We often hear about amazing movies that shattered sales records, but sometimes a great movie slips through the cracks and ultimately doesn't do well. These movies are usually discovered by a wider audience upon getting a video release, only for all of us to realize what we truly missed out on. Here are just a few examples!
1) It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
One of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time (so much so that it's shown in OTHER Christmas movies, and is often cited by Jimmy Stewart as being his favorite performance), the film actually bombed on its release thanks to its dark subject matter.
It wasn't until its copyright wasn't renewed in 1974 and TV networks picked it up en masse that people discovered how great it was.
2) Event Horizon (1997)
Director Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil) turned in his best directorial work with this genuinely creepy and effective sci-fi horror movie. The story of an asteroid mining crew having to investigate the lost ship Event Horizon is the stuff of nightmares, and even inspired the Dead Space video game franchise.
Despite featuring a stacked cast of character actors like Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne, and Jason Isaacs, the film lost nearly $35 Million at the box office, only really finding an audience on home video.
3) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
That's right, this childhood favorite which is often cited as featuring Gene Wilder's best role was not a success when it first came out.
Only earning about $1 Million at the box office, Paramount sold the rights to Warner Bros. in 1977, whose offering of the movie for TV broadcast and later home video release would turn it into a classic.
4) Showgirls (1995)
One of the most infamous box office bombs in cinema history, the film lost over $25 Million and effectively ruined Elizabeth Berkley's post-Saved By The Bell acting career. With that said, it's so over the top and unintentionally hilarious that we can't help but love it. Entire books have been written about how this bit of 90s sleaze is actually great!
5) The 13th Warrior (1998)
John McTiernan is a director that needs no introduction, having helmed beloved action movies like the Die Hard franchise, The Hunt For Red October, and of course, Predator. It's a shame then that The 13th Warrior not only was a massive bomb at the box office, but has also been largely forgotten.
Antonio Banderas plays a Arab courtier who must journey with a group of Vikings to defend their homeland from a group of cannibalistic tribesmen, and the result is a film that's equal parts chilling and thrilling. Based off Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (who co-directed the film), it's a completely enjoyable period piece action film that you owe it to yourself to check out.