5 Cinematic Gems From The Past 10 Years That Failed At The Box Office

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Some movies become blockbusters having a questionable quality, whereas some other fail spectacularly in the box office despite having a marvelous quality. Here are five examples over the past ten years of gems that didn’t shine on the box office.

Child 44 (2015)

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“There is no murder in paradise,” was a famous saying among the elites of Soviet Russia, but the deaths of more than 40 children killed by a serial killer proved it wrong. The film had a stellar cast with Tom Hardy, Naomi Rapace, and Gary Oldman as the leading characters. Child 44 managed to capture the Stalinist Regime atmosphere perfectly, and it’s a unique historical crime thriller. How many filmmakers have dared to direct a movie of this characteristics? Only a handful of directors could capture the cold URRS atmosphere and deliver it with grace to the audience. Most importantly, Tom Hardy made us empathize with his character.

Why did it fail?

Setting a movie solely in the URRS doesn’t usually work at an international level. Especially, if the actors aren’t Russian and have implausible Russian accents. But this isn’t the main problem. The gritty tone of the movie along with the sensation of being continuously in a dark and hostile environment makes a general audience uncomfortable.

Watchmen (2009)

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This adaptation of the popular comic series has a cast full of talented actors. The CGI was superb, and the pace of the film was incredible. Another striking feature was its action sequences, as well as the “Zack Synder touch” in the movie atmosphere. It also achieved to portray the superhero costumes realistically yet faithfully to the comic ones. This movie is at the same level than most DCCU and MCU films. What makes it unique is its approach to the meaning of being a superhero. It isn’t glamourous, violence reigns in the life of a watchmen. The raw vision of their life is what makes of this movie a gem.

Why did it fail?

A possible answer to this question could be that it came out at the wrong time. It was too advanced to its time. The era of the superheroes is now, especially the R-Rated superheroes subgenre with films such as Deadpool or Logan. Also, Watchmen is not as mainstream as the heroes of DC Comics or Marvel.

High-Rise (2015)

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Based on the J. G. Ballard’s novel, this dystopian drama is set on a house-of-the-art tower block. Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons make a superb leading duo. What is apparently heaven on Earth, soon becomes the closest thing to hell. Chaos and mayhem start to reign in the building. This film is a one-of-a-kind for being able to tell a story in the same place without feeling repetitive. Ben Wheatley makes of the tower another character. It is simply outstanding and unseen before.

Why did it fail?

The plot can be seen as too “different” from what the general audience (and even the purist side of the audience) are used to see. In addition to this, some parts of the film can be considered too disturbing for the casual moviegoer.

Detroit (2017)

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Detroit, Michigan, July of 1967. Riots are taking over the city, and this film focuses on the Algiers Motel incident. Kathryn Bigelow directs young talented actors such as John Boyega and Will Poulter in this “raw” drama about one of the most brutal racial violence in U.S history. Not too many movies have accomplished such level of suffering and grief among their leading characters. This savagery is different from anything audience have witness before. It doesn’t look out of place or needless. The way this movie has been shot, with plenty of close-ups, delivers such a subjectivity that makes the spectator feel like they are in the Algiers Motel.

Why did it fail?

The movie itself isn’t “bright” at all. Main characters are hopeless the whole time, and the police violence is too explicit. Its lack of a moment of light might be the reason behind the unfortunate results at the box office.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

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It takes place 30 years after Rick Deckard actions in LA. This time, Ryan Gosling is the blade runner who unravels a mystery that can wreak havoc in an already decaying society. This film has, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most impressive photography of recent Hollywood history. The cast is exceptional: Gosling, Robin Wright, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto have significant roles in this movie. This picture is filled with everything you can imagine: action, romance, drama, thrilling plot and impressive FX.

Why did it fail?

Maybe making a sequel to a cult movie released in the 80’s wasn’t a good idea. Particularly if the first one was also a box office flop.


We hope you enjoyed our list. Do you agree with it? Let us know in the comment section.


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