Jamar asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 9 months ago

Can a movie start off bombing in the box office but later become successful in theaters?

5 Answers

  • JuanB
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Like Gone with the wind did?  Or Rocky Horror Picture Show?  Sure. 

    The change came in early days of videos as a movie bombed at the box office then later became successful on video.

    The thing is now is the industry can change so fast with technology that there are different avenues to make money.  Sold to TV, Netflix, On Demand...

  • 9 months ago

    The one, not sure it bombed at the beginning, but one that just kept building that I can think of is My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding as word of mouth kept it in theaters for awhile.  From IMDB:  Despite its status as a small independent film, and despite never holding the number one spot at the American box office, the movie went on to earn almost U.S. $369 million, a return of over sixty-one times (6150%) its U.S. $6 million (inflation-adjusted) budget. For that reason, it is the second most profitable film of all time after Paranormal Activity (2007). That film returned 12,890 times the money invested (1289038.67%) with a budget of $15,000.00. The Worlwide Box Office stopped ringing in $193 million. Had one of the longest theatrical runs for a film in the home video era, playing for 52 weeks, of which 28 were in wide release (600+ theaters). For reference, it played eleven weeks longer than Titanic (1997), the highest-grossing domestic release at that time. 

  • 9 months ago

    Yes there are examples of this one was Its A Wonderful Life which was panned by the critics and did not do that well but became a great classic.

  • 9 months ago

    It normally doesn't work that way. What happens is, a movie bombs opening weekend. Depending on how hard it bombs, more and more theatres will pull it by the second weekend. By the third weekend, it's hardly showing and there it goes, in and out within a month. "Bombing" means the critics have had their say, and all too often, many people want nothing to do with them and won't see them. There's a difference between bigger second weekends vs. opening weekend. Movies like Star Wars and the Marvel collections have all seen bigger second weekends than opening weekends.

    These movies could or could not become CULT CLASSICS, meaning they sucked hard in theatres, but are doing very well in DVD, renting, streaming sales. This happens quite a lot. These include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Clockwork Orange, Donnie Darko, The Big Lebowski, Fight Club, etc. These movies did HORRIBLY in theatres, but have since gained a lot of steam with the public and are consider "successes" because of their after-theatre sales. 

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  • 9 months ago

    It happens, rarely. 

    It can have a weak opening weekend, but can still be financially successful in the long run.

    A recent example is The Greatest Showman. 

    It had a terrible opening weekend of $13.5 million, but it ended up making $435 million because of positive word of mouth.


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