Too often, a film will be released to minor or even cold reception. Critics, whether they champion or blast the picture, don't account for a movie's audience, often going against whatever the reviews say. But word of mouth spreads fast, and even a moderate success the first week can crash the second if audiences despise it.
In other instances, studios just don't know what to do with their product and dump it in the early graveyard of the early months of the year, prior to the major blockbusters and Oscar bait in the coming months.
Either way, a lot of films get buried in the mix and fail to find an audience. If the internet has proven anything, it's that there is an audience for just about anything, and they will find one another and the film in question will suddenly be up for re-appraisal and, for the studio, re-release on DVD with upgrades.
Science fiction, already a niche genre, even has some of its seminal work start out as small, cult hits. Here are just a few beloved films that, at first, didn't catch.
Kenny Hedges is carbon-based.
So I suppose a simple top 5 in no order will do: Halloween, Crimes and Misdemeanors, L.A. Confidential, Billy Liar, Blow Out
He has his own website - thefilmreal.com - and is always looking for new writers with differing views to broaden the discussion.