10 Movies Nobody Saw In Cinemas (But Everyone Watches On TV)

The Shawshank Redemption and those other movies that bombed at cinemas but smashed it on TV!

The Shawshank Redemption
Columbia Pictures

The movie industry is often a funny beast. There can be films that feel like can't-miss, nailed-on hits ahead of their theatrical releases, yet ultimately those offerings stutter to box office disappointment. And likewise, there are those movies that we all know and love, that we presumed dominated at movie theaters, but the honest truth is that the cinema run of those films was abysmal.

Honing in on the latter point there, and the decades have seen so many adored pictures only ever find their true success when away from the big screen. More recent years have seen that success measured in DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD sales, although previous years would see this success and popularity achieved once a film had screened on TV.

Not only did certain future classics find their audience on TV screens, but those pictures have gone on to forever be must-see movies each time people realise they're airing on a certain channel or streaming service.

Here, then, are ten such films that somehow nobody bothered to watch in cinemas, yet everybody continues to flock towards every time said film gets a TV or on-demand outing.

10. Labyrinth

The Shawshank Redemption
TriStar Pictures

It's crazy to think that people didn't flock to cinemas to see Labyrinth - plentiful great Jim Henson puppet creations, wonderous landscapes, David Bowie, the super catchy Magic Dance - but the film didn't really find an audience until it made its way to TV.

For context, the Henson-directed 1986 release made barely half of its budget back during its theatrical run. Having cost $25 million to put together, Labyrinth pulled in $12.9 million when it hit cinemas.

When thinking back, Labyrinth is the sort of movie we all think would've had masses of families heading to their nearest multiplex or local independent, yet that wasn't the case. Now though, if you stumble across Labyrinth when channel surfing, it's pretty much a no-brainer that the vast majority of people will pause what they're doing and indulge in Jim Henson's 1986 classic.

The cold hard facts about the initial release of Labyrinth, though, are that the movie only managed to spend one solitary week in the US box office top ten, before then plummeting out of sight.


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