10 Great 21st Century Sci-Fi Films That Bombed At The Box Office

Sci-fi that went to die.

Children Of Men

Science fiction is a genre which is impossible to define. Most people think of the genre as consisting of little more than intergalactic tales across space but over time there has been a re-evaluation of what exactly sci-fi means. 21st century directors in particular have come up with the boldest interpretations of what it means and how it impacts humanity.

However, even when these directors make a fantastic sci-fi epic - or a small scale sci-fi tale - it is no guarantee that audiences will go and see it. Times have changed since Star Wars had audiences queuing around the block in the 70s and now even the occasional Star Wars film struggles to make a profit.

Whether a film has a massive studio budget of $150 million or a modest $5 million to work with, these interpretations of the genre failed to land with audiences at the time but have since been reevaluated as classics and gained a cult following over the years.

10. Sunshine

Children Of Men
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Sunshine is a visually beautiful film with a lot to say about the future of humanity. Alex Garland's script, which saw mankind band together in a desperate attempt to reignite the fading Sun, saw the beginning of his foray into science fiction which he continued with Ex Machina and Annihilation.

However, Danny Boyle's 2007 film is by no means a masterpiece with its often criticised slasher ending providing a bizarre conclusion to a film which was seemingly attempting to merge 2001: A Space Odyssey with Halloween.

Having said this, the film did not deserve its pitiful box office earnings as it ultimately failed to connect with audiences who were unable to take it over its $40 million budget.

BUDGET: $40 million

BOX OFFICE: $32 million


An avid cinephile, love Trainspotting (the film, not the hobby), like watching bad films ironically (The Room, Cats) and hate my over-reliance on brackets (they’re handy for a quick aside though).