered a film, and it will break box office records.

Of course, that's not always how it goes down. Occasionally, the fates will align and a genuinely good movie will become a genuine success. More often than not, however, if your ambitious blockbuster isn't breaking a billion at the box office, it may as well have never existed.

If your film is a financial flop, however, all is not lost. Sometimes a movie can slip through the cracks. Sometimes a movie can become so beloved, so influential, and so critically successful that people never even notice it made sweet Fanny Adams in the first place.

Here are ten films that everyone loves, despite them getting no love when they were originally released.

10. Fight Club

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20th Century Fox

Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: we all pretend that Fight Club is a cult classic. The second rule of Fight Club is: WE ALL PRETEND THAT FIGHT CLUB IS A CULT CLASSIC!

The truth is, with the rise of online word-of-mouth, Fight Club has been catapulted out of the realm of the 'cult classic' and has become a legitimate mainstream success - it's just a shame it wasn't able to do that while it was in cinemas.

A favourite of teenage boys everywhere, David Fincher's twisty tale of twisted men also failed to make back double its budget. Although we would never say no to a profit of just under $40 million, it wasn't enough to mark it down as anything other than a bomb for 20th Century Fox. However, its polarising critical reception ensured it was one of the most talked about films of 1999, which peaked a lot of people's curiosity when it was released on home video.

It was also boosted by the rise of the internet: Fight Club is an extremely quotable and meme-worthy film, and its inclusion on nearly every online film journalist's 'underrated gems' list slowly brought it back into the limelight.

Fincher himself must have been delighted that his film found an audience, although he seems less-than-enthused with the audience it found, once stating:

"My daughter had a friend named Max. She told me Fight Club is his fave movie. I told her never to talk to Max again."
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Jimmy Kavanagh is an Irish writer and co-founder of Club Valentine Comedy, a Dublin-based comedy collective. You can hear him talk to his favourite comedians about their favourite comics on his podcast, Comics Swapping Comics.