10 Movies That Massively Over-Performed At The Box Office

There are hits, and then there the genuine success stories that take everyone by surprise.

American Sniper Bradley Cooper
Warner Bros. Pictures

While this may come across as a cynical statement, the prime objective of the movie industry is to make the most amount of money as possible. That's why those on the inside refer to it as 'the business'.

Sure, there are plenty of filmmakers who set out to master their craft and deliver the best piece of cinema that they possibly can, but its the blockbusters that get the most attention and the biggest marketing push.

The problem is that today's studio movies are now precision-engineered solely to yield the biggest possible profit, which is why a huge number of big-budget efforts these days are so formulaic and interchangeable. In attempting to appeal to the widest demographic and thus make the most money, a worrying number of these projects lose all sense of originality and identity.

Most people can tell what the biggest hits are going to be as soon as the release schedule is announced, which only increases this sense of predictability. However, some projects can surprise everyone by over-performing at the box office and taking theaters by storm.

Whether it be through capturing the zeitgeist, cultural or political relevance, cashing in on a popular trend or simply good old fashioned counter-programming, plenty of movies have shown that it isn't just the usual suspects that dominate the box office.

10. Deadpool

American Sniper Bradley Cooper

Deadpool spent so long in development hell that for a long time it seemed as though the movie would never get made. Ryan Reynolds had been attached to the project in some capacity since February 2004, and it would be a full twelve years before the R-rated superhero flick finally made it to cinemas. When it did, Deadpool's box office performance blew even the most optimistic predictions out of the water.

A violent, profanity-laced, fourth wall-breaking comic book movie was seen by many as a risky venture, and as a result Fox gave the production a modest $58m budget. However, a combination of social media hype and a brilliant marketing campaign saw Deadpool smash box office records when it hit theaters, opening to $132.4m domestically on its way to a global tally of $783.1m.

In the process, Tim Miller's feature debut set the highest February opening weekend ever and became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time as well as the biggest earner in the entire X-Men franchise to date. Deadpool was so successful that the executives at 20th Century Fox must have been wondering why it took them over a decade to finally greenlight the thing.


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