When it comes to tentpole films, one key aspect is the release date as blockbusters are often shown during the summer, horror movies during the Halloween season, and so on. But one of the unofficial seasons in the movie business is what they call the dump months. These are when films are released, often in January, for strategic purposes.
Now, why does this happen?
Dump movies are often released due to a number of factors such as poor test screenings which can cause movie studios to lose faith in the project. At the same time, these films can be lower budget and feature lesser-known stars or can flat out just lack critical and financial expectations.
Yet sometimes, these films manage to surpass expectations by making a lot of money and even being good. This is because some movies are underestimated by producers while some are even intentionally released during this time frame to avoid competition during the busy months.
And so with the release of M3GAN, here are the 10 films released during the dump months that defied all expectations.
10. Final Destination 2
Final Destination 2 takes the premise of the original and takes it up to eleven. The film increases the setpieces, and dark humor while staging more elaborate death scenes for its hapless survivors. And while the previous movie featured the iconic plane explosion of Flight 180, the sequel tops it with one of the best car crash sequences even to be put on celluloid.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics who lambasted its bare-minimum plot and the excessive but illogical setpieces. The acting was also criticized though Tony Todd, much like in the first film, was once again praised as the standout.
Audience reception, however, was much more positive with numerous horror sites citing Final Destination 2's opening pile-up in particular to be brilliantly conveived. In fact, Quentin Tarantino himself would call it a 'magnificent car action piece.'
The film has stood the test of time and is fondly remembered today and even made money at the time. Released on January 31, 2003, FD2 grossed $90.4 million on a $26 million budget. Though it is the lowest-earning Final Destination movie, it still made a decent amount of money on a dump month which is commendable and is considered by fans as one of the better sequels in the franchise.